Repairing Your Floor

Over time, it’s normal for wood floors to become damaged. People constantly walk on them, all kinds of liquids are spilt on them, and they are gouged or scratched by children, furniture or heels. Sometimes, parts of them are broken by accident or mere exuberance. This is especially likely in ‘high spill’ areas (kitchens and dining rooms for example) and ‘high stress’ areas (such as living rooms and passages).

Damage can come in the form of deep stains to the wood, scratches, deep gouges, breaks in the wood floor, misalignments or squeaks. Whatever the case, these things are bound to happen over time; when they do, they will need to be repaired. This can be undertaken by professionals who specialise in such tasks, allowing for an easier solution. However, for those who enjoy tackling their own problems personally, here is a simple guide on how to repair your floor.

Understanding the damage

It’s always important to understand the scope of damage before taking any action. Most people approach repairs with just a vague idea of what it requires, but it’s best to have a firm understanding of exactly what work needs to be done. This includes some knowledge about the type of damage, how to fix it, what will be needed, how much of the floor will require work, and so on.

If the damage comprises scratches and/or stains, it can often be fixed by cleaning and sanding. However, deep stains – especially in wood where the finish is worn – will require replacing. This is also true for deeply gouged and broken planks.

Prepare the workspace

This should be done prior to any work being done. It is relatively simple and will mostly entail keeping the area (that requires work) free from clutter, which will make the actual work go smoother. Suffice to say, it’s a good idea to remove any items that can accrue dust or wood scraps. This in turn will make cleaning easier when work has been completed.

Gather the necessary tools and equipment

It’s always best to preemptively assemble all necessary items; again, this is to ensure everything else goes smoothly. You don’t want to be immersed in the full swing of things and then have to stop because you couldn’t find your pliers or some such item. Below are listed some of the more obvious tools that will be required:

  • Eye goggles and kneepads
  • Screws or nails
  • Drill
  • Hammer
  • Pliers
  • Chisel
  • Circular saw or plunge saw
  • Chop saw
  • Tape measure

Take measurements and cut new planks

It’s now time measure the new replacement boards, taking measurements individually for the sake of accuracy. After each measurement, a mark should be made. This is to ensure that cuts can be made with ease and minimal errors.

You can loosely place any cut planks across the spaces where others were removed; this should give a good idea of how many will be required and how they should be placed. This way, you can avoid cutting too many planks, although a little excess is not a big problem (and is encouraged in large jobs). Each plank should be carefully cut according to measurements made, with the cuts being perfectly square. Two types of saw can be used to cut the planks; a radial arm saw or a chop saw. Either one is fine, as long as it works cleanly for precise cuts. Planks can be cut into two for easy insertion; this will also help to maintain the tongues and grooves.

Remove damaged planks

To remove the damaged planks, it’s best to first use a carpenter’s square to create a new, more visible end seam. You should use your hammer and chisel to define the edges more cleanly. Then, working towards the end seam, create a separation in the wood using your chisel. This should be done by angling the chisel and taking off approximately one-eighth of an inch. Do this carefully to each board to prevent any damage to surrounding boards. To make work more efficient, each board should be tackled in phases.

Btown Will Bring Your Wood Floor Vision To Life!

Install new planks

Once you have planks that will fit, start laying them down. Turn each plank upside down and chisel off the lower lip of the grooved edge to make it fit more snugly with the planks around that side.

You can fasten using carpenters glue or fit it and then fasten using a nail gun. Nails are better, as they allow the wood to tighten or contract according to the weather, without needing to be removed. For gluing, carpenters glue should be applied to the new plank and surrounding planks, once you’re certain they will fit. If you’re using nails, they should be inserted at a forty-five-degree angle at the tongues. If there are nail holes showing, they should be filled with wood putty. The end seams of each plank should be properly spaced from one another, at least half a foot apart. This is mostly for aesthetics, but it also makes the entire system stronger. The last plank should be inserted with some adhesive, regardless of whether or not you’re using nails.

Sanding and Finishing

Once the whole thing has been fitted and given time to align properly (or dry if you used adhesive), you can begin sanding or finishing. Sanding will help to file down uneven floors and have everything at much the same level. Sanding should be done lightly and precisely, but on both the old and new boards. The previous finish should be sanded according to your current tastes.

Not everyone is interested in applying finish, although it is usually preferred. A good coat of finish gives protection to the floors and makes them look more aesthetically pleasing. If you’re using finish, your chosen one should match that on the old boards still in place. The coating should be applied evenly on all new boards, while a light application on the old boards should be adequate. Coating should then be left for a few hours to dry, free of interference or dust, as these can ruin the coating. Once dry, another two coats of clear polyurethane varnish should be applied on all parts of the floor that had a finish coating.

With this is done, you’re finally finished. You should check during every stage to make sure everything fits smoothly (which they should if you’ve followed the steps correctly). Now, you can sit back and enjoy your new floors.

Reviews

What an amazing job Ben and team have made of our entrance hall and hallway. We simply could not have hoped for a better job. Extremely helpful before and during the work. No mess at all and a pleasure to have working in the house. We cannot recommend highly enough.
chris broad
chris broad
16:33 14 Mar 18
Fantastic service from a very professional team. From quoting through to the final product Ben and his team delivered an impeccable service. Have and will continue to recommend to friends. Ben was able to recommend the best type of finish for our particular wood to bring it back to an amazing finish - so do ask him for his opinion, as he recommended us a much better colour for our hallways then we had planned. We always get positive comments from visitors on our floor and its finish.
cobblex
cobblex
12:39 20 Mar 18
Btown Flooring did an incredible job of all the floors in my house - they look beautiful! Ben's considerable expertise reassured me from the first that this was the company I trusted to look after my original Victorian floorboards. He guided me through the options in a professional and friendly manner, going the extra mile to ensure the best possible outcome. He kept me informed at all times and delivered to schedule at the price quoted.
Claire Seymour
Claire Seymour
13:35 30 Mar 18
Ben and his team sanded and varnished our downstairs living areas and hallway. They were very polite, respectful and Ben took as much time as was needed to make sure everything was done to a high standard as well as being happy to explain all aspects along the way as well as allowing us time to make decisions. He also recommended a finish which was much better than the one we thought we wanted - sample areas were created on the floor so that we could get an idea of the different finishes before making a choice. The team worked hard and were very professional throughout the whole process. As we had chosen a different varnish the price did increase slightly. Ben made an estimate as to what that increase would be which turned out to be slightly less than it actually was. I asked him afterwards about the difference in the price and he refunded it, apologising for any confusion stating that it was an estimate. I thought this was very fair. Overall, I would definitely recommend B-Town as the work was of a high standard and the team were very professional and courteous, trying their best to accommodate our movements to contain disruption. I think the job took longer than they had quoted for but the price did not increase because of that. The only problem is that we really have to look after our floors now as our dog has managed to scratch it already! Top tip: buy a roll of felt adhesive that can be cut to size and adhered to the bottom of all the feet of your furniture, maybe to your dogs paws too 🙂
Mister Phil
Mister Phil
11:51 07 Mar 18
Used this company to sand and stain the hallway in my flat making it a beautiful dark red mahogany colour. They were friendly and more importantly tidy. Did such a good job the managing agents used them for the communal areas later that year. Would use again.
Dean Cottrell
Dean Cottrell
21:03 12 Feb 18
Great work from Ben and team, really good finish and house was left clean and tidy. Ben was very helpful in explaining the process also. Would very much recommend.
russell brighton
russell brighton
11:13 13 May 18
Ben and his team did a great job with my kitchen wood floor. He is an honest and professional guy. He will give you helpful suggestions to make your floor look just perfect. Highly recommend.
H N
H N
09:53 12 Jul 18
I was given the responsibility of finding the right company to refurbish our Church Hall floor and three double doors at the church and hall. Had several quotes and a lot of promises. Just had a feeling that Ben and his team would deliver exactly as discussed. They did and we are delighted. Well done BTown.
Nigel Ireland
Nigel Ireland
16:37 08 Aug 18

Btown Will Bring Your Wood Floor Vision To Life!