Skip to main content
26 votes
Accepted

How do I fix popped nails in hardwood floors?

Use lost-head screws. These have heads small enough that they will pull down into the surface so you can cover them with a dab of filler. There are many types, for different purposes, but all have ...
Tetsujin's user avatar
  • 11.5k
22 votes

Does hardwood floor REALLY need an expansion gap?

When an irresistible force meets an immovable object, in this case you get floor buckling. It's been observed in practice countless times. Feel free to repeat the mistakes of others, or learn from ...
Ecnerwal's user avatar
  • 218k
11 votes

Why don't I see more progress when sanding my stair treads?

A vibrating or oscillating sander isn't going to be aggressive enough for that job. It's really only suitable for light finish sanding. You need something that spins, or at least something with a ...
isherwood's user avatar
  • 139k
9 votes

Hardwood flooring installation

If the floor is flat with no dips or ridges then yes. The new flooring will raise the floor height up a bit ~3/4 inch, but if you are happy with the new height, no problem. Most flooring made with ...
crip659's user avatar
  • 24.8k
9 votes

How to remove threaded insert that went in wrong?

Easy work for a vice grips, you'll own it for a lifetime. "Use a power tool" was terrible advice. Unfortunately some younger people feel a need to always use a power tool. This fails to ...
Harper - Reinstate Monica's user avatar
8 votes

to address a hump in hardwood floor or not

Pretty much depends on how much you like extensively tearing an old house apart to try to make it like new .vs. your tolerance for "character" like a hump in the floor. I've lived in plenty ...
Ecnerwal's user avatar
  • 218k
7 votes

Distributed expansion gaps in solid hardwood flooring

Do NOT install expansion spaces between each board. You want a very tight fit between each board and then leave an expansion space around the perimeter of each room. First you’ll need to acclimate ...
Lee Sam's user avatar
  • 23.3k
6 votes

How do I fix popped nails in hardwood floors?

I'd pull them out and see if the floor squeaks or flexes. Maybe you don't need them and can fill or ignore the holes. Otherwise, replace them with ring shank or spiral shank type nails...as suggested ...
Steve Wellens's user avatar
6 votes

How do I fix popped nails in hardwood floors?

"Two nails in my hardwood flooring keep popping up: I have knocked them back in, but because of a bit of flex in the floor, they work their way back up. What should I do about them?" Civil ...
Rhodie's user avatar
  • 169
6 votes

Does hardwood floor REALLY need an expansion gap?

Humidity is a much bigger factor than temperature in wood expansion. And most of the humidity-related expansion is across the grain, not along the grain. The floor and subfloor are subject to the same ...
Mike Baranczak's user avatar
6 votes
Accepted

How to remove threaded insert that went in wrong?

One thing to try is to grab the insert with a vice-grip (or similar) locking pliers. If you can get a good enough grip, you may be able to work it out. Otherwise, you can try using a Dremel (or ...
DoxyLover's user avatar
  • 12.7k
5 votes
Accepted

Are my hardwood sleepers shrinking?

What you are showing is bare wood apparently without any treatment or coating. In that case the wood will shrink and swell due to humidity and, since this appears to be outside, rain, snow, etc. Wood ...
jwh20's user avatar
  • 23.4k
5 votes

How much will an undried hardwood shrink in the axial direction?

Wood behaves anisotropically (differently in different directions.) Common values for radial, tangential, and axial (aka longitudinal) shrinkage in red oak are 4%, 8.6% and 0.1-0.2% (not even called ...
Ecnerwal's user avatar
  • 218k
4 votes

Repairing hollowed out hole in hardwood floor

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 ...
Jimmy Fix-it's user avatar
  • 35.9k
4 votes

How can I remove blackened water stains from a hardwood floor?

The active agent in bleach is sodium hypochlorite. Normally, it will remove old stain color from wood but not ink stains or black water marks. For black water stains, use a saturated solution of ...
Hansen's user avatar
  • 41
4 votes
Accepted

What's the best way to repair this hardwood floor damage?

Remove the old, rotten wood and replace it with new stuff. This is a very common repair. I've never seen anybody use a jigsaw to remove hardwood strip flooring before but I'm sure it's been done. ...
Dan Mantyla's user avatar
4 votes
Accepted

What is this subfloor, and do I need a wood underlayment for hardwood

Yes, that's OSB. It's the only product that's made with large wood "strands". I wouldn't have guessed that it was 3/4" though due to the apparent lack of tongue and groove along the longitudinal edge, ...
isherwood's user avatar
  • 139k
4 votes

Distributed expansion gaps in solid hardwood flooring

Wood gives, and takes.... In my opinion, wood will compress when needed. Picture a hammer striking a board and leaving a mark, it compresses. This is quite the exaggeration, but for a point. The wood ...
Jack's user avatar
  • 35.5k
4 votes

My apartment still smells like polyurethane after over a month! I have a toddler with respiratory issues, please help

From what you've told us, it sounds like you are trying a number of good ideas to help mitigate the smell and lingering off-gassing but maybe not optimally. I actually would advise against using ...
noybman's user avatar
  • 2,025
4 votes

How to make 1x2 lumber longer?

I'm not sure quite what kind of pets you're keeping in a 99x72" enclosure, but a 1x2 won't have a lot of strength. It's only 3/4" thick on the best days, and if the critters are jumping ...
FreeMan's user avatar
  • 47.4k
4 votes

How to make 1x2 lumber longer?

How do you get bigger lumber? Buy bigger lumber. In the world of DIY and carpentry in general, smaller boards are made from larger boards as a matter of course. A 1x4-10 ripped down the middle nicely ...
isherwood's user avatar
  • 139k
4 votes

Walls not straight (obviously) how to install hardwoods?

I presume you are talking about the wall running parallel to the long side of the boards. You need the expansion gap, or the floor will be prone to rise off the subfloor when it expands to being ...
Ecnerwal's user avatar
  • 218k
3 votes

Carbolineum safety and removal from wood

This seems to be something that penetrates into the wood and will be very difficult to remove. I would find the manufacturer from the empty cans and phone their customer support number for advice. I'm ...
RedGrittyBrick's user avatar
3 votes
Accepted

Repairing hollowed out hole in hardwood floor

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 ...
personal privacy advocate's user avatar
3 votes
Accepted

What are these light marks on my new (unfinished) oak counter tops?

Quarter sawn oak has those rays. They aren't a defect nor will they go away. This figure was prized by early Craftsman builders.
User95050's user avatar
  • 896
3 votes

If polyurethane is not food safe, why is it used on dining tables?

This article says it is food safe only after it is fully cured. According to finishing expert Bob Flexner, all finishes are food-safe once they have cured. Polyurethane varnish does not present any ...
Davbog's user avatar
  • 131
3 votes
Accepted

Do I need to use any sort of base coat when finishing hardwood floors with urethane?

I would always suggest you avoid sanding sealers unless you have a specific reason to use one. Sanding sealers place a clear base coat between the wood and finish. But because the sealer is formulated ...
Matthew Gauthier's user avatar
3 votes
Accepted

What type of wood is this scrap piece?

Judging by the rays in the third picture (and the classic look of every floor I've ever worked on that wasn't maple), it's White Oak. And we can't see any knots, so it's specifically Clear White Oak. ...
Mazura's user avatar
  • 13.4k
3 votes
Accepted

Hardwood flooring: transitions and expansion gaps

The metal edge you see is a Schluter trim that installs under the tile. The expansion rate changes radically based on the climate you're in--drier climates tend to shrink more. Regardless of where ...
user81381's user avatar
  • 283
3 votes

How to build long, chunky bed supports

There is not a convincing reason this has to be any sort of box structure. In fact for a bed support like that a single USA type of 2x8 (actual 1.5"by 7.5" 38mm by 190mm) on edge on each side of the ...
Michael Karas's user avatar
  • 65k

Only top scored, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible