Another common hardwood floor malady is the development of gaps between planks. The most common causes of gaps between the boards is Mother Nature. Wood shrinks as it dries out, and it expands when it gets wet and humid. That regular expansion and contraction over time is the most common cause of gaps, and is the main reason why most gaps are seasonal in nature. Perhaps your best plan of action is to exercise patience.
No matter what type of hardwood flooring you choose, proper care and maintenance will help them look beautiful even longer. First off, don’t let the dirt and dust collect. At least once a week, you’ll want to go over your hardwood floors with a broom or dust mop to pick up any dirt, dust, hair or pet dander. If you’re using a vacuum, make sure it’s set to ‘wood floors’ so that you’re not beating up your floors and damaging them in the process. Hardwood Floor
My advice is to bring in a professional to make sure the floors can be refinished (i.e. if there is still enough room/if you didn’t permanently damage the wood), and if so, have them refinish them rather than replace them – that will be much less expensive. I don’t know where you live and the going rates, but in our area, it’s prob. the price is prob. $1-2 lower…but that may be par for your area. Call in 2-3 people to see. I would check Angie’s List (angieslist.com) for some good local people in your area. Denver Hardwood Flooring
Natural warmth and beauty make wood a favorite for floors. But when the topcoat finish wears through, the porous surface of the wood is open to stains-especially beneath dining room chairs, in front of a sink and in other high-traffic, high-spill areas. Oil soap and all-purpose cleanser remove some stains, especially when the spill is fresh. But it's impossible to scrub out stains that have soaked into the wood fibers. And sanding only creates a depression in the floor that's more noticeable than the stain. The only option to repair hardwood floors at this point is to cut out the stained floorboards and install new ones. We replaced a couple of boards from a standard 3/4-in.-thick x 21/4-in.-wide oak-strip floor using a drill, circular saw and sharp chisel. To determine the exact width and thickness of the pieces you'll need, lift up a heat register or threshold and measure the exposed ends of the floorboards. You'll find hardwood flooring at a local millwork shop, lumberyard or floor-covering store. Denver Hardwood Floor
Besides major problems, you may also experience scratching or loose planks with your hardwood flooring. Scratches can be repaired with touch up kits, or something as simple as a like colored crayon. If you’ve got serious scratching, however, you may need to hire a contractor to refinish the flooring altogether. And if you’ve got loose planks, your only solution is to tie them down. Ideally they should be nailed to the subfloor to prevent any more movement, though excessively loose boards can be a sign of improper installation in the first place. Bringing in a professional hardwood installer to re-install your flooring properly is probably the only sure way to permanently solve the problem.
Eliminate any problem spots to make the subfloor level. Sand minor humps down with a hand-held or orbital sander to make the subfloor level. To fill any dips or low spots, use a leveling compound (also known as floor patch). Mix up the compound according to package directions, fill in the dips, then pull your straight piece of lumber back and forth over the spot to flatten and level it with the rest of the subfloor.
Refinishing can actually take much more time than fully replacing a wood floor. Refinishing is a messy, meticulous process than can take approximately four to five days, during which the floor surface must remain completely untouched. The process requires sanders, edgers, buffers, scrapers, brushes, base coat sealers, topcoat sealers, putty knives and sometimes paint. Replacement, on the other hand, can be done in considerably less time using only lumber, a couple of saws, measuring tape, a flat bar, a chalk line and a nail gun. Denver Hardwood Floor