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stuartpaul

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I've got an old oak parquet floor in need of refinishing. Trouble is there are a number of small gaps around most of the pieces and when I finished sanding they look like huge dark tram lines and not very sightly at all.

I had thought about thin strips glued in but that's a lot of wood and even more work!! Plus the gaps aren't regular and it would look a bit (lot!!) of a dogs breakfast.

Any suggestions for the best method of filling in these gaps or is it just something I'll have to live with?

Any suggestions much appreciated.
 

edmund

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Stuart, Have a look at this thread from a Period Property website.
http://www.periodproperty.co.uk/uncle092002a.shtml#uncle092002-02
I'd also take a look at the Victorian House book by the Victorian Society. From memory this eschews the use of gap fillers.

I have period parquet in my house which I restored a little while ago. Gap filling doesn't really hide the gaps, and in some instances makes them more noticeable. Colour matching is also quite difficult, even if you use the sanding dust with glue as a filler.

The wood will probably be much lighter after sanding, so you could consider staining it so it matches the colour of older oak, and also making gaps less noticeable.

It's quite hard deciding what approach to take for this sort of thing. For example, if you are going for a genuine restoration then you wouldn't sand the wood as this removes its patina and can also end up with a patchy result. This is quite time consuming to do this though. The addition of central heating is the big problem which causes the shrinkage of the blocks - this is something you just can't get around unless you stop using it :) . The expectation when doing these projects can sometimes be to get a result that looks like new - but if you wanted a new gap free floor then you could just get a new one laid.

Hope this gives you some thoughts to go on. E
 

stuartpaul

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Thanks Edmund, some useful advice.

I'm not looking to 'restore' as such just make it look a lot nicer than it currently does.

Any idea what type of 'gap filler' are they refering to? I had thought of plastic wood type compounds but this would work out very expensive!!
 

edmund

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stuartpaul

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Many thanks Edmund.

Looks like I'll be able to do want I want and not spend a fortune :D
 

edmund

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I think so too. If you ended up using tiny (and expensive) pots of plastic filler the filler would probably end up costing more than a new floor :D . Good luck with the project. E
 

Dibs-h

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stuartpaul":3c9wbq36 said:
Thanks Edmund, some useful advice.

I'm not looking to 'restore' as such just make it look a lot nicer than it currently does.

Any idea what type of 'gap filler' are they refering to? I had thought of plastic wood type compounds but this would work out very expensive!!
I did a maple Parquet floors a few yrs ago and used a cellulose type product that you mixed with the dust from the last sanding and it worked a treat.

http://www.bona1stopshop.co.uk/acatalog ... iller.html

That's the stuff. Stood over a floor once finished - it isn't invisible but hardly noticeable.
 

eoinsgaff

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Is it possible/practical to fill with a clear epoxy, thus retaining the 'character' and protecting the wood. It would also allow for easier sweeping/cleaning.

Eoin
 

ondablade

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I wonder if filling the gaps with something rigid might not be risky in the event of movement?

I have lots of wood floors (secret nailed solid oak planking over battens with lots of clearance for expansion at the walls) with cork and silicone used in a few places in expansion gaps at junctions with tiling etc. These gaps are maybe 6mm, quite wide.

It's surprising just how much the stuff moves, you get quite a pronounced bulge in Winter despite the width of the seams. Even a smaller upstairs free floating section in a corridor done in an engineered board (oak veneer over what is effectively plywood over thin poly foam) moves quite a lot...
 
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