Tighten cupped boards

Q: Hi, we are placing a used 3/4″ clear southern yellow pine tongue and groove floor down. It was actually used on a wall and we are putting it on our floor. It has been impossible to line all the previous nail holes with the joists or even with each other – I finally gave up on that. There are several widths from 5 1/4″ to 14″. It is in great shape except there is a little cupping here and there.

We have a couple of questions – what is the best way to tighten the cupped boards?It is not bad, but it is there. What do we do with all these holes? and/or What is the best way to fill them? What is best to face nail these. In some places we can use the same holes and wondered about cut nails, but aren’t sure it will hold the cupped boards where they do not meet the joist. My dad is a building contractor and says the boards are good wood, but he has not dealt with placing previously used wood quite like this before in his more than 20 years of building. We would appreciate any advice you can give.

A: I would likely just use a 2″ spiral spike. Set the nail and fill over it with wood putty. Or if you want to be more fancy, you can get a dowel cutter and cut your own plugs to insert in the hole over the nail head.

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