Our Brisbane clients sometimes ask “Can you fill the gaps between our polished floorboards?” Some floors are tight while others can have gaps up to 5mm wide. Besides from floors laid with gaps present, floors can also shrink in the dry months. As a result, gaps will widen between the polished floorboards. Also, air conditioners will also dry out a floor and, in similar fashion cause the gaps to widen.
Why Are There Gaps Between My Polished Floorboards?
The problem is more prevalent in older timber floors. Besides heating and cooling your home, other factors can be the cause of gaps widening. For example, direct sunlight or heat from the sun. If glass doors or windows sometimes allow direct sunlight in, it can heat a floor, and as a result, dry it out. This will of course, only be in isolated areas.
Underfloor conditions can also be a problem. Air flow can sometimes dry the underside of the polished floorboards. In similar fashion, moisture can cause the opposite effect. For example poor drainage can trap moisture under a home. This can without doubt cause floorboards to expand.
Sometimes customers ask to have these gaps filled. In brief, it is not a good idea. Yes, the floor would look better with the gaps filled. Sadly, it will always crack and break out. Also. it will break out in bits and pieces. As a professional floor sanding service provider, we want the very best result for our clients.
Expansion & Contraction
This image shows the contraction of the floorboards. This results in the filler cracking not only at the edges, but also through the center.
The Problems That Will Occur
Indeed we do sometimes find old timber floors that have filler between the polished floorboards. There may be pieces of fill still intact. Over time, pieces dislodge, and are missing. As a result, these floors do not have a uniform look about them. It is also hard to rectify this problem. To sum up, “Can you fill gaps between floorboards with any success?”… the answer is no. Timber is a natural product that moves and shifts to suit its surrounding conditions and climate.
The Exception To The Rule
Just say, for instance there was one particularly large gap between two floorboards. Further, this gap was an isolated one, and ruined the look of the floor. In this instance, a solution would be to glue in a slither of timber in to create a uniform look. The expansion and contraction process is a little more forgiving by both using this method, and also using timber rather than filler. Sometimes the floor finish can bridge across the floorboards giving the impression the gaps are filled.