If you live in an old-timey house in the suburbs rather than the posh modern studio apartments, you’re one to enjoy the premium luxury that comes with hardwood floors. The fine-grained texture of oaky wood planks under your feet feels like something else.
All this extravagance does come at a cost, though. These hardwood floors are quite prone to damage, and moving furniture against these floors can be a nightmare. Actions like this might result in creating large gaping holes.
In this article, we’ll take a deep dive into how to fix a large hole in hardwood floor. Let’s get right to it!
How Does the Hole Happen
The way we have it today, furniture is something quite slim and minimalistic. But that doesn’t mean it was always this way. Especially when hardwood floors were mainstream, furniture or home appliances like radiators were quite prominent in dimension. A lot of them had to be screwed down to the floor.
That means when they had to be moved or replaced, you had to unscrew them or pull them apart. Furthermore, merely moving heavy furniture across hardwood floors might leave deep grooves on it. Sudden impacts from furniture legs could also mean severe damage.
If such incidences occur at a large scale, even the toughest of hardwood floors will falter, creating holes or cavities. Now, if you’re lucky enough, they might be minimal, and you’ll get away with some simple polishing and varnishing.
But if the impact is significant enough, it will create large gaping holes. Fixing large holes can be a nightmare in itself, and it’s best to get professional help. Nonetheless, if you want to take out your toolbox and apply some of your handyman skills in fixing the floor, this article is for you.
Tools You Will Need
Like we said, fixing a large hole in a hardwood floor will require some professional expertise. So, you’ll be needing some rather heavy-duty tools to work on this project. Here’s a list to help you get started:
- Hole saw or Spade bit
- Plug cutter
- Wood glue
- Wood restoration oil or wax repair stick
- Latex filler or Epoxy filler
- Sandpaper – 100-grit, 150-grit, and 200-grit
- Hairdryer or Blower
- Industrial wood stain or Polyurethane gloss
How to Fix a Large Hole in Hardwood Floor
When you’ve finally gathered all the necessary tools and equipment, you can get down to business.
Remember that it is not a very simple task that can be done in a few minutes. You’ll need to spend time and money. Most importantly, you’ll need patience. It’s best to go one step at a time and complete each step to perfection before moving on to the next.
Below is a simplified tutorial on fixing a large hole in a hardwood floor.
Resize the Hole
Take out the hole saw or spade bit and resize the original hole to a suitable dimension. Make sure that the rugged spot has a roughly even diameter all around. Take time in this step to match the hole size to your plug cutter.
Plug the Hole
Use the plug cutter to fashion a plug of the appropriate size for the hole. Take the cork and push it into place forcefully by hand. Stand on it with your feet if necessary.
Then use a mallet to stomp the cork into place and even it out with the floor. Additionally, you can whip out some adhesive wood glue to align the grain on the wood. This should mostly fill up the large hole and protect it from causing accidents.
Refurbish the Scratches
All this wear and tear will definitely leave some nasty scratches. And you would not want them to stay there due to aesthetic purposes. So, let’s get down to some finishing touches after plugging the hole.
Investigate how deep the scratches are. If you see they are shallow enough and can be restored quickly, get some wood repair oil. Apply the oil following instructions, and that should do it.
If, however, the oil does not cut it and you see slightly deeper grooves, get a wax repair stick. These handy tools are made specifically for this purpose. Just make sure to match the wax color to that of your existing floor, and you should be good to go.
Apply a Wood Filler
This brings us down to the next level. What if you see that these grooves are even more profound and still somewhat visible? Well, then fillers are your way to go.
Scour the local hardware store for the most appropriate wood filler with the closest color to your original wood paneling. Some people prefer latex fillers as they are easier to handle and can fill up narrow grooves with perfection.
More sinister scratches and grooves will require an epoxy filler with industrial strength. Using epoxy fillers requires you to mix them with a substitute compound before applying them directly.
In most cases, the most straightforward choice is woodgrains from the existing floor. Mixing original wood grains with the epoxy filler will make it less prone to staining while also matching the color.
Using a wood filler should leave the hole on your hardwood floor almost repaired. There should be no visibly apparent scratches or indents.
Sand to Perfection
Whip out the trusty perfectionist tool – the sandpaper. Sand the surface down to nitty-gritty details while smoothing out the minor indents in the filled hole.
Start around the edges with 100-grit sandpaper. Gradually switch to 150-grit and move towards the center of the plug as you keep sanding. Use 200-grit sandpaper for finishing touches only.
Always remember to sand along the direction of the wood grain and texture. Otherwise, the repair plug or filler won’t ever match the surrounding floor, and all your efforts will end up in vain.
After fine sanding, you could use a blower or hair dryer to blow away any excess wood dust.
Stain to Match the Color
Last but not least, stain the floor all over the area where the hole was initially created. This will ensure that the markings and repair works are not visible after you are done.
Use a sponge to soak up polyurethane gloss from the bottle and gently lather it over the surface. Move the sponge in circles following the natural wood grain and gradually move outwards, centering the plug. Repeat the whole process twice until the colors evenly match.
Let the coat dry overnight. Block off the area for this time so that no one accidentally steps on it and ruins the coat. In the morning, your damaged floor should be good as new.
Further Steps You May Need to Implement
With that being said, you should now know all there is in fixing a hole in a hardwood floor. But what if the damage is even more severe? What if plugging and curing won’t solve the issue?
Then the only way to go is to remove and replace the entire floorboard around the gaping hole. Use a hammer and chisel along a straight line on the edge of the floorboard. This should allow you to pull out a large chunk of your hardwood floor nicely. Clean out the cutout section and replace it with brand new floorboards.
Doing these extra steps will mean that you’ll need some professional help, and it is, in fact, best to do so. However, following the generalized steps in our tutorial above should let you finish a decent job too.
That concludes our in-depth tutorial about how to fix a large hole in hardwood floor. We hope that you found it informative enough to help you in your handyman experience.
Always take necessary precautions when getting involved in such work. Never hesitate to call for professional help when things seem out of hand. Remember, safety comes first!