Remodeling Tips and Reviews

Patching a bad spot in hardwood floor planks

Patching a bad spot in hardwood floor planks

Dec 29, 2011

Ive seen it in the nicest of houses, damaged hardwood floors from water, termites, pets or candles. It’s too damaged to sand down and fix. So how do you get those damaged planks out and repair the spot?

First thing to do is to get a circular saw and set it to the depth of the planks ( usually 3/4″) plus a little extra. You will need to plunge the saw into the bad boards and rip them up the middle long ways from edge to edge ( if the planks are really long you may be able to cut them in half at some point).

Tip: To plunge your saw into wood you will need to angle the front of saw towards the wood, resting the front of the square saw base on the wood. Then slowly lower the backside of the saw into the wood itself until it is flush with the wood. Bare in mind as you set the saw into the wood the back of the blade will move further back, so be careful you don’t mess up a good plank doing this. Also, NEVER TRY TO MOVE A SAW BACKWARDS, you could injure yourself if it kicks back on you.

Once you have cut a long line or two out of the center of each bad plank you now need to get the pieces out of the floor. Generally to do this you will need a 1″ chisel to finish the saw cuts at each end of the bad planks then use a chisel or pry bar to extract the bad pieces.

Installing a patch of hardwood planks

Installing the planks requires a few thoughts ahead of time. Number one is matching the color of the existing floor ( unless you are going to sand it down afterwards). I suggest getting a sample new plank of the same wood and buying several cans of similar colored stain and doing several test samples. Make sure and give the wood’s finish surface a decent sanding to clean it up. You may even need to mix the colors a bit to get the results you want. Once the color is decided on you have to reinstall the planks.

Tip: On older floors that have been sanded down a time or two, the new wood may be thicker than the old. You may need to sand the new wood some to level it out with the existing floor.

This gets a little tricky becuase the tongue and grooves make it impossible to just drop the planks back in place, requiring some planning. I usually try to keep the tongue on the new wood where ever possible and if needed I chisel off or saw off the bottom of the groove and use a rubber mallet to hammer down the planks. You may have to plane the sides a hair to get it to fit. Once all the planks are in place and level you can nail them with a nail gun to by hand. Make sure the nails are recessed enough to cover with wood putty. Then simply stain and seal with a matching polyurethane sheen.