What you need to know about floor boards replacement.

Old tongue and groove solid timber floors are beautiful.
Well …not always. Sometimes they present a headache, they are costly, unforgiving, but at the end we all love them!
Sometimes they require a single floor board repair or major repair. In Sydney’s old houses the most common floor problems are:
Termites, moisture under the floor, poor ventilation, soil is too close to the floor. water damage, bursted water pipe, storm, forgotten opened balcony door, failed kitchen appliance, leaking bathroom, toilet or a sink, flower pot, a pet urinating on floor, or a smashed heavy vase type of accident.

When it comes to a single board floor repair, the situation goes as follows…

Each floor darkens under the influence of UV daylight, that is, if only the damaged part of the board will be sanded, and varnished, the wood under this coating will be significantly lighter compared to the surrounding boards. The difference between new polish and the existing one would be noticeable as well.

Single plank and solid wooden flooring.

Case 1

the individual board can be cut out and replaced by a new plank. Unfortunately, this way of fixing floorboards results in subsequent floor sanding and polishing. Even though if the damage is only local damage and limited to a single board.

A typical example would be a deep gouge or scratch through the coating caused by a heavy object. A pet urinating on the floor, a chemical spilled on the floor, a cigarette burn, hot coal falling out of the fireplace etc.


This means that we basically solve one problem, but at the same time create another. Solid wood floor repair in most cases involves sanding back to raw wood and re-coating throughout the floor.

In a rare case, a single damaged board

can be carefuly cut out from the floor, then another board of the same length and colour can be “borrowed” from another part of the house. This plank (already sanded and varnished) can be inserted back into the floor. The same age, varnish, lustre, wear and tear.


Quite a good result can be achieved on the old floors with large gaps between the boards. The outcome is not so good for new floors as they usually have much smaller gaps between the boards. The result is far from perfect as the height differences around the edges of adjacent boards are quite often visible.


But if the board can be borrowed from another part of the house, such as the pantry or from the space under the stairs and the damaged place is in a less exposed place, the result is usually acceptable.

On this job a wall was removed between two rooms. Sydney blue gum flooring was filled in and the floor board re-joined.

Cutting damaged board out

Preparing new board

New board after replacing

Wax sticks.

Are quite widespread floorboards repair tool and popular among people. They are designed for fixing of small wood damages.

Wax sticks in various colours are available on the market. These sticks can be melted by heat and small amount of hot wax directed to fill the hole. The problem with this method is that if the scratch is too shallow, the wax will not adhere in the recess, if the gouge is too great, the wax will be too stressed in the damaged area by the traffic on the floor and will also not stick for too long.


Another problem is the limited colour choice of wax. Not every colour will perfectly match the colour of the damaged board.

What to expect when replacing a damage with recycled floor?


Case 2

It is very common the flooring repair services involve the replacement of numerous individual boards or a whole group. Typical examples are: Connection of two floors after the demolition of a transverse wall, the replacement of several boards damaged by termites, extensive damage after a washing machine or dishwasher failure, a different colour of wood or a different type of wood discovered after lifting a carpet.

If the floor is old, there may be a problem with finding not only the same type of wood, but especially the same width of the board.

Say, the owners decide that they want to replace the wrong floor with recycled timber or reused boards. It may happen that they encounter a problem. Some types of wood have been made in different widths in the past.

This most often refers to Kauri pine and Baltic Pine. If staining the floor is out of the question and the owner wants to keep the original colour and go environmentally friendly and right by the planet, it is usually necessary to prepare the boards to the appropriate width before timber floor installation.

Case 3

Timber floor repairs of new floor.

Replacing a group of damaged planks on a new floor that was laid less than a few decades ago is a relatively simple task.

Due to Australian standards, there are only a few widths of planks available today. The most common dimensions of solid floorboards are 130 mm 100 mm and 89 mm. The thickness of the board is usually 19 mm. Board lengths are not fixed and range between 1 m and 6 m.