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How to Repair a Tongue-and-Groove Wood Floor | This Old House

Cutting in a perfect-fit patch with This Old House general contractor Tom Silva. (See below for a shopping list and tools.)

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Tom helped a pair of homeowners repair part of an oak floor damaged by a leaking steam radiator. With the radiator removed, Tom removed several damaged pieces of flooring using a hammer, chisel, and prybar. Next, he cut several new pieces of strip flooring to fit and installed them using glue and nails. Finally, Tom added a coat of amber-colored shellac to help make the new flooring look like the old flooring surrounding it.

Tools for Repairing a Tongue-and-Groove Wood Floor:
– 1-inch-wide wood chisel
– flat pry bar
– circular saw
– caulk gun
– jigsaw
– table saw
– finish nailer
– random-orbit sander
– 3-inch putty knife
– dust pan and broom or vacuum

Shopping List for Repairing a Tongue-and-Groove Wood Floor:
– wood flooring
– construction adhesive
– 2-inch finishing nails
– 20-grit abrasive sanding disks
– wood filler
– shellac
– oil-based wood stain
– polyurethane varnish
– 4-inch-wide foam brush
– 100-grit sandpaper

Red oak strip flooring is available at many lumber yards and home centers.

The amber-colored shellac that Tom applied to the new flooring is manufactured by Zinsser (Rustoleum) [https://bit.ly/37BJaAc].

Tom also used an oil-based stain manufactured by Minwax [https://www.minwax.com/] and a solvent-based wood filler manufactured by DAP Plastic Wood [https://www.dap.com/].

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How to Repair a Tongue-and-Groove Wood Floor | This Old House


  1. $25 worth of flooring and $500 worth of experience.

  2. How well with this repair last if you do a couple of boards in the middle of the floor where you have to cut off the tongues to get the boards in place. I had a new floor installed and the installer did a bad job and used many boards that should not of been used.

  3. These things aren't that hard but you have to know how to do it.

  4. My old house doesnt have an under floor how can i replace the boards

  5. Thanks, but what if the are you want to fix is in the middle of the floor? You couldn't just hammer it down because it would have to fit into the tongue/groove on the other side…

  6. Where would we all be without This Old House? ❤

  7. You did not leave room for expansion!

  8. You know what you are doing there. Thanks for the video.

  9. For folks that look for this material as it measures finished "2" you will not find it. As Tom says look for 2 1/2" red or white oak T&G flooring, it finishes at 2". In my area of Southern California, they mixed white and red oak, if you do the same it is easier to stain to match. The shellac he used first is key as well if you want that patch to almost disappear.

  10. It's that simple, just go to the Woodglut website and enter the world of woodworkers.

  11. I did it with the Woodglut plans.

  12. What about on an old floating wood floor?

  13. Such a unique fix and Tommy walks through it like he has done it 100 times.

  14. question: does anything need to be done with existing finish PRIOR to starting fix? example: should existing finish be stripped (or sanded) to remove?

  15. Every time I see one of these fixes where they put glue down where it wasnt before I imagine them having another problem where they need to do a fix, but they cant get the piece out with out destroying the piece its glued to. Its like: no more repairs after this one, unless you want to rip the whole floor out.

  16. And he stained floor boards and didn't even tape painted kick boards

  17. Take the kick board off on two walls to get floor boards loose and replace new floor boards under kick boards.

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