I have a house that is roughly 100 years old with hardwood floors. We purchased the house about 5 years ago and immediately got the floors resurfaced. Even before resurfacing the floors I noticed that there was a small hole on one of the boards that didn't go all the way through but seemed to be getting larger overtime. I was wondering if anyone had any recommendations on how to repair this hole. It seems that the hardwood is almost hollow where the hole is happening. Is it possible to fill it in with wood glue or another product such as a sawdust mixture? I would prefer not to replace the board. Any tips would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you

Here's the hollow area: Hollow hole that is the issue described Here's a general view of the floor (the damage is elsewhere): Sample area of the floors in the room

  • 1
    That looks like carpenter ant damage, not termite. But if there is no other similar damage in your home, and if there is no lingering moisture in the area, the little buggers are no doubt long gone. Mar 7, 2016 at 4:37
  • ... where in that second picture is the damage? Mar 7, 2016 at 12:28
  • @DanielGriscom the damage isn't in the second picture. I took the picture quick and missed it! Damage would be slightly to the left. This also happens to be right next to the bed and the first place I step when I wake up in the AM.
    – AAA
    Mar 7, 2016 at 12:30

2 Answers 2


i would start by digging out the area a little bit to see how bad the hole is. if its not to deep or just a sign of a bigger problem, i would fix it like so:

1) using lacquer sticks and an alcohol lamp (you can get these at lee valley or rockler, etc) melt down different colours until you get approximately the right colour.

2) get a little crucible, like a small soup ladle or something. heat up twice as much as you think you will need to fill the void. once its all melted, pour into the hole (you can patch any little cracks or holes internally with kleenex, plasticine, whatever - prior to pouring). the heat and the chemistry of the lacquer sticks will let it flow into every little crevice and bond tightly to the existing wood (like a dental filling). fill until its just at the surface.

3) once the lacquer has cooled, it will suck in a little. now put more lacquer in as necessary using burn-in method (just check youtube for how to do this - its an art, so be patient). you may have to use three or four colours to get the grain to match perfectly.

4) once done, scrape flat with a razor blade and buff. now you will have a perfectly invisible, touch patch that wont pop out or disintegrate in time.


You should buy a colored wood filler that most closely matches the color of your floor and pack it in there to fill. Carefully sand the filled area, hit it with additional stain if necessary, then varnish the patch.

Note: prior to patching you should investigate the cause... cuz it sure looks like termite damage. You could treat the area with local termite killer spray prior to patching but if you have widespread or structural infestation you may need a more invasive technique (tent the house).

  • Thank you - this is the only spot that I have seen any type of hole like this in our home. Any guess what type of wood this could be? Redwood?
    – AAA
    Mar 7, 2016 at 1:33
  • 1
    Looks like oak to me, but others may have opinions. Mar 7, 2016 at 2:25
  • Looks like mostly oak but that lighter board may be ash or poplar. Mar 7, 2016 at 4:33

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.