How to repair hardwood floor damage | Pro Construction Guide
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How to repair hardwood floor damage

How to repair hardwood floor damage

Hardwood flooring stands up well, but accidents and repetitive wear can result in damage.

Here’s how to repair hardwood floor damage:

Step 1: Plunge cut the damaged flooring

Use a circular saw to make plunge cuts

Using a circular saw, set to cut to ¾ inch, make plunge cuts isolating the damaged section of flooring.

Using a circular saw, set to cut to ¾ inch, make plunge cuts isolating the damaged section of flooring so it can be removed. To make the plunge cuts, set the front edge of the saw firmly on the board and allow the saw to settle onto its face plate.

Hold the saw firmly, cutting in this way can cause the saw to kickback (jump the saw out of the grove).

Use a hammer and chisel to remove the damaged board.

Use a hammer and chisel to remove the rest of the damaged board.

Step 2: Remove the damaged board to repair hardwood floor

After finishing your plunge cut, use a hammer and chisel to remove the rest of the damaged board. Remove the board carefully, making sure not to damage the tongue or the grove of the adjacent flooring. A utility knife is useful for cutting away small stubborn pieces.

Step 3: Sand damaged flooring

Using a small belt sander, fitted with a course grit sanding belt (60-80 grit), sand the rough area where you removed the damaged section. Always work in the direction of the grain and be careful not to damage the surrounding flooring when you repair hardwood floor sections.

Use a small belt sander to sand the rough area.

Using a small belt sander, fitted with a course grit sanding belt (60-80 grit), sand the rough area.

Step 4: Remove groove on replacement board

Measure the replacement board. The replacement board should be 1/16 inch smaller than the space left after removing the damaged board.

Carefully remove the tongue on the replacement board using a table saw. Also, shave off some of the tongue on the board in the floor.

Try and match the grain in the replacement board to the floor boards. Fit the board and tap it in with a mallet.

Step 5: Edge nail the board

Edge nail the board through the side that has the tongue fitted into the grove, this will only be on one side as you have removed the tongue on the other side for easier fitting.

Step 6: Blend and sand

Using a small belt sander, fitted with a course grit sanding belt (60-80 grit), sand the rough area.

Step 7: Fill panel nail holes

Counter-sink the nails using a counter sink punch. The nails need to be lower than the surrounding surface. Blend wood putty to match the wood, fill in the holes, and sand with a very fine grit paper (400) after the putty has dried.

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Step 8: Match the color

Matching the color and texture to the original flooring is the most difficult step. Avoid using polyurethane for color, as it will yellow as it ages. Shellac and denatured alcohol will allow you to get a good match. Shellac comes in various shades. Select the shade that is closest to your color but slightly lighter. The more coats you apply the darker it will become. You can also mix a darker and a lighter shade to get a good match. When matching the color, wait between coats. The color will be different after it dries. Waiting will help you get a better match.

Step 9: Seal

When the shellac has thoroughly dried, seal the floor with a very thin coat clear of polyurethane and allow it to dry. (Polyurethane can take 24 to 48 hours to dry properly.) Apply three coats, allowing them to dry completely between applications. The polyurethane will protect the floor from damage, make it easy to clean, and add a nice sheen. Use a disposable applicator. If you use a brush, make sure it is very high quality to avoid leaving brush hairs in the sealed surface.

Tools and materials you’ll need

  • Tools
  • Circular saw
  • Chisel
  • Hammer
  • Box cutter
  • Belt sander
  • Mallet
  • Counter sink punch
  • Table saw
  • Sanding block
  • Replacement flooring (match the grain as closely as possible)
  • 60-80 grit sand paper
  • 120, 180, and 220 grit sand paper
  • Panel pins
  • Wood glue
  • Spatula
  • Plastic cup
  • Shellac
  • Clear polyurethane
  • Sponge applicator

 


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