Q: I am repairing hardwood floors in my home. I would like to fill the gaps between the boards. Is there a product for this job?

— Trisha, West Chester, OH

A: Tom Silva replies: You can apply wood filler to fix the gaps, but this can be a temporary fix. When the floor contracts, the filler can pop out; or, when it expands, it can fall in, unable to span the wider gap. In the Milton House, the gaps in the floorboards were so wide that we filled the seams with rope and then stained it to match the floor. This is an old technique that's quite smart; the rope expands and contracts with the rest of the floor and the gaps stay plugged, keeping drafts to a minimum. To properly fix your problem, you need to determine why your floors are gapping.

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