Well Being

Repair a Chip in a Hardwood Floor

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Oh, no! Somehow, you have a big old gash in your lovely hardwood floor. It sticks out like a sore thumb and the rough edges snag everyone's socks and slippers. Is there any way to fix it that doesn't involve ripping up and replacing entire floor boards? Absolutely. In fact, there are a few good solutions to your problem. Here are two I've used:

Photo: Robert Linder/SXC

Photo: Robert Linder/SXC

The first and easiest way to fix your floor is ideal for a small gouge. Simply grab a brown or tan wood crayon that matches the color of the floor from your local home improvement store and use it to fill the crack. I did this with a floor with a light oak finish after someone gouged the hardwoods with a tool while trying to remove the wall to wall carpet covering those beautiful floors. We couldn't even see the damage if we weren't bending down and staring at it after the repair.

The other way to fix your floor is best for a larger chip. It involves a few steps and doesn't always look exactly like the rest of the floor, but it is close. You sand the edges of the gouge to make sure no one gets a splinter, fill it with wood putty and let the putty dry. After the putty dries, use wood stain that is the same color as the rest of the floor to stain the putty. In my experience, it doesn't end up exactly the same shade and you can tell that the wood was repaired if you look closely. However, unless you point it out to visitors, I doubt they'll notice the repair.

Do you have any tips for repairing wood floors?