How to Fix Floors

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Home Improvement

How to Repair Parquet Flooring


To repair damaged wood parquet flooring, first remove the affected piece of wood. If necessary, cut the wire spline that holds it in place.

Although wood parquet is beautiful, it can be problematic if blocks become damaged. If you want invisible repairs, replace the damaged wood with matching parquet tile.

Tools Needed:

  • Drill or brace and bit
  • Sharp chisel
  • Hammer
  • Needle-nosed pliers
  • Putty knife
  • Wire cutters
  • Notched spreader or small mixing dish and stir stick
  • Scrap wood block
  • Weights

Materials Needed:

  • Matching prefinished parquet tile
  • Medium-grit sandpaper
  • Tile adhesive or epoxy cement
  • Carpenters’ glue
  • Cloth
  • Polish or wax

Time Required: Approximately 30 minutes per block

To replace the damaged section of parquet, use a matching prefinished tile. If prefinished tile is not available, finish the new tile to match before installing it. Use the whole tile or one piece of the unit, as required, and replace as small an area as possible.

Removing the Damaged Wood

Begin by removing the damaged piece of wood. If the entire tile or unit is damaged, create a row of large holes across the block, against the grain, using a drill or a brace and bit. Drill completely through the damaged block, but not into the subfloor under it. Then, using a sharp chisel and a hammer, carefully split the block and pry up the pieces. Make sure not to damage the surrounding pieces of wood.

Most parquet tile is held together with tongue-and-groove joints. At the grooved sides, carefully pull the pieces of the block out over the adjoining tongues. If the grooved sides stick, use the chisel to cut through only the top side of the groove, being careful not to damage the tongues of the abutting pieces. At the tongued sides of the tile, carefully pull out the tongue that held the damaged block to the next tile. If the tongue piece sticks, cut it off with the chisel and then carefully pry out the cut piece.

If only one piece of a parquet tile or unit is damaged, remove only that piece. Using a sharp chisel and a hammer, very carefully split the damaged piece and pry out the splinters. If the pieces of the unit are held together by a wire spline, hold the damaged piece of wood with needle-nosed pliers and cut the spline with wire cutters to free the damaged piece.

Replacing the Damaged Wood

After removing the damaged piece of wood, prepare the gap for the replacement piece. Scrape the subfloor to remove any remaining adhesive and ensure all parts of the old piece of wood have been removed. If you cut a wire spline to remove the old piece, trim the cut ends flush and tap them lightly with a hammer to flatten the sharp points of the wire.


To insert the new tile into the opening, use a chisel to remove the bottom edges of both grooved sides.

If you need to replace the damaged wood, you can use either a matching whole tile or a piece of a matching unit. If you’re using a whole tile, make sure the tongued and grooved edges match the surrounding tiles. Use a sharp chisel and hammer to carefully remove the protruding bottom edges of the grooved sides. The new tile will fit on top of the abutting tongues instead of locking around them. Test the tile for fit to ensure you’ve cut enough.

If you’re using a piece of a matching unit, carefully take the unit apart and remove the desired piece of wood. If necessary, cut the wire spline that holds the piece into the unit. Trim the cut ends of the spline flush and lightly tap them with a hammer to flatten them. Test the piece of wood for fit in the gap. If the piece is too tight, sand the edges of the replacement piece lightly with medium-grit sandpaper. Be careful not to damage the wood finish.

Finishing the Repair

To complete the repair, glue the new block of wood into place. If you’re replacing a whole tile, use floor tile adhesive. Apply the adhesive to the subfloor in the opening with a notched spreader. On the grooved sides of the tile, apply a thin coat of carpenters’ glue to the bottom edge of the top groove. Carefully place the new tile into position with the tongued sides first to lock into the grooves of the abutting tiles. Firmly place the grooved sides down over the abutting tongues.

Once the tile is correctly positioned, place a scrap wood block over it and firmly tap it down with a hammer to bond and level it. The edges of the new tile should be flush with the surrounding tiles’ surface. Quickly remove any excess adhesive with a damp cloth.

If you’re replacing one strip or one piece of a unit, use epoxy cement to bond it into place. Mix the epoxy as per the manufacturer’s instructions and apply it to the back and edges of the replacement piece. Place the piece into position and tap it down with a wood block and a hammer to bond and level it. Quickly remove any excess epoxy with a damp cloth.

To ensure that the new piece of parquet is firmly bonded, cover it with a scrap wood piece and weigh it for the entire curing time of the adhesive or epoxy as per the manufacturer’s instructions. Allow the adhesive or epoxy to dry thoroughly before removing the weight. Finally, if the finish of the new piece of wood does not match the surrounding floor, polish or wax the entire floor.

FAQ

1. What are some common causes of floor damage?

There are several factors that can cause damage to floors. Water damage is a common issue, especially in areas prone to flooding or high humidity. Heavy foot traffic can also wear down floors over time, as can the movement of furniture or appliances. Pets, particularly those with long nails, can scratch and damage floors. Additionally, spills and stains can cause discoloration or warping, especially if they are left untreated.

2. How do I know if my floor needs to be repaired?

Signs of floor damage can include cracks, scratches, or discoloration. If you notice any of these issues, it’s important to address them promptly to prevent further damage. Additionally, if your floor feels uneven or unstable, it may be a sign of underlying damage that needs to be repaired.

3. Can I repair my own floors, or should I hire a professional?

The answer to this question depends on the severity of the damage and your own level of experience with home repairs. Minor scratches or stains can often be fixed with DIY solutions, but more extensive damage may require professional help. Additionally, if your floor is still under warranty, attempting to repair it yourself could void the warranty.

4. How do I repair scratches on hardwood floors?

For minor scratches, you can often use a hardwood floor scratch repair kit or a wax stick to fill in the scratch and blend it in with the surrounding area. For deeper scratches, you may need to sand down the affected area and refinish the floor.

5. How do I repair water damage on floors?

If the damage is minor, you may be able to dry out the affected area and refinish the floor. However, more extensive damage may require the removal and replacement of damaged planks or tiles.

6. Can laminate floors be repaired?

Yes, laminate floors can be repaired in much the same way as hardwood floors. Scratches or minor damage can often be fixed with a laminate floor repair kit, while more extensive damage may require the replacement of damaged planks.

7. How do I repair tile floors?

If a tile is cracked or broken, it will need to be replaced. This can be a DIY project if you have experience with tile work, or you may choose to hire a professional. For minor damage, you can use epoxy or tile filler to repair chips or cracks.

8. What should I do if my floor is warped?

Warped floors are often a sign of water damage or underlying structural issues. In some cases, the affected area may need to be replaced entirely. It’s important to address warped floors promptly to prevent further damage and potential safety hazards.

9. How can I prevent future floor damage?

Preventative measures can include using floor protectors on furniture, cleaning up spills promptly, and avoiding excessive moisture or humidity in the home. Regular cleaning and maintenance can also help to prolong the life of your floors.

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