How to Replace a Damaged Floorboard

In our blog post about repairing scratches and dents in hardwood floors, we noted that some scratches and dents just can’t be fixed with a simple repair job. In certain cases, a more intensive fix is needed.

If a hardwood floor has sustained damage that can’t be repaired with filler—such as holes or deep scratches—and the damage is located in a concentrated area, you’ll likely have to isolate and replace the affected floorboards.

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Here’s how to replace a damaged floorboard.

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Step 1: Determine where the butt joint of the new board will fall by lining up the replacement board with the surrounding boards. Use a utility knife to make a clear, crisp line in the floor that you will use later to chisel out a new butt joint.

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Step 2: Using a track saw (we used a Festool TS 55 in this video), cut parallel lines into the interior of the damaged board, 3/8ths of an inch away from the edge of each side.

Cutting in the interior side of the board rather than cutting at the very edge will help you avoid hitting cleat nails that may be sticking out of other boards. This will save your track saw blade from damage.

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Step 3: Using the track saw, cross-cut the damaged board.

Cross-cutting the board into narrow, triangular pieces will facilitate the removal process.

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Step 4: Use pliers to remove the freed-up pieces of the damaged board.

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Step 5: Use a Fein SuperCut Saw or a similar tool to free the rest of the damaged board from the butt joint edge that you formed in step 1, and remove the remainder of the board.

You can also use the SuperCut saw to square up and refine the cuts you made near the edges of the board during step 2.

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Step 6: Now that the damaged board is completely removed, chisel out a straight butt joint line for the replacement board.

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Step 7: Use a finish nailer like the Bostitch N62FNK-2 Air Finish Nailer to secure any surrounding floorboards that might have become loose during the removal process.

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Step 8: Ensure that the new board will fit properly in the floor. If you’re replacing a tongue-and-groove floor and the new board doesn’t fit with the surrounding boards, you can remove the bottom-most side of its groove.

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Step 9: Apply 3M Epoxy with a mixing nozzle to the space where the replacement board will be installed.

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Step 10: Manually secure the replacement board so that it’s flush with the existing floor.

For more information on replacing a damaged floorboard in a hardwood floor, call us at (800) 737-1786 or email info@cityfloorsupply.com. If you’d like more information on the products used in this guide, click the links above, give us a call, or click the products links below.


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