Wood filling the pits and cracks

Q: We just bought an old house with beautiful wood floors and trim. However, the floors are VERY pitted and cracked in large high traffic areas, though fairly solid (i.e., not creaking or moving a lot). We will eventually (5 yrs?) want to have the wood flooring professionally replaced throughout, but the cost is currently prohibitive as we are currently tapped out from buying the home.

I want to try wood filling the pits and cracks. I notice that in answering others’ questions you have recommended sawdust and glue mix followed by a latex wood filler?

Why? What about epoxy filler? I have heard that ********** Epoxy Paste available from the US through ************ is a very good product. Also, is it necessary to refinish the entire floor after the repair?

A: Haven’t heard of that product, which isn’t a surprise. There are many new products coming on the market. How to keep up with them all? The sawdust-glue idea was mainly with very very large gaps in mind, such as one might find with old pine boards. For problems such as a board with a split edge, I found a product at Home Depot from Probond. A polyurethane adhesive in a squeeze bottle. Will bond most things and can also be stained. What I am trying to accomplish in using such an adhesive is to eliminate movement from one board to the next so the wood filler will not crack out. Perhaps the epoxy product is similar. Be warned:this product from probond expands as it cures. It seemed to work well the couple of times I used it.

Related Q: My husband installed a new tongue and groove wood floor. I don’t know if it was the quality of the flooring or his lack of expertise, but there are large gaps between the planks. So much so that dirt, dust and debris get in there and make the gaps even more noticeable. Is there any hope of filling the gaps?

A: It is difficult for me, with the limited information you have provided to know if the gaps are from poor installation, poor milling of the boards or related to environmental issues. Did the boards shrink after installing, and if so, may they also expand during a humidity spike? If there is a chance they will expand, it wouldn’t be a good idea to start packing filler in the gaps. Is the floor factory finished or site finished? I will direct you to a web site of a company which makes a number of different fillers which are readily available from most local hardwood dealers: www.woodwise.com