Carpentry & Joinery Question

Why do the gaps in my floorboards appear to be getting wider?

I do not have carpets and the floor boards are exposed. Some of the gaps are wider than others (differing types of wood used)but some boards seem to have no nails holding them down?

9 Answers

Best Answer

could be the people who owned the property before you had some plumbing or electrical work done (so had some floorboards up to work on or install some pipes or cables) and whoever did it was being lazy and didn't fix the boards back down! This would also explain the different types of wood if they damaged any and couldn't get some to match. Be very careful if you do want to fix them back down and check underneath for the location of any pipes or cables, and be sure to keep any screws or nails well away from them!
The gaps could be because the boards were tongue and groove and whoever lifted them had to trim the tongue off in order to get the boards out.

Answered 22nd Feb 2011

D.G Building

Member since 24 Sep 2008

1 of 2 possible answers, reduced moisture content in the timber used now, as to the time it was installed.

2 of 2 , the floorboards with no nails are moving creating wider gaps in places.

Regards Wes Interior-maintenance.

Answered 22nd Feb 2011

Interior Maintenance

Member since 23 Mar 2010

Shrinking caused by low temperatures.

Answered 14th Feb 2012


Member since 9 Feb 2012

when floor boards were installed they had high moisture content over time they dry out and shrink different boards prob because work has been done since and they prob damaged them when they lifted to install new services

Answered 22nd Feb 2011


Member since 31 Oct 2008

It seems as you know, different types of wood, floor wasnt laid properly, ie should have been cramped and fixed.
Best option if you dont want to take them up is to screw them down, as you say there are no nails, screws are better,less damage to ceilings below.
Check for cables or pipes.
Sink screws down, use a plug cutter and cut plugs glue into screw holes with same wood and sand down,
As far as the gaps, can only suggest a flexible sealant, you may find similar colour

Answered 22nd Feb 2011


Member since 29 Oct 2008

you will proberly find its where people have taken them up over the years and some get replaced where they get damaged ect. the ones with no nails is probarly because a lazy peson took them and couldnt be bothered to nail them back in

Answered 22nd Feb 2011

northview property mainenance

Member since 13 Sep 2010

Hi there, the reason for differing gap sizes could be because the floor boards had differing amounts of moisture content in them when they were fitted and now have adjusted to the moisture content of the room, are they new recently. If they have no nails in them could be for an inspection hatch or they run out of nails ?

Answered 22nd Feb 2011

Mr Maintenance

Member since 2 Feb 2009

boards probably got lifted for central heating or electrical instlations, floorboards always shrink after fitting, dont nail the boards down willy nilly, good chance you will hit a pipe or cable!

Answered 22nd Feb 2011

a1 property maintenance

Member since 11 Jan 2011

Central heating tends to shrink the boards to leave a gap, timber needs to settle in a very warm climate before laying e.g the room it is to be layed in. If its old floor boards the gaps will be large probably due to no flooring clamps being used when fitted.

Answered 22nd Feb 2011

D&N Carpentry and Property Services

Member since 25 Jan 2009

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