How To Fill Gaps In Wood Flooring? [Step-By-Step Guide]

How To Fill Gaps In Wood Flooring

Wood flooring adds a timeless and elegant touch to any space, but over time, it may develop gaps between the planks due to natural expansion and contraction caused by changes in humidity and temperature. These gaps can allow dust and debris to accumulate. Fortunately, filling gaps in wood flooring is possible. 

To fill gaps in wood flooring, gather wood filler, a putty knife, a vacuum, a damp cloth, and fine-grit sandpaper. Prepare the filler and apply it into gaps, then scrape off excess and let it dry. Sand the filled areas for a smooth finish, and wipe the surface clean.

In this guide, we will take you through a step-by-step process of how to fill gaps in wood flooring, restoring its beauty and ensuring a smooth and even surface. Let’s get started with the learning process. 

Time: A Few Hours To a Day

Cost: Dollars 5 To 15

Gather Materials

Before you start the project, make sure to collect the materials listed below: 

  • Damp cloth
  • Wood filler
  • Putty knife
  • Vacuum or broom
  • Sandpaper

How to Fill in Gaps in Old Wood Floor: DIY in 6 Simple Steps

In most cases, old wooden floors get gaps that need to be filled. Be it in new or old wood flooring, here is a detailed guide on the process of repairing the opening in wooden flooring. 

Step 1: Prepare the Wood Filler

Follow the instructions provided with the wood floor gap filler to prepare it for use. Most wood fillers are pre-mixed, but some may require mixing before application. Ensure that the filler is of the right consistency, neither too thick nor too runny, for easy application.

Step 2: Apply the Wood Filler

Using the putty knife, carefully fill the gaps in the wood flooring with the prepared wood filler. Press the filler firmly into the gaps, ensuring they are completely filled. Smooth the surface of the filler with the putty knife to make it level with the surrounding floor.

Step 3: Remove Excess Filler

Once you have filled all the gaps, use the putty knife to scrape off any excess filler from the surface. This step will help you achieve a clean and professional-looking finish.

Step 4: Allow the Filler to Dry

Let the wood filler dry according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Typically, it may take a few hours to dry completely, but the drying time may vary based on the brand and type of wood filler used.

Step 5: Sand the Filled Areas

After the filler has dried, lightly sand the filled areas using fine-grit sandpaper. This step will smooth out any rough edges and blend the filler with the surrounding wood, creating a seamless appearance.

Step 6: Clean the Surface

Wipe down the entire surface with a damp cloth to remove any residual dust or debris from the sanding process.

6 Tips To Fill Gaps In Laminate Wood Flooring: For the Best Result

Laminate wood flooring is a popular choice for its durability and affordability. However, over time, laminate flooring may develop gaps due to changes in temperature and humidity, or improper installation. Fill in gaps in the wood floor is essential to maintain the appearance and functionality of your flooring. Here are some tips on how to effectively fill gaps in laminate wood flooring:

  1. Use Silicone-Based Filler: 

For laminate flooring, it’s best to use a silicone-based filler rather than traditional wood filler. Silicone-based fillers are more flexible and can better accommodate the slight movements in laminate flooring.

  1. Allow Sufficient Drying Time: 

Give the filler enough time to dry completely. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the recommended drying time, as it may vary depending on the product used.

  1. Sand the Filled Areas: 

Once the filler has dried, gently sand the filled areas with fine-grit sandpaper to level the surface and achieve a smooth finish. Avoid using coarse sandpaper, as it can damage the laminate.

  1. Clean the Floor: 

After sanding, clean the entire floor to remove any sanding dust and debris. A damp cloth or mop can be used for this purpose.

  1. Use Area Rugs or Mats: 

To prevent future gaps from forming, place area rugs or mats in high-traffic areas or places exposed to direct sunlight. This will help minimize the impact of temperature and humidity changes on the laminate flooring.

  1. Address Underlying Issues: 

If the gaps reappear or worsen despite gap filling, it may indicate an underlying problem with the subfloor or the installation. In such cases, consult a professional to identify and address the root cause of the issue.

6 Mistakes to Avoid When Filling Gap Between Tile and Wood Floor: Cautions

Filling the gap between tile and wood floor is essential for maintaining a neat and seamless appearance, preventing debris accumulation, and protecting the underlying structure. However, improper gap filling can lead to unsightly results and potential issues. Here are some common mistakes to avoid when filling the gap between tile and wood floor:

  1. Skipping Primer: 

If the gap is on a wooden subfloor, apply a primer designed for both wood and tile surfaces before using a wood flooring gap filler. This step helps improve adhesion and prevents the filler from coming loose over time.

  1. Using Excessive Force:

Avoid applying excessive pressure when inserting the filler into the gap. Gentle pressure is sufficient, as too much force can damage the tile or push the filler out of place.

  1. Ignoring Expansion Joints: 

If the gap is close to an expansion joint, do not fill it completely. Expansion joints allow for movement between different sections of the floor, and blocking them can lead to cracking or buckling of the tiles or wood.

  1. Disregarding Color Matching: 

Use a filler that closely matches the color of both the tile and wood to achieve a seamless blend. Neglecting color matching can result in a visible and unattractive line between the two surfaces.

  1. Filling Over Cracks or Structural Issues: 

Filling the gap should not be a solution for underlying structural problems. If the gap is a result of an issue with the subfloor or floor installation, address the root cause first before proceeding with the gap filler.

  1. Not Using Proper Sealant: 

After filling the gap, consider applying a suitable sealant over the filler to enhance its durability and water resistance. A sealant will also protect the gap from moisture and further damage.


What’s The Best Method For Wood Floor Gap Filler?

The best method for wood floor gap filler involves using wooden shims or slivers first to fill larger gaps, followed by applying wood filler on top for a smooth finish. This two-step approach ensures a durable and aesthetically pleasing result, minimizing the risk of gaps reappearing over time.

What Can I Use To Fill Gaps In The Wood Floor?

To fill gaps in wood floors, you can use wood filler. Wood filler is a putty-like substance specifically designed to fill gaps and cracks in wood surfaces. It comes in various colors to match different wood types, providing a seamless appearance once applied and dried. Wood filler is an effective and easy-to-use solution for restoring the beauty and integrity of your wood flooring.

How Do I Determine If My Wood Flooring Needs Gap Filling?

Inspect your wood flooring for visible gaps between planks. If you notice small spaces where dust and debris accumulate, it’s time for gap-filling. Gaps can also cause a slight creaking noise when you walk on the floor, indicating the need for maintenance.

Can I Use Any Wood Filler For My Flooring Gaps?

It is essential to use a wood filler that matches the color and type of your wood flooring for a seamless finish. Choose a high-quality wood filler designed for flooring applications, as it will have the necessary durability and flexibility to withstand foot traffic and temperature changes.

Can I Fill Larger Gaps In Wood Flooring With The Same Method?

For larger gaps, it’s recommended to use wooden shims or slivers of matching wood instead of wood filler. Fill the gap partially with the shim and then apply the wood filler on top to create a more stable and aesthetically pleasing result.

Will Gap Filling Prevent Future Gaps From Forming?

Gap filling can help minimize the occurrence of gaps, but it may not completely prevent them. Wood is a natural material that expands and contracts with changes in humidity and temperature. Regular maintenance, including using a humidifier in dry seasons, can help reduce the likelihood of new gaps.

What Is The Best Filler For Gaps In Wooden Floor Boards?

The best filler for gaps in wooden floorboards is a flexible wood filler or putty that closely matches the color and texture of the wood. This ensures a seamless blend while accommodating the natural expansion and contraction of the wood. Regular maintenance and proper installation minimize gaps over time.

Is Gap Filling A Permanent Solution?

While gap filling is effective, it is not a permanent solution. Over time, as the wood expands and contracts, gaps may reappear. Regularly inspect your wood flooring and perform a gap filling as needed to maintain its appearance and prevent further issues.


Filling gaps in wood flooring is a rewarding DIY task that can significantly improve the appearance and functionality of your wood floors. Now you know how to fill gaps in wood flooring with the right tools and materials. 

Regularly inspect your wood flooring for any new gaps and address them promptly to prevent further damage. Follow the guide and prolong the lifespan of your wooden floor.

Jahidul Alam

Hello dear! This is Jahidul Alam. I am the admin of this Tidy Floor. I have been in the floor cleaning business for the last 20 years. My business is all about ensuring affordable flooring cleaning services for Americans.

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