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Problem with End Grain Hardwood Flooring : 6 DIY Solutions

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End grain hardwood flooring is a beautiful and classic material for homes, but it does have its disadvantages. Many people have difficulties with end grain flooring.

It is important to understand the problems associated with end grain hardwood floors before purchasing a pile of wood planks. Here we examine the issue of end grain hardwood flooring and how it can be fixed.

Problem with End Grain Hardwood Flooring & Solutions

The Problem with End Grain Hardwood Flooring

The following are some problems and solutions associated with End Grain Hardwood Flooring that may be of assistance to you.

Problem 01: Gaps Underneath Floorboards

Gaps Underneath Floorboards

When you walk across an engineered hardwood floor, the ends of the boards don’t always meet perfectly. Sometimes, you can see daylight or feel some space between your feet and the floor below. These gaps are caused by end grain floors because there’s not enough support underneath them to keep the boards together tightly. Over time, these gaps grow larger and become problematic even for homes that aren’t on a concrete slab where water can get under them too. When the gaps are underneath your floorboards, water can get in and cause leaks that damage your home’s foundation.

Here’s How to Fix It:

The first step to fixing end grain wood flooring is addressing the gaps. The best way to do this is by re-leveling your wood floors using wood filler, wood glue, and a sander. This can be a very time-consuming process as you have to sand down the boards that need it and then let them dry for about 24 hours before you can sand them again.

The wood filler will fill the gaps between your wood boards without being too visible, and then you use wood glue to hold it together as well as wood screws to attach the wood pieces that have lower ends sticking up from being re-leveled. After 48 hours, you can sand down the wood with a sander to make it smooth enough for wood varnish or wood oil.

Problem 02: Rotting of Flooring Boards

Rotting of Flooring Boards

When water gets under your floorboards, it can start to rot the wood. Even if you have radiant heating preventing moisture from accumulating beneath the boards, the radiant heat won’t prevent water from getting between gaps underneath them. The radiant heat might even cause humidity to rise which makes ideal conditions for mold and mildew growth as well as rot where there is water pooling below the boards.

Here’s How to Fix It:

If you have wood boards that have been exposed to moisture because of a specific problem, then it is important that you address the cause first. For example, if there’s a pipe that’s leaking into your home and getting moisture on your wood floors, then this should be repaired as soon as possible.

In order to fill any cracks or crevices caused by the water damage, you can use wood filler once the wood has dried out. If there are major areas that need to be filled, you can cut out wood slates from other boards in your wood floors and replace them with wood filler instead of wood slates.

If there are large sections of rot on your floorboards, it is best to rip up small sections of wood board and replace them. This allows your wood floors to look almost like they did when you first laid them down.

Problem 03: Less Stable Floors

Less Stable Floors

Without a concrete slab or beams to strengthen floors, you might feel less stable while walking on the floor above. This is especially true if one of the radiant heating pipes breaks beneath your house because it causes an uneven heat distribution that makes the floor bounce around too much under your feet.

Here’s How to Fix It:

In the case of less stable wood slats, it is best to start with wood slat replacement. If you have wood slats that are too short, they will not be as sturdy as they were when they were new so it’s a good idea to replace them. This only takes a few hours and is a good investment in the future stability of your wood slats.

Next, you can use wood glue and wood screws to attach wood slats that have been replaced with wood filler to the existing boards. This way you can create a sturdy foundation for your new wood board.

Lastly, make sure to fill any gaps around these new pieces of wood with wood filler before sanding them down with a sander again.

Problem 04: Squeaky Floors

Squeaky Floors

Squeaky floors can also be caused by end grain because the boards bounce around and rub against each other beneath your feet. This is especially true for radiant heated or laminate flooring that doesn’t have a lot of padding between the boards underneath it (yes, even if you put extra felt pads down, this problem still exists because the padding isn’t enough to keep the boards from touching each other).

Here’s How to Fix It:

Squeaky wood floors can be fixed by applying wood filler around the base of the wood boards. This way they will be more stable and won’t make your floors creak anymore when walked on.

Problem 05: More Fragile Floorboards

More Fragile Floorboards

End grain boards are fairly thin and have many more imperfections than other types of flooring. If you accidentally drop something heavy like luggage on the hardwood, there’s a good chance that it will damage them (that is if they didn’t already get damaged by end grain gaps underneath them). Carpet padding can protect your boards from heavy objects, but it can also make your floors more bouncy and cause your end grain boards to be less stable.

Here’s How to Fix It:

To fix wooden floors that are more fragile than before, it’s important to replace any weak boards first. This is especially true if your wood boards have been soaked in water because this will damage the wood permanently. Once you’ve replaced them with new pieces of engineered hardwood, there are other ways to make them stronger so they can stand up to the test of time.

Wood screws and wood glue will be able to secure the new pieces of engineered wood so they don’t come loose, but for the best results, you can use engineered wood slats as well.

These floorboards have been engineered to be stronger and more durable than old-fashioned engineered wood, and they are the best way to make sure your new engineered wood floors will last for years to come.

Problem 06: Uneven Floorboards

Uneven Floorboards

Each board is different and can be cut at a slightly different angle which causes your floor to have uneven gaps. It is common for this problem to occur in older homes where the cutting equipment was not as precise as it is today, or when builders are careless in handling the cutting board.

Because each board is at a slant, the ends don’t fit together smoothly and you end up with gaps and cracks and an uneven floor. Not only does this ruin the look of your hardwood, but it can also make walking across your floors dangerous because there will be holes beneath your feet that could potentially cause you to trip if they become too big over time.

Here’s How to Fix It:

There are two solutions to this problem. First, you can have an expert come in and fix it for you. The floorboards will need to be sanded and planed down to an even surface. This takes a lot of time and it’s very costly, hence the reason that some people choose to do the planning themselves. The second solution is to cut down each board perfectly and fit them together tightly using wood glue.

Problem 07: Risk of Mold Growth

Risk of Mold Growth

Mould is a common problem in wood floors because if the wood is left in contact with water, chances are it will get damaged. The gaps between boards on end grain wood flooring give mold spores an easy route to get into your wood floors and it will start growing beneath the surface where you can’t see it until it does too much damage. This leaves you two options: rip up your wood floors and carpet the area beneath them, or spend a lot of money to get all the mold removed by professionals.

Here’s How to Fix It:

To avoid this problem, you need to take the necessary precautions. Do not lay your wood flooring and leave it without any kind of protection underneath them. In addition, if you spill any kind of liquid on your wood floors, make sure you wipe it up as soon as possible.


Wood can be a great material for your home. However, end grain wood floor has their own unique problems that need to be addressed one at a time to maintain their appearance and ensure their durability.

We hope that this article has been helpful and that you have a better understanding of end grain hardwood flooring.

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