How to repair cracks in wood floors

Wood filler is a material used to fill imperfections in the wood like holes. By using wood filler, the wood looks new and then other specifications can be finished like the painting. Different kinds of wood fillers are available on the market. Wood fillers which can conquer the different kinds of wood –filling projects are best rated by experts and are included in this list.

How to repair cracks in wood floors

Check the Best Wood Filler Reviews of 2018 :

1. J-B Weld KwikWood Epoxy Putty

How to repair cracks in wood floorsJ-B Weld KwikWood Epoxy is the wood filler Putty is meant to repair and rebuild wood. It is the bestseller on Amazon in Powersports Engine Oil category.

  • It helps in repairing and rebuilding stuff made up of wood.
  • It will not shrink or crack as it is easy to sand and drill.
  • In 20 minutes it gets set and in 1 hour it becomes paintable.
  • The hand-mixable epoxy putty is used for exterior and interior purposes. The solvent is not present in it.

2. Jobar Repair System

How to repair cracks in wood floorsJobar repair system is the best exterior food filler. It is the total furniture repair system.

  • For deep scratches six marker pens and six filler sticks are used.
  • In total, it is the 12 piece set.
  • It is the total repair furniture system that restore scratched furniture, cabinets, and floors.
  • Helps in hiding wood imperfections, nails, scratches.

3. RamPro Total Furniture Repair System

How to repair cracks in wood floorsRamPro is the best wood filler used to hide wood imperfections, nails, holes, and scratches. It is the bestseller on Amazon in Wood Filler category.

  • Every time it can be blended for a perfect match as it comes in the set of 12 in a range of colors.
  • Instant results can be seen as colors are easily drawn on. The versatile set includes six touch-up markers and six filler sticks to cover scratches on cabinets, floors, furniture, woodwork.
  • Time is not consumed in matching, staining and drying of the filler.
  • It is perfect for vintage furniture fix.
  • A special stain is contained in the furniture markers and wax sticks to match wood finishes.

4. Elmer’s Carpenter’s Wood Filler

How to repair cracks in wood floorsElmer Carpenter is the best in class wood filler used for filling nail holes in molding strips to fill gaps in hardwood floors.

  • It is sandable and paintable and is used for repairing scratches, holes, defects on wood, metal, painted surface.
  • The creative adhesive solution is provided by it.
  • It has made the task quick and easy by filling gaps in hardwood floors.
  • Resists shrinking and cracking and to provide a smooth finish it sands easily.
  • The easy water clean-up is imported.

5. Bondo Wood Filler

How to repair cracks in wood floorsBondo Wood filler is one of the best stainable wood filler. It provides high quality and long lasting repairs.

  • It can be sanded, shaped, planed, drilled and cut just like wood on drying.
  • Damaged sections of wood on doors, furniture, windows and more can be replaced.
  • It will not shrink and cures fast as it is a two-part food filler.
  • In few minutes the filler is sanded by hand and painted too, as such the repairing work is finished on the same day when it got started.
  • It will cures fast and will not shrink.

6. Dap Plastic Outdoor Wood Filler

How to repair cracks in wood floorsDag Plastic Outdoor Wood Filler is the perfect filler for broken furniture, loose screws, nicks, and scratches.

  • It is 16 Oz Net Plastic Wood filler and is used for glue and wood fill.
  • This top selling wood filler is manufactured in the United States.
  • It is used for interior and exterior use and is available in popular wood shades.
  • The solvent-based filler hardens to provide a surfaces and body acts like real wood.
  • It can be sanded, stained, cut, varnished and painted.

7. Guardsman Sticks and Filler

How to repair cracks in wood floorsGuardsman Sticks are the wood repair filler sticks that repair nail holes, scratches, gouges, cuts. It is the best Guardsman wood filler.

  • The package includes five wood repair fillers sticks of black, white, light: medium: and dark brown and one sharpener.
  • It is suitable for repairing doors, furniture, cabinets and floors.
  • It combines colors that are easily matched to the popular wood finishes.
  • It will not dry out, rubbed off and shrink.

8. Minwax Wood Putty

How to repair cracks in wood floorsMinwax is the wood filler putty which is meant to repair minor scratches, nail holes and much more.

  • It is of 3.75-Ounce and is of golden oak color.
  • No sanding is required for it and is quite easy to use.
  • It is used to fill nail holes and repair minor imperfections on wood.
  • This wood putty matches to Minwax wood finish stains.

Lots of wood fillers are available in the market. The Wood Filler Reviews of 2018 listed above will help you to find the right product. Before buying any product you should read the instructions carefully to make sure whether it suits your needs. Before buying any product several things should be considered like whether the product is used for the indoor or outdoor purpose or you will be painting the wood afterward or not. The top rated wood fillers are perfect for most wood and home improvement projects.

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  • Hardwood floor defect repairs
  • Cracks in hardwood repairable
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DEAR TIM: I’ve got cracks between the tongue and groove boards of my hardwood floor in certain places. One of the locations is in front of my refrigerator where the ice maker supply line developed a tiny leak that went undetected for a month. Other places are in the middle of the room where no water touched the wood. Some of the individual pieces of wood are now humped. Can these be easily repaired or must the entire floor be refinished? I’m not looking for perfection, but it would be nice. Melinda B., Durango, CO

DEAR MELINDA: Many people suffer from hardwood floor defects just like you. The reasons are many, but the solutions are few. The good news is the cracks can be fixed so the floor looks brand new. Rarely do you have to refinish the entire floor, but in certain instances it’s required.

Defects in most hardwood floors stand out like a sore thumb or a pimple on a forehead because of the flat shiny finish you see on most hardwood floors. The higher the gloss on a surface the more the surface will telegraph a flaw.

This hardwood floor got wet, swelled, then dried. Cracks are now telling the ugly tale. Photo Credit: Tim Carter

The reason for this is light and light reflection. When light hits a shiny surface it reflects at a certain angle. If the surface is not flat, in your case the humps in the boards are anything but flat, the light reflects off at different angles highlighting the hump. If the hardwood flooring had a matte finish, much of the light would be absorbed by the finish and you wouldn’t see the hump.

I’m sharing this so you realize if you don’t want to see the humps, you’re going to have to at least sand and refinish that part of the hardwood floor. If your floor is like the one in my house, I have red maple flooring with no stain, you can get away with sanding an area and then just putting a clear finish on that part of the floor. I had to refinish part of my hardwood floor a few years ago and you couldn’t tell where the floor had been sanded and refinished.

If your hardwood has a stain, you can sometimes sand and stain the sanded area blending in the repair job so no one sees it. I’ve done this on any number of occasions. It was not easy, but I did it. True professionals can do this repair as well.

The first step in this process is to clean the hardwood floor well so you can see the real color. If you’re lucky enough to have a closet where the hardwood flooring is present, you want to experiment here with your stains and refinishing. If you can’t get it right in the closet, you don’t stand a chance out on the open floor.

The color of the stain when it’s wet on the sanded hardwood just after wiping it with a rag is what it should look like when the clear finish is applied. This will help you get the color correct. If you can’t seem to do this, always make sure the stain color is slightly lighter than the flooring. You can then add pigment to the clear finishes until you get it right. Once the color is correct, then you apply two coats of clear finish on top of the pigmented finish.

Filling the cracks in flooring can be daunting. The fillers almost always look worse than the crack itself. Some of the fillers don’t take stain well. The other issue is the natural grain of the hardwood. When you fill a crack with filler, it’s a mono-color-texture material. When it’s stained, it look one color.

Your hardwood flooring has random grain lines that create its natural beauty. You’d have to take an eyeliner pen or similar device to create realistic grain lines in the filler to mimic the ones Mother Nature created in the hardwood flooring strips.

A professional would just invest the time to remove the swelled pieces of flooring and install new strips of hardwood with no cracks. A professional can sometimes do this in just a few hours if the area is small. Consider investing in this to get great results.

Another option is to bring in a furniture repair wizard. These master craftsmen and women have magic boxes that house an alcohol lamp, hard lacquers and other materials allowing them to fix deep scratches, dents, chips etc. in fine furniture. I can tell you I’ve had this done and it’s impossible to tell where the furniture is repaired. Fixing a hardwood floor crack or two would be child’s play for them.

If you decide to try to refinish a small section of the floor yourself and have never done this before, I beg you to purchase a small amount of hardwood flooring and install it on a piece of 3/4-inch wood in your garage. Get out your belt sander and sand the wood until it’s as smooth as a piece of glass.

Practice staining and applying clear finish on this test area. When you feel it looks fantastic, then open the door to your home and have at it. Don’t underestimate how hard it is to get professional results. The good news is if you make the floor look worse with your repair attempts, you can bring in a pro to bail you out. It’ pretty hard to ruin a hardwood floor unless you sand too much of it away.

Hardwood floors offer a unique and elegant appearance to any home. But we all know that all valuable things require special attention and proper maintenance. Wood is very demanding, and when not cared for accordingly, it will suffer.

Even those perfectly installed floors tend to dry and shrink in time, leaving room for cracks and gaps.

How to repair cracks in wood floors

(Photo Credit: jon jablonsky)

Cracks in the wooden planks must be repaired because they fill with dirt and are the perfect hiding place for insects and bacteria.

The good news is that if you follow these simple tips, you’ll be able to handle these hardwood cracks with ease. Making your hardwood floor look good as new is easier than you think, and you don’t need to be an expert to do it.

Tips For Protecting Wooden Floors Against Cracks

  • Wooden floors are very sensitive. Dust particles, dirt, and moisture can irremediably deteriorate it. The first thing you need to do to protect it is to place a carpet over it near the entrance-way. This safeguards it against all the traffic, moisture, and temperature variations.
  • Washing the floor on a regular basis is important, but remember that water is wood’s worst enemy; pay attention to the amount of water you use.
  • Use a special wood floor cleaning product; make sure you squeeze the mop or cloth before wiping the it.
  • If you leave too much water on the floor, the wood will swell, then dry, causing cracks and gaps to appear.

Wood Fillers

Rope can be used to fill large gaps. It’s a natural material that blends in with the wood’s color and texture. Choose a rope with a similar width as the crack and tint it with wood stain if needed. Make sure you dry it before proceeding any further.


Sawdust is the most popular natural wood filler that you can make at home. It’s easy to prepare and you hardly need to spend any money on it. All you need is some sawdust, which you can easily obtain from sanding the floors, or after cutting some pieces of wood. Mix it with glue until you reach the consistency of a toothpaste. Sawdust paste is highly resistant and has the same color and texture as wood.

Wood Putty

Wood putty is a ready-mixed paste sold in any hardware store. The advantage is that it’s available in a multitude of colors, which means you can apply it on your already finished flooring without having to refinish after you’re done. Wood putty is the best filler for cracks under 1/8 inch.

Step-by-step Instructions For Filling The Cracks

  1. Clean the cracks using a knife to remove all dirt and residue.
  2. Use a hardwood vacuum cleaner to vacuum the area and make sure that all debris is removed.
  3. Use a putty knife to fill the crack with a piece of rope, sawdust paste, or wood putty.
  4. If you’re using rope, push the rope inside until it fills the crack or gap. If you’re using sawdust paste, keep the paste warm during the entire process, otherwise it’ll harden and will become impossible to handle. Wood putty dries slowly and can be handled just like sawdust.
  5. After filling the cracks, level it and leave it to dry.
  6. Sand the floor, apply a latex wood filler, and sand again using a finer-grit sandpaper.

If you follow these simple steps, hardwood floor cracks will never cause you a major problem ever again. If you found this article useful, please remember to share it with others who might also benefit from it.

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Hardwood floors are one of the most active types of building materials used in homes, continually expanding and contracting with warm and cold weather and the presence of moisture. Even with the most professional of installations, there will be eventual cracks that appear between the floor planks as the wood twists, turns and breathes over the years, reports Build Direct. There are numerous methods you can use to temporarily fix the cracks as they appear, including using hardwood floor filler.

If you encounter cracks much wider than 1/4 inch that are continually expanding, call a structural engineer as there is more than just expansion and contraction going on.

Tips for Fixing Cracks in Hardwood

Use a 200-plus-grit sandpaper to smooth down putty, if necessary. A quick smoothing with the putty knife or your finger is usually sufficient, but if you plan on staining the putty to match the floor, you will first need to smooth the putty down to match the floor’s surface.

Talcum powder can be used as a temporary fix if you are dealing with a loose floor that is also squeaking as a result of the cracks. You can fill the crack with the powder to muffle and dampen the squeaking until you can patch the crack. Then, you can simply vacuum the crack out and patch it accordingly.

Understand that cracks are a continual aspect of hardwood floors, and as your floor continues to contract and expand, it may eventually compress or extract beyond the stress levels of the caulking or putty fillers, causing them to crack as well. Low humidity is one of the biggest factors in hardwood floor cracks, according to Home Reference. Movement can go on for years, or you can go years without much movement at all.

How to Handle Different Size Cracks

Fill Small Cracks With Wood Putty

Fill small cracks under 1/8 inch with a matching color of wood putty. Use a putty knife to push putty into the crack until it is slightly more than full, then scrape the excess off to leave the surface flat. Let the putty dry and then sand it, if necessary, with a fine-grit sandpaper.

Caulk Larger Cracks with Polyurethane Caulk

Caulk any cracks that are 1/8 inch up to 1/4 inch wide with a polyurethane caulk with a matching color to the wood. Cut the tip of the caulking tube off with a utility knife and load the tube into the caulking gun. Pull the trigger of the gun while the tip of the tube is pushed into the crack and fill it flush. Wipe excess off with your finger or a damp rag.

Use a Backer Rod for Cracks Larger Than 1/4 Inch

Install a backer rod for cracks over 1/4 inch before you caulk. This is flexible, foam material sold in lengths, like rope. Cut it with a utility knife and stuff it into the cracks as necessary, keeping it around 1/4 inch below the flush edge of the hardwood surface.

Tap Together the Pieces With a Rubber Mallet

Tap the pieces together with a rubber mallet if you are dealing with a floating format and the pieces have merely separated due to foot traffic or movement. Start with the first piece where you see a crack and tap the adjacent piece tight to the first. Work your way from there, row by row, until you reach the wall, tapping each piece tight against the previous.

How to repair cracks in wood floors

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Refinishing a floor with dominant cracks makes the job a bit more difficult, but there are a few ways to disguise the imperfections. If the cracks are along the seams between floor boards, any repair that you make usually require touch ups in the future. When the cracks are natural imperfections in the grain of the wood, the repairs may remain intact for many years.


The first step in refinishing most wood floors is sanding, and there are two primary ways to go about it. Upright drum-style floor sanders are heavy-duty machines that cut all the way through the existing finish and reveal bare wood underneath. Drum sanders are wise if the floor has extensive scratching or other damage. Upright orbital-style sanders lightly roughen or scuff the old finish, which is a good option if you only need to freshen the floor’s appearance with a new layer of finish. After sanding, wide cracks in the floor will be filled with sanding dust. Vacuum out the cracks with a high-powered utility vacuum. If the cracks are packed with old dirt, scrape it out with a narrow chisel or putty knife.

Putty Repairs

Wood putty is soft and dough-like, which allows you to spread and pack it into large floor cracks with a putty knife. After the putty dries, you can stain and seal it along with the rest of the floor. Although stain camouflages the putty, the repairs won’t disappear into the rest of the floor seamlessly. The putty might be lighter or darker than the floor, and putty doesn’t have a wood grain. One of the chief drawbacks to using wood putty is its susceptibility to crumbling and flaking out of the cracks over time. Remove as much debris from the cracks as possible before filling them with putty to help improve the bond between the putty and wood.

Rope Repairs

Filling floor cracks with lengths of rope might seem strange, but ropes made from natural cotton or jute are stainable, flexible and they adjust to changing humidity along with the floor. For very wide cracks along the joints between boards, rope might be the best repair option. You can stain the rope in a bucket before inserting it into the cracks with a putty knife, or insert the rope into the cracks and add color by brushing on wood stain a little at a time until it matches the rest of the floor. Rope won’t be a smooth as wood putty, but it also won’t flake out of the cracks. If the rope works loose over time, push it back into the cracks with a putty knife. Spreading wood glue into the cracks before inserting the rope helps it stay put.

Wood-Fiber Paste Repairs

When you are deeply refinishing the floor with a drum-style sander, you can collect the resulting sanding dust to make a wood-fiber paste filler. Mix the sanding dust with enough oil-based urethane for a thick paste and spread the paste into the floor cracks. Urethane shrinks as it dries, so you’ll likely need to refill the cracks a few times before sealing the floor. Brushing wet urethane inside the cracks before filling them with the paste helps the repair stick. A wood-fiber paste repair accepts a small amount of wood stain, but the urethane prevents it from absorbing much. This repair is best performed on a floor that is sealed, but not stained.

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Carole Oldroyd, a writer based in East Tennessee, has authored numerous DIY home improvement, Human Resources, HR and Law articles. In addition to holding a degree in paralegal studies, she has more than 10 years of experience renovating newer homes and restoring historic property.

How to repair cracks in wood floors

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A wooden floor adds warmth and character to a room. But because it is a natural product, it is not invulnerable and can suffer from changes in hot and cold temperatures, dampness or insect problems. This damage can manifest itself as cracks on the surface. You want to seal these cracks to prevent them from getting bigger and spreading across more of the floor.

Assess the underlying cause of the problem. If the crack comes from random damage to a plank, then sealing it can fix the issue. But if the issue stems from foundation problems or a water leak, you want to address the root cause before applying the cosmetic fixes.

Use a stiff broom to remove any dirt and debris that may have fallen into the crack. You can use a wet rag to pick up any stubborn dirt that remains at the bottom of the crack. Vacuum the crack. Make sure the remaining surface is clean and dry, so the repairs will stick.

Prepare some epoxy putty or wood filler according to the instructions on the container. The methods differ among manufacturers but generally involve mixing the filler in the container and then applying it to the crack using a putty knife.

Add some fine wood chips or sawdust into the crack to fill the hole if it is too deep or too big for filler alone. If the blemish is unusually long, fill the crack with a natural fiber rope and top with filler. Use the putty knife to flatten the top of the filling so it is level with the surrounding floor.

Wait for the filler to dry completely, which usually takes about half an hour. Sand the surface to the same smoothness and consistency as the undamaged floor.

Apply the same wood stain to the filler that you used on the floor. Wait for the stain to dry. If needed, add wax as well and buff to a shine.

Hardwood stairs lend a regal air to your space. They can look both charming as well as give a rich air to your home. However, these stairs need to be well taken care of as with time, they erode due to high usage. This erosion can cause the hardwood panels to crack or break. If this happens, it is very important that you repair the cracked panels immediately not only for aesthetic purposes, but for your safety as well. Given below are some easy and practical ways to repair cracked hardwood floors:

Wood Putty for Small Slits

If the hardwood panels of the stairs are slit only slightly, the best and the easiest solution is to patch up the slit with some wood putty. Wood putty is easily available in most hardware stores as well as your local Home Depot outlet and you can use it by simply following the manufacturers’ instructions. Remember, wood putty is only used if the slits in the wooden panels are small and the cover up needed is more cosmetic in nature.

Wax Slicks

Using wax slicks is the other modern and practical solution for repairing cracks on hardwood stair panels. If there are any splinters on the crack, remove those carefully with some forceps or sand out the rough edges with a sandpaper of fine grits. Remember to use protective gloves before you start the work. Now take the wax slick stick and rub it on the cracks along the grain of the wooden panel. This solution also works for indented wooden surfaces. The most important care here is that you need to select a wax slick of the same color as the wooden stair planks.

Wood Filler

If the crack of your wooden stair is bigger than just a slit, you can use wood filler to fill it. Again remember to purchase the wood filler in color as close to the color of the wooden staircase. Start with smoothening out the damaged area with fine grit sand paper. Remember to keep the sanding motion along the grains of the hardwood panels. Then mix the wood filler as per the instructions of the manufacturer. Apply the filler liberally along the crack and the surrounding areas and scrape any excess with a putty knife. Now let it dry completely. Finally touch up the area with some wax slicks of the same color.

New Panels

If the cracks in the wooden panels are large, these might compromise the safety of your staircase. In such cases, repairing the damages surface with wood putty, wax slicks, or wood filler may not be enough. You might need to get the damaged panel replaced with a brand new one. It is strongly recommended that you get expert help to do this. Replacing panels of staircases is not the same as replacing a floor panel. Here you need to carefully measure the stair stringer, stair raiser, and the stair tread. Incorrect measurements and installation compromises the safety of the staircase. Therefore, if you are not an expert contractor yourself, it is best you engage professionals to carry out this job.

By Henry Parker

Hardwood floors are becoming popular once again due to their beauty and new preservation techniques. Unfortunately, these floors suffer from problems which aren’t found in other floor types. One of the most annoying and potentially harmful issues are cracks forming in or between the boards. This problem can not only be remedied, but also prevented with proper floor maintenance.

Why Do Gaps Form?

Unlike synthetic or stone floors, hardwood floors are easily affected by the weather. As your home’s temperature becomes hot, the wood expands, and it shrinks in colder temperatures. Humidity also plays a role, as wood shrinks when it becomes dry.

Hands-Free Maintenance

One of the biggest causes of board shrinkage is low humidity. Hardwood floors can dry out over a long period of time, and running a small humidifier in the room or your furnace’s humidifier will help you avoid this problem.

Proper humidity levels in your home will also improve your family’s health, so this preventative measure has multiple benefits.

When to Avoid Wood Fillers

You may be tempted to fill the gaps with a wood filler. Unfortunately, this is not a permanent fix for boards affected by humidity, as the boards will continue to expand and contract. This type of cracking is considered normal for hardwood, and no filler method will hold up unless the proper humidity is maintained. Wood fillers are also not meant for use with large gaps.

Why You Should Avoid Putty Fillers

Putty fillers were once a mainstay of hardwood floor repair. Over time, however, the putty hardens, chips, and flakes. This leaves your floor looking even worse, and requiring you to dig out the old putty and replace it. For this reason, very few floor experts will still suggest using a putty filler.

Wax as Prevention

While not always popular, floor wax has the benefit of filling the tiny pores in your wood floor and sealing it against moisture. This not only prevents damage from spills, but it also helps to keep moisture in the boards from evaporating.

Waxed floors need to be resurfaced periodically, but are less likely to dry out than non-waxed floors. Some finishes may also help reduce the risk of your hardwood floor drying.

Repairing Permanent Floor Cracks

While humidity may affect your hardwood floor, permanent cracking is also a possible issue. In cases where the gaps aren’t repaired by increasing the humidity levels, you will need to fill these cracks.

There are several methods to achieve this goal, which method to choose depends upon whether the floor is finished or unfinished, as well as the extent of the damage.

Flexible Gap Fillers

There are many fillers available on the market which retain a measure of flexibility after drying. These are less likely to be pushed out if the boards swell, making them an excellent way to seal narrow cracks. Using filler is a simple process which requires a caulk gun and a caulk trimmer or equivalent removal tool.

  1. Begin by vacuuming the cracks using a hose attachment. This will help remove any particles that may interfere with the filler’s adhesion to the boards.
  2. Cut the tip of the filler tube at a slight angle and insert it into the caulk gun. This angle will allow you to better control the filler and avoid uneven application.
  3. Apply the filler to the crack as you would regular caulk, then use your trimmer to gently scrape away any excess.
  4. Be sure to follow the instructions on the filler tube carefully when cleaning up to avoid leaving stains or other blemishes on your floor.

Pieces of Wood

One popular method of filling larger gaps requires using strips of the same hardwood your floor is made from. Make sure the room is humid to avoid the risk of your wood strip being pushed out the next time your floorboards swell.

Cut the strips and apply wood glue to both sides. Next, use a hammer with some sort of padding (or a rubber mallet) to drive the strips tightly between the boards, allowing a tiny bit to remain above the floor level.

Once the glue has dried, remove the excess wood using a block plane so that the floor becomes smooth over the patch site. Note that this method is used for square-curt boards and is not very effective with tongue-and-groove floors

An old but popular method for filling large gaps requires rope. This method harkens back to the days of Arabian shipbuilding techniques and has an added bonus of providing some minor insulation.

As with using pieces of wood, you will want to measure the rope to fit. Avoid synthetic rope, and wedge it into place. Unlike the strips, you will want to make sure rope fillers are flush with the adjacent boards. The rope may then be stained to match your floor.

Sawdust and Unfinished Floors

One really simple method to fill gaps in an unfinished floor is to use fine sawdust. The dust from sanding wood of the same species is preferable, as larger sawdust may show unwanted texture.

Mix the dust with some polyurethane and fill the cracks. Note that this method only works on an unfinished floor and will clash with pre-finished floors.

Whole Floor Replacement

Sometimes the best method to repair your floor is to replace it entirely. This is especially true when the gaps are large and numerous, or there are other signs of damage to the boards such as warping or missing slivers. Even though this is an expensive method, attempting to repair a badly damaged hardwood floor can prove far more costly in the long run.