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About 8 months ago I laid down a floating bamboo floor. The planks are solid carbonized strand bamboo. We allowed the planks to acclimate for over two weeks in the apartment and then laid down the floor as a floating floor- gluing the planks together- following the manufacturers instructions. About a month ago (during the winter with the heat on) large gaps appeared between some of the planks. One gap is about 1/2 inch wide and the plank can be wiggled around.

My question is: What is the best way to fix this problem? I'm assuming that the bamboo is very moisture sensitive and has shrunk due to the warm and dry conditions during the winter, and will therefor expand again in the summer. Would using a floor colored silicone type caulk be good way to fill in the gaps while still allowing for expansion and contraction? Or should I cut another piece of bamboo to fit into the gap and glue it in? Thank you for any suggestions!

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    1/2" is a huge gap to open in a floor. if you look at the gap closely, has the glue let go or has the wood split off from the parent piece? – personal privacy advocate Mar 8 '16 at 4:39
  • The plank has come completely loose ( the glue has let go). Its an entire plank at the end of the row - so it was only glued on 3 sides. The 1/2 " gap is only in this one spot. the rest of the floor gaps are smaller, maybe about 1/16 or 1/8" – Kate Mar 8 '16 at 19:14
  • is the gap across the short edge of the board or the long edge? if its the short edge and its a board at the end of the run, it could be that the glue has failed and then through use, the board has slid further towards the wall then originally intended. you may be able to simply tap it back and close the gap that way. – personal privacy advocate Mar 9 '16 at 2:08
  • The gap is along the long edge – Kate Mar 10 '16 at 21:54
  • i would do the following: 1) pop the quarter rounds or baseboards so that you can get access to the perimeter boards. 2) using a good quality carpenters glue and a glue syringe, inject glue into any open seam. 3) use a good quality floor strap ratchet clamp set (you can rent these) to close the gaps up (you may need 20 sets of straps or more) and let them set while under tension. this should solve the existing problem. the unfortunate truth is the floor will now have new stresses in it that may cause other gaps to open up over time. – personal privacy advocate Mar 14 '16 at 2:41
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I would NOT glue anything in those gaps. You'd want loose & free floating double beveled flooring strips in there. The fillers would be shaped like the crust end of a pie slice, so as the flooring expands again it pushes the fillers out so they can be removed & stored in the closet for next winter.

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  • Ah, that makes sense. If you sweep over the comment you'll see a round (x) to delete your own comments. Lucky you on the bamboo everyone I knew got a big screw with that trendy non-wood whoop-dee-doo. – Iggy Mar 8 '16 at 5:40
  • Thanks for the advice. This is a rental unit so I would not be able to monitor the floor and remove pieces as the floor expanded again. Do you think re gluing the plank on one side and then putting silicone ( or some other kind of adhesive/filler) into the gap would be a reasonable fix? – Kate Mar 8 '16 at 19:18
  • You've got a sticky wicket there. We're talking about where the board or plank lengths run & meet the wall & not "between" the boards, right? If that's correct, then I think your only real option is to do a wider quarter-round on the wall's baseboard or do a flat "quarter round". They're all "shoe moldings" actually. – Iggy Mar 8 '16 at 22:34

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