If you've noticed a crack in your hardwood floor, you might be wondering how best to remedy the situation.
Damage to your hardwood flooring doesn't just look unsightly - it can also cause issues such as uneven furniture and even present a tripping hazard if the cracks or holes are severe enough.
Luckily, there's a very easy and relatively inexpensive way to fix damage to your hardwood floors: wood filler!
Wood fillers are resin-based products formulated to harden in cracks and gaps in unvarnished wood. Once the resin dries and hardens, your floors should look and feel almost as good as new! However, the quality of the results will depend on the type of filler formula you purchase.
We've tried out the best wood fillers currently on the market for hardwood floors and chosen our top 5, so before you choose your product, check out the reviews below!
We've also written up a detailed buyer's guide to help you narrow down your options, plus an FAQ section with answers to common questions, so make sure to stick around until the end!
OUR TOP PICK
The Minwax Stainable Wood Filler is one of the most highly rated filler formulas on the market for hardwood flooring. After testing it out ourselves, we can definitely appreciate why that is!
Our initial impression of the Minwax wood filler was that, for the price, the 16-ounce container is excellent value for money. Using the product itself confirmed this.
Like most water based wood filler products, Minwax's Stainable Wood filler is quick-drying, making for a faster and easier application process. It's also sandable, meaning that you can easily achieve smooth, professional-looking results without any woodworking experience.
Not only is this filler formula stainable, but it can also be painted over without any difficulty. If you're repairing your hardwood floors because you're planning to paint or stain them, the Minwax wood filler is a great choice.
You can use this wood filler formula indoors or outdoors, so it's a versatile product that you can use for any hardwood floor repair task on your property.
However, despite being sold in large quantities, the Minwax Stainable Wood Filler has a fairly short shelf life. We recommend using all the product as quickly as possible as it may begin to dry out once opened.
- Interior and exterior formula - Versatile
- Paintable and stainable - Easy to work with
- Sandable - Smooth results
- Fast-drying - Works quickly
- 16 oz container - Good value for money
- Short shelf life - May dry up quickly
An excellent alternative to the Minwax hardwood floor willer is this Goodfilla Water-Based Wood and Grain Filler.
You can buy Goodfilla's Water-Based Wood and Grain Filler in 8-ounce containers. While this is by no means the largest quantity sold by wood filler manufacturers, 8 ounces is enough product to cover multiple repair projects.
This is a non-toxic, eco-friendly formula that doesn't contain any volatile organic compounds (VOCs) or other harmful chemicals. You can use the Goodfilla water based wood filler without fear of harming either your health or the environment.
You can stain, tint, and paint over this wood filler, so it won't interfere with any future changes you want to make to your hardwood floors. Once the product has dried, you can sand it down for a smooth, seamless finish.
This water based filler comes in a range of 11 colors, meaning that you should be able to more-or-less match the filler to the surrounding wood. However, the product does dry lighter than you might expect, so if you want a perfect match, you may need to use a paint or stain to achieve this.
- Stain and tint-friendly - Non-restrictive
- Sandable - Easy to perfect
- 8 oz container - Enough for multiple repairs
- 11 colors - Versatile range
- No toxic chemicals - Safe and eco-friendly
- Dries lighter than expected - May require painting to match
We had a very positive experience using 3M's Bondo Wood Filler, and we'd recommend it to anyone with hardwood floors in need of repair!
This is a 2-part formula consisting of the filler and a tube of cream hardener. These products, when mixed together, chemically bond to the wood for incredibly durable, permanent floor repairs.
You can use it on almost any wood surfaces, but its durability makes it an especially good choice for unfinished wood and hardwood floors.
You'll be able to use this filler to fill gaps in floors both inside and outside your home because the Bondo Wood Filler is water-resistant and won't be damaged by the elements.
This formula cures in 15 minutes, and a whole repair can take as little as half an hour! Once the formula has dried and been sanded down, you can paint over it or apply a wood stain without any problems.
The only problem is that this formula is fairly expensive considering the quantities in which it is sold, so you may want to
- 2-part formula - Extra strong and durable
- Water-resistant - For indoor and outdoor use
- Accepts paint and stains - Highly compatible
- Sandable - Professional results
- 15-minute curing - Fast-drying
- High price point - Not a budget purchase
If your hardwood floors and other wooden surfaces inside and outside your home are starting to look worse for wear, Aqua Coat's Clear Wood Grain Filler will be a life-saver!
This is a clear wood filler, meaning that it is very versatile and compatible with hardwood floors of all colors and types. You won't have to worry about finding the perfect color match, which takes a lot of stress out of the process.
You can purchase this wood filler product in quart, pint, and gallon containers, so no matter how many repairs you need to make and how severe the damage is, you'll have no problem purchasing enough filler to see you through.
Aqua Coat's Clear Wood Grain Filler is compatible with water-soluble pigments, so as long as you choose stains and paint types that are water-soluble, you can stain and paint over the filler very easily before sanding it down.
Additionally, this wood filler is eco-friendly because it has very low levels of volatile organic compounds.
Bear in mind before buying this product that the best results will be achieved when it is applied in several thin layers. This means that the application process may take longer than other competitor products.
- Clear - Highly versatile
- Quart, gallon, and pint containers - For jobs of all sizes
- Water-soluble pigment-friendly - Stain-compatible
- Sandable - Easy to smooth
- Low VOC - Eco-friendly
- Several layers required - Long application process
DAP's 00585 Latex Wood Filler is our final pick for today, and it's a great, versatile product for DIY floor repair jobs.
Whether you have hardwood flooring inside your house, outside, or both, you can use the DAP Latex Wood Filler for filling gaps and holes. You can also use it to correct small damage. For example, you could fill nail holes in any wooden surface, from your wood floors to wooden furniture.
When you've applied the wood filler and allowed it to dry (which doesn't take long), you can sand it down and cover it with paint, lacquer, varnish, or stains. It's so durable you can even nail or drill through it!
This latex filler actually contains real wood fibers, so the finished results look, feel, and most importantly, act just like real wood. This is something that most wood fillers don't offer, which makes DAP's product a fairly unique and appealing choice.
Just make sure to handle the packaging with care as some bottles have been known to split as the product inside ages.
- For indoor and outdoor use - Versatile
- Paint and lacquer-safe - Wide product compatibility
- Sandable - Professional look
- Fast-drying - Easy application
- Contains real wood fibers - Acts like real wood
- Fragile packaging - Some reports of bottles splitting
Best Wood Filler For Hardwood Floors Buying Guide
Your hardwood floors are probably one of the prides and joys of your home. They lend so much elegance and quality to a room. Because of this, choosing a wood filler that will blend seamlessly into your wooden floors while enhancing their durability is crucial.
Below are some of the things you should bear in mind when choosing a wood filler for your hardwood floors.
Before you look at some of the other features of hardwood floor fillers, make sure you know what type of formula you want or need.
Most wood fillers for hardwood floors are water-based. Water-based wood fillers cure more quickly, are more versatile in their application, are more affordable, and have lower levels of volatile organic compounds. This makes them more eco-friendly.
Some wood floor fillers are also 2-part formulas. These products usually consist of the filler and a hardening cream which helps the filler to cure and harden durably.
These products chemically bond to the damaged wood, creating long-lasting repairs. If you want your wooden floor to be permanently repaired, the durability of a 2-part filler may be what you're looking for.
However, a 2-part filler will take longer to apply than a pre-mixed filler since you'll need to mix the parts together beforehand.
If you want a truly seamless blend between filler and wood that is just as durable as real wood, we recommend looking for a product that contains real wood fibers. Wood fiber will make your repairs look more realistic and hold up in the long term.
You should also check whether a formula is designed for indoor or outdoor repairs before buying it. If the product is intended for outdoor usage, it should be labeled as waterproof or water-resistant so that the elements don't undo your exterior projects.
If you're going to use a water-based filler for outdoor repairs, you will need to ensure that it is free from or low in volatile organic compounds, which can be harmful to the human respiratory system as well as the environment.
Don't forget to verify which products and surfaces your new filler for hardwood floors is compatible with before you go through with the purchase!
For example, if you have wooden furniture that needs repairing as well as hardwood flooring (and you don't want to buy a separate furniture repair kit), check whether the filler you're thinking of buying is suitable for this purpose as well.
Whether your hardwood floors are currently varnished or unvarnished also makes a difference. Usually, wood fillers are supposed to be used on unfinished wood, but you can also find wood filler for hardwood that is suitable for use over varnish.
If you're planning to paint, varnish, or stain your floors at a later date, make sure that the filler you choose is compatible with these products. Ideally, your filler should also be sandable so that you can get rid of any excess filler in the form of staining, lumps, or bumps.
Many manufacturers produce wood filler formulas in different colors, which are often conveniently named after types of wood. For example, if you know that your hardwood floors are specifically made out of red oak or white oak, you should be able to find a wood floor filler in a matching color.
However, when a filler actually dries on your wood floors, it may come out a slightly different color. In this case, you might have to paint over the area to minimize the color contrast, which is why it's worth investing in a paint-friendly filler formula.
You can buy hardwood floor filler in containers of various sizes, ranging from one ounce to a gallon.
Be aware that it's not uncommon for hardwood floor filler products to dry out when left on the shelf for a while. Therefore, we recommend only buying what you need and using it as soon as you can to ensure the highest quality results and the easiest application process.
Frequently Asked Questions
How should I apply wood filler to hardwood floors?
The exact steps you'll need to follow when applying your wood filler to your hardwood floor will differ depending on the specific formula that you use. However, certain steps are fairly universal for all hardwood floor filler types.
First, prepare your filler. This might involve mixing the filler and hardening cream together if you're using a 2-part product.
Next, assuming that the damage you're attempting to repair is minor, apply a small amount of filler to your finger or a small applicator and fill the gauge, gap, or hole. Then you'll need to scrape away any excess filler using a putty knife.
Leave the product to dry for the length of time specified by the manufacturer. If several layers are required, apply another layer and wait for it to dry again. Continue for as many layers as you need.
Once your final layer has dried, it's time to finish the job with some sandpaper. Between 180 and 220 grit is best.
What kinds of damage is wood filler used for?
Wood filler can be used to fix low-level damage to wooden floors and pieces of wooden furniture. For example, in the absence of a furniture repair kit, you could use the same hardwood floor filler on your dining room table, assuming that the product is compatible with both types of wood.
Hardwood flooring can sustain gauge damage , which is one of the main reasons homeowners use wood filler. Small gaps between floorboards or minor cracks can also be fixed using wood filler.
However, wood filler alone will not be enough to properly repair significant damage. If you have big holes or gaps in your hardwood flooring, other repair methods (such as using rope) may be more appropriate.
Should I use wood filler or wood putty?
Generally speaking, wood putty is the better repair option for wooden floors that have already been varnished or otherwise finished, while wood filler is the best choice for unfinished wood.
With that being said, you can find wooden floor finish that works over varnish, lacquer, and stains. Wood putty is also considered to work better outdoors as it's more wear-resistant.
It's also more affordable on average. If you're specifically looking to repair unfinished hardwood flooring inside your home, though, wood filler is the way to go.
Hopefully, you have already found your perfect hardwood floor filler in our list of reviewed products. If not, the information in our buyer's guide should help you to make a good choice.
Remember to determine the suitability of a hardwood floor filler product in terms of surface compatibility, (non) toxicity, intended use, color, durability, quantity, and ease of application before you commit to one product.
If you consider all the relevant factors, you should be able to complete some professional-looking repairs.
In some cases, however, if your wooden floors are very severely damaged or already finished, you may want to look into different repair products or procedures.