How can I restore wood plank floors that we found under carpet?


they're about 5 inches wide, some gaps (from a crack, to 3/8") in between.... can i stain and make look decent, do i paint them porch grey, and what do i fill the gaps with? thank you!!!

  7 answers
  • Kathleen Walker Kathleen Walker on Nov 10, 2018

    Are you able to sand and refinish?

    • Jeannie Jeannie on Nov 10, 2018

      i'm not sure.... they're bare wood, have always been covered by linoleum!

  • Personally, I would not paint 100 year old boards, Jeannie. I would refinish them. You can rent a sander, then stain and seal them. If you're not up for this job (it's a big one) you can hire someone. Good luck and please share, I can't wait to see them!

  • Gk Gk on Nov 10, 2018

    I would have a professional come and take a look at your wood floors! If it is possible to save them I sure would! The cracks can be filled and your professional can tell you what to use. You can do it yourself if you are confident or you can hire someone to do it for you. Getting an professional look will give you an idea of what you can do and the cost but you are not obligated.

  • Seth Seth on Nov 10, 2018

    Hi Jeannie,

    I am assuming you have no other layers below the planks you referred to. An important question is what is beneath this floor? Is it an insulated or uninsulated space? And, what type of wood are the planks made of. Not all wood is worth refinishing. It's a lot of work to refinish the plank floors. You need to drive all the nails down, sand, fill gaps with rope, etc., etc. And, you may not be able to put another flooring over it if you refinish it. With all the choices in flooring today, you should be able to get just the look you want at a reasonable price and install it yourself. If you use a laminate floating floor with an underlayment you will get some insulating value and be able to remove it in the future if you choose to.

    • Jeannie Jeannie on Nov 10, 2018

      i'm looking to do it as inexpensively as possible. they're bare wood, always been covered with. the house is 110 years old, it's amazing that no one has ever taken up the linoleum!!

  • Lisa Lisa on Nov 10, 2018

    Please do not fill in the cracks! Wood floors expand and contract with the seasons (heat and cold). In the winter my wood floor(1926) contracts and I have gaps between the boards but in summer they swell and expand and I do run an air conditioner all summer. If you fill them in you run the risk of buckling the floors when they expand and contract. Have a flooring professional come out and assess if they are salvageable.

    • Jeannie Jeannie on Nov 10, 2018

      very good to know, so glad you answered! i guess research continues....

  • Seth Seth on Nov 11, 2018


    How thick are the planks? Are they laid diagonally to the floor joists? What do you see below the planks? Can you see directly into your basement or a crawl space? Chances are it was never meant to be the actual floor and was always just a subfloor. Your local building codes may require you to add a layer if it is not thick enough.