Q: I have maple hardwood flooring in my foyer. One of the boards has a small split and has a small piece that catches on the swiffer when cleaned. What can I do to prevent this from getting worse? Would be hard to replace a center piece about 3″x18″? Any kind of sealer or wax that might hold the splinter in place to prevent it from breaking off?
A: There are several different types of adhesive you could try. I would apply tape around the split so as not to get the adhesive on the rest of the board. Cyano-acrylate can be purchased from Lee Valley Tools, called Hot Stuff. With an accelerator it will harden in about 5 seconds. Without it takes about 30 and dries clear. Some other wood glue and liquid polyurethane adhesives such as Gorilla glue will expand as they cure, so you would have to cut them back flat with the floor surface after they dry, but they accept stain. You don’t want to get that product on your skin.
Related Q: One or two planks in our hardwood floor have splintered along the edge, leaving a small uneven gap. Is there a recommended procedure for filling this with wood filler? Do you recommend a particular product?
A: For small spots like that there is a product in a tube called Color-Rite. It comes in hundreds of tones and is much like caulking. It won’t crack out after it is dry and is water clean up until then. Some hardwood retailers carry this product such as Woodchuck Flooring in Toronto. They also have a web site. Find the closest tone and apply. Push it into the gap with your finger. You may have to do this more than once if it is a deep space and the product shrinks.