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How to fill gaps between wooden floorboards

Read on to find our tips on how to fill gaps in floorboards and gaps between skirting and floor to get a nice, smooth underlay and avoid accidents in the home.


Reading Time: 5 minutes

By Cleanipedia Team

how to fill gaps in wood floors
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Key steps

  • Papier mâché or PVA glue and sawdust works but may not provide top results.

  • For the best results, use wooden strips the same colour as your floor.

  • Hammer them in with a mallet.

  • Sand the surface to ensure it is level.

  • For gaps between skirting and floor, use a sealant.

Update the look and feel of your home instantly with these top tips on repairing gaps in floorboards. Here we’ll teach you how to fill gaps in floorboards and gaps between the skirting board and the floor.

Now that your floors are fitted and the gaps are filled, why not read our article on cleaning wooden floors to ensure you keep them in the best condition?

How to fill gaps in wood floors: easy step-by-step methods

Whether you need advice for filling gaps between skirting boards and floor or the floorboards themselves, check out the following methods!

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If you are fitting or refinishing your tongue and groove floor, try using PVA glue and sawdust and following these steps:

  1. Start by sanding down the surface.

  2. During the sanding process, collect as much loose saw dust as possible.

  3. After the initial sanding, add a layer of PVA glue into the gap between your floorboards.

  4. Sprinkle sawdust over the PVA.

  5. Push the sawdust into the PVA until it is level with the top of your flooring. The handle of a screwdriver will work best for this.

  6. Leave the PVA to dry.

  7. Go over the joint with a small electric sander, to ensure the flooring is level.

  8. Whilst it may look the same once sanded, don’t forget that the PVA may affect the colour result when staining the floor.

  9. For advice on fitting your floor, read our article on how to fit laminate flooring.

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If you want to know how to fill gaps between wooden floorboards without the chance of different colours due to PVA, try adding wooden strips following these steps:

  1. Always follow this process before sanding your floor.

  2. First, cut strips of wood. For the best results, use wooden strips that match the colour of your floorboards.

  3. Ensure the strips are slightly larger than the width of the gap.

  4. Apply wood glue.

  5. Use a soft mallet to hit the strip into the gap. As it is slightly larger than the gap, it will create an air (and dust!) tight seal between your floorboards.

  6. Continue steps 2–4 until all the gaps in your floor have been filled.

  7. Leave for at least one hour to allow the glue to dry.

  8. Use an electric sander to level the floor, ensuring all the wooden strips are level with your floorboards.

The following steps will fill you in on sealing gaps in floorboards thanks to the timber contracting and expanding over time. This guide uses papier-mâché:

  • Bear in mind that this is a very time-consuming method.

  • Although it is cheap, it does not give your floor the best look, but this process is ideal if you plan to cover your floorboards with carpet or linoleum.

  • You will need wallpaper adhesive and old newspapers.

  • Rip the newspaper into small pieces and dip it into the wallpaper adhesive.

  • Push the newspaper into the gaps between your floorboards until every gap is filled.

With the following steps you can learn how to fill gaps between skirting boards and floorboards:

  • For gaps narrower than 5mm in width, use sealant or decorator’s caulk.

  • Always use a specialised applicator gun, which will ensure you get the right amount needed directly into the gap.

  • For larger gaps, use wood glue to place timber beading into the gap.

  • While these DIY methods work well if you have time and patience, if you are not confident completing the work yourself, it is worth calling a professional.

Now you’re all prepped for filling gaps between floorboards, you can get a nice, smooth floor in no time! Far be it from us to plug our own articles, but we do have a lot more advice on all things cleaning, DIY, and generally caring for the home. Go explore!

Originally published