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Floorboards, Parquet, Hardwood
Gap-filling is a part of the wood floor restoration process. Is it necessary? No. Is it useful? Absolutely. The main benefit of having the gaps in your floor filled is energy efficiency. Naturally, you want your house to be warm during the winter. However, if you have gaps between the boards. a lot of the heat will be lost. Even worse, the gaps will lead to draughts which certainly won’t lower your central heating bills.
Gap-filling can also grant more dimensional stability to the floor and limit its movement. Sadly, because of the very nature of the wood (contracts during the summer and expands during the winter) the process has varying success. You can never tell if it will attempt to expand again a few years after it is all finished.
How Do We Fill Gaps Between Boards?
The most common method of gap filling is by using a mix of filler resin and sawdust. The dust is collected beforehand from rough and medium sanding rounds, combined with the resin and applied to the gaps between the boards. The benefit of this practice is that newly created substance has a colour identical to that of the floor’s. This grants the illusion of a perfectly smooth and uniform surface. For gaps which are narrowed to 6mm filler is applied with flat spatula as for wider gaps, they should be filled prior to the gap filling.
No company can guarantee the gap filling, a professional sanding company can refit and limit the movement of the flooring boards, and however because of the nature of the wood, no one can say if it will expand again.
Gap-filling can also grant a more dimensional stability to the floor and limit its movement. Sadly, because of the very nature of the wood (contracts during the summer and expands during the winter) the process has varying success. You can never tell if it will attempt to expand again a few years after it is all finished.
For larger gaps the solution is filling them with wood stripes. The method is more expensive compared to the previous one but it is more reliable and particularly useful for covering larger gaps. The floor sanding company will supply the stripes; they are cut from reclaimed pine timber which will be very close to your floor’s original colour. Keep in mind that if there are too many large gaps you may be better off with replacing the boards entirely instead of strip filling.
There Are Many Ways to Fill Gaps
The gap-filling methods listed above are simply the most popular ones. There are plenty of other options. Instead of a resin filler, you can use a mix of PVA glue and sawdust. However, the mixture created this way is simply inferior when it comes to mechanical properties and takes more time to apply compared to a resin.
Of course, we have also have to mention the good old papier mache. If you are after a more reclaimed, Victorian look, this may be just what you need. Unfortunately, this also isn’t a very practical solution since it requires a lot of time and attention.