General Question

Kjh's avatar

Wood flooring and breathing?

Asked by Kjh (10points) 2 months ago from iPhone

I renovated my grandparent hand made house and saved the original wood flooring. It is pine (unfortunately) but was lumbered and milled by my grandfather. Some of the boards are 9–11” wide. It is not tongue and groove but is screwed and dolled down.
I had it refinished and it is beautiful except for the fairly wide cracks between the boards which of course collect junk.
I wanted to fill the crackes with epoxy or varathane or something. My floor guy cautioned against that because he said the boards need to breath and because the shrinking and expanding every year (the house is in N. Mich. So humid in the summer and very cold in the winter) would just crack whatever filler I put in and then I would just have cracks full of crumbled up filler.
Does anyone have a suggestion for what to do about my cracks other than vacuum every day? Thx, kjh

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8 Answers

Blackwater_Park's avatar

That’s some cool history you have there. Your flooring guy is correct, because filler is hard it’ll get pushed out when the boards breath and expand. There is an option, you can get colored acrylic caulk. It’s flexible and should move with the boards. I’d try it on a small section and see how it works for you.

RocketGuy's avatar

What would be good colors? For me it would be: clear.

Forever_Free's avatar

They are meant to be open like that. DO NOT caulk them. Leave the gaps. This is part of their character and charm. Finish it carefully. Enjoy the beauty and history.

kritiper's avatar

Get one of those robotic vacuums.

SnipSnip's avatar

Do it on a small section in an unobvious place. Wait a year and you’ll know for sure.

jca2's avatar

Leave it and vacuum. Maybe put an area rug over the main traffic area. Also be careful if people walk with high heels because the sharp, pointy heels will damage the soft pine.

longgone's avatar

I’ve lived in many apartments with old board floors just like you describe, and I can confirm that the cracks are by design. Unless you’re asthmatic or allergic, I wouldn’t worry about the dust collecting down there. Carpets collect dust very efficiently, too, and they are much harder to clean. With the wooden boards, a strong vacuum and occasional mopping (not too wet) is all you need. You could also consider a strict policy of “no shoes” to keep your home clean. Enjoy your beautiful floor.

RocketGuy's avatar

There is supposed to be a layer of kraft paper under the hardwood to block air drafts, but the gaps between the wood will still allow accumulation of particles.

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