Hardwood Floor Separating in Winter

LESLIE: Judy from Illinois is on the line and is dealing with a hardwood floor separating in winter. How can we help you?

JUDY: Well, I have a little problem in the winter with my hardwood floor and separating. And I can kind of see down in there. And I was wondering about a whole-house humidifier in the winter to keep that from happening, because it’s fine in the summer, what you would suggest.

TOM: A whole-house humidifier is a good thing when you have forced-air heat that’s gas or oil or propane, because that tends to be extremely dry. I would encourage you to use a very good-quality unit, like an Aprilaire. Because there are a lot of units that don’t work very well and they don’t work very long, especially the kind that spray water into the duct system, as opposed to the Aprilaire unit, which has an evaporator pad where the water sort of trickles down this pad and then it evaporates into the house air that way.

So, a humidifier can help with a hardwood floor separating in winter. If the gaps are particularly large, you can also fill them with jute – j-u-t-e – jute type of rope. And then you could refinish over top of that. Sometimes, if the gaps are really big, that’s a good thing to put in the middle of it because it kind of blends in with the floor and doesn’t show through.

LESLIE: Yeah. And Tom, sometimes I finish the jute roping before I even lay it in. Like I’ll dip it in a can of the same color of stain and sort of work it in with my fingers. And then once it dries, then I squish it into place with a painter’s knife.

JUDY: Well, thank you very much.

TOM: You’re very welcome. Thanks so much for contacting us at 888-MONEY-PIT.

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