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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Minneapolis, MN
    Posts
    201

    Default How can I plug some holes in hardwood floor?

    Hi everybody! So, my company is looking at doing some restoration work on a house that was foreclosed on. Part of our challenge is that while the house was vacant somebody broke in and stole (among other things) all of the radiators. The new owners won't be replacing the radiators, rather they want us to either piece-in the floor, or plug the holes. So, my question is, is there a good way we can:

    A: Bore-out all of the existing holes in the floor to a uniform size?

    B: Cut ourselves some new plugs?

    I'm thinking of using some combination of hole saws to achieve the different hole and plug sizes. I've done it before on a smaller scale to replace european cup hinges, I made the plugs by removing the pilot bit from a hole saw arbor and mounting the hole saw in a large drill press so it was more controlled. I'm wondering if there's a nice size of hole saw to use? I've attached a picture of one of the places the old pipes come up through the floor. Any help would be much appreciated!!
    ---Tom
    Attached Images Attached Images

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    east tennessee
    Posts
    230

    Default Re: How can I plug some holes in hardwood floor?

    that whole area looks bad to me.do it right,cut the bad out and put it back new.holes don't ever look good even if they have a nice plug.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Fredericksburg, VA
    Posts
    656

    Default Re: How can I plug some holes in hardwood floor?

    How wide are the strips? It looks like it's 1-1/2" or so, but my perspective may be off.

    Either way, I think you need to cut some pieces out and replace. If all of the plugs would be contained within one course of flooring it may look okay. But if you have a 2" plug in 1-1/2" wide flooring I think that would be very noticeable.
    Jon Blakemore
    www.RappahannockINC.com

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brookfield, Western CT
    Posts
    256

    Default Re: How can I plug some holes in hardwood floor?

    My vote would also be to cut out the floor and replace strips. Much better looking in the long run. The hole in the pic also spans two boards and a plug there would look like crap later.
    FYI the Fein multimaster makes nice clean plunge cross-cuts doing this - I know, Ive done lots
    JoeH

    There Aint No Such Thing As A Free Lunch (TANSTAAFL) -Robert A Heinlein

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Greenville,S.C.
    Posts
    377

    Default Re: How can I plug some holes in hardwood floor?

    Is there a closet you could pull up enough floor to do all your patching and replace the closet floor w/new hardwood, or carpet?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    VA
    Posts
    1,445

    Default Re: How can I plug some holes in hardwood floor?

    Quote Originally Posted by Norm Yeager View Post
    Is there a closet you could pull up enough floor to do all your patching and replace the closet floor w/new hardwood, or carpet?
    Thats a good idea Norm.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Minneapolis, MN
    Posts
    201

    Default Re: How can I plug some holes in hardwood floor?

    Good ideas fellas! I agree that I'm inclined to just tooth-in some new (or re-use some existing) boards, but my boss wants to price out the plugs anyways. This house needs a TON of work, and it sounds like the customers will be willing to live with some things being less than perfect to bring the house back up to livable conditions. Thanks for the input guys!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    SE Florida
    Posts
    1,185

    Default Re: How can I plug some holes in hardwood floor?

    Ten characters
    Last edited by jim@miterclamp.com; 10-01-2008 at 09:53 PM. Reason: wrong button again

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    SE Florida
    Posts
    1,185

    Default Re: How can I plug some holes in hardwood floor?

    Unbelievable. Unanimous! So far anyways. This has to be a first. I've done just what Norm said on at least three jobs in the past. Not only with hardwood, but carpet as well.

    It might even be faster.

    Good luck.
    Jim

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    11,339

    Default Re: How can I plug some holes in hardwood floor?

    Quote Originally Posted by jim@miterclamp.com View Post
    Ten characters
    Um, sorry to burst your bubble, but that's 13 characters, 14 if you're texting...

    That Florida heat's gonna bake yer brain, Jim ;-)
    http://www.lavrans.com

    "He uses statistics as a drunken man uses lamp posts; for support rather than illumination." -Andrew Lang

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    11,339

    Default Re: How can I plug some holes in hardwood floor?

    Quote Originally Posted by jim@miterclamp.com View Post
    Unbelievable. Unanimous! So far anyways. This has to be a first. I've done just what Norm said on at least three jobs in the past. Not only with hardwood, but carpet as well.

    It might even be faster.

    Good luck.
    Jim
    Yep- and another vote for replacing strips. Making big plugs can be difficult.

    On the other hand- you can get an inlay set-up for the router and make some shaped templates- they can be square or round or cloud-shaped if you please. It's pretty fast & easy- a friend did a lot of repairs at Timberline using this method.

    If you really want to go with round plugs get some 1 1/2" or 2" Maple dowels and a Forstner bit to match. Drill, insert dowel, flush cut, sand, done. It's end-grain, but that won't be as noticeable as the big round plugs. Plan on losing a cutter to nails.
    http://www.lavrans.com

    "He uses statistics as a drunken man uses lamp posts; for support rather than illumination." -Andrew Lang

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    CA
    Posts
    1,974

    Default Re: How can I plug some holes in hardwood floor?

    It would be a lot easier to just put back the old radiator.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    twin cities
    Posts
    84

    Default Re: How can I plug some holes in hardwood floor?

    What's the budget?

    that would dictate which method is "Best".
    The bitterness of a shoddy job is remembered long after the sweetness of a cheap price is forgotten...

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Minneapolis, MN
    Posts
    201

    Default Re: How can I plug some holes in hardwood floor?

    Hi again fellas! I'm not sure what the budget is, my boss just said he wants to explore options to reduce cost. It sounds like replacing the radiators isn't on the table. When the house was vacant some nice chaps came in one night and stole all of the copper from the basement, smashed a lot of the storm windows, removed all but one of the radiators, dragged them across the hardwood floors, and the second story radiators were chucked out of a second story window, wrecking the window and the 1st story roof, gutter, soffit, fascia, and cellar door below the window. To top it off a few of them left a big steaming present in the 2nd story toilet (the city had turned off the water). My new boss does a lot of hardwood flooring, so he has all of the equipment to do inlays and whatnot, I just think he wanted to explore his options.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Boise, Idaho
    Posts
    558

    Default Re: How can I plug some holes in hardwood floor?

    Don't waste time making your own plugs, they look like you don't know what you're doing. If you at all have pull in the decision replace the boards--they are close to the walls, easy to do and will look right. I'd rather not mess with old boards from a closet since they won't be the right height, are full of crap to dull planer blades and new wood is just easier to work with. Go to a wood flooring supplier and buy a small bundle of matching wood. As each piece is pulled up simply run it through the planer to match the height.

    To satisfy your boss, tell him tapered 1-1/2" stair plugs are available from Rockler $7 for 25.

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