How to Patch Hardwood Flooring

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Ask This Old House general contractor Tom Silva helps a homeowner patch a hardwood floor to make it look seamless. (See below for a shopping list, tools, and steps.)

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Shopping List for How to Patch Hardwood Flooring:
– 2 1/4-inch hardwood flooring
– Wood glue

Tools for How to Patch Hardwood Flooring:
– Nail gun or hammer
– Flooring nails
– Oscillating saw
– Rubber hammer
– Circular saw
– Electric sander

Steps for How to Patch Hardwood Flooring:
1. Purchase hardwood flooring about a week before and leave it in the room where it will be installed to let it acclimate.
2. Begin laying boards in the corners and work across the room.
3. Cut the underside of the trim using an oscillating saw. Get the height by holding a piece of the flooring underneath the saw.
4. Place the first line of flooring down to make sure it fits properly. Then nail it in using a nail gun or hammer and nails. Make sure to place nails 8 to 12 inches apart on each board.
5. Lay out the rest of the flooring, but be sure to stagger the joints so they do not line up. Use the nail gun or hammer and nails to secure them.
6. On the last line of boards, you may be able to hammer a few into place using a rubber hammer.
7. If not, you’ll have to use a rabbeted joint and tip the boards into place.
8. To make the rabbeted joint, rip off the groove side with a circular saw.
9. Place a bead of wood glue down on the tongue side of the board already in place.
10. Place another bead of wood glue down on the subfloor and in the groove of the opposite board.
11. Tip the board into place and secure it with a rubber hammer.
12. Repeat steps with the remaining boards.
13. Secure the final row of boards by face-nailing them to the subfloor.
14. Sand down the floor with sander.
15. Finish it to match your floor type.

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