• In this video, This Old House general contractor Tom Silva explains how to patch strip flooring.


    1 Score cut line on damaged floorboard using a utility knife.

    2 Drill series of 5/8-inch-diameter holes down center of damaged floorboard.

    3 Use chisel to cut through floorboard along the scored line.

    4 Chisel out center section of floorboard between the holes.

    5 Use hammer and chisel to knock out remainder of damaged floorboard.

    6 Chisel off the lower lip of grooved edge from replacement floorboard.

    7 Plane down the width of replacement floorboard, if necessary, to fit space.

    8 Apply carpenter's glue to top of tongue on adjacent floorboard.

    9 Set replacement floorboard in place and tap down with scrap block and hammer.

    10 Sand repaired area with random-orbit sander.

    11 Protect baseboard with blue painter's tape.

    12 Apply minimum four coats of urethane finish to replacement floorboard, allowing each coat to dry before applying the next.
    • Difficulty: Moderate
      You'll break a sweat chopping out the damaged floorboard, but it gets easier after that

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      Video Directory

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      Tools List

      • utility knife
        Utility knife
      • hammer
      • chisel
      • drill
        with 5/8-inch spade bit
      • block plane
        Block plane
        used to plane width of new floorboard
      • random orbit sander
        Random-orbit sander
        with 320-grit sanding disc

      Shopping List

      1. Carpenter's glue

      2. Spray can of high-gloss urethane

      3. Blue painter's tape,

      used to protect baseboard from spray urethane

      4. Wet/dry vacuum,

      for cleaning floor