What is the Best Wood Filler for Hardwood Floors? (2024)

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Scratches and nail holes are unavoidable when it comes to hardwood floors, so it’s only apt to choose a durable wood filler. If you apply the wrong filler, you expose your flooring to further damage and moisture. 

In this article, I will share my picks for the best wood fillers for hardwood floors and provide a comprehensive guide to help you make an informed decision.

Premium Option
Abatron ‎WE2QKR
Editor’s Choice
Minwax 42853000
Budget Option
Coconix 8541814788
Abatron ‎WE2QKR
Minwax 42853000
Coconix 8541814788
• For large tasks
• Ideal for rotting wood
• Heavy-duty
• Easy to use
• Durable
• Flexible gap filler
• Stainable wood fillers
• Weather-resistance
• 10 base colors
• Affordable
• Color wheel included
• Easy instructions
Premium Option
Abatron ‎WE2QKR
Abatron ‎WE2QKR
• For large tasks
• Ideal for rotting wood
• Heavy-duty
• Easy to use
Editor’s Choice
Minwax 42853000
Minwax 42853000
• Durable
• Flexible gap filler
• Stainable wood fillers
• Weather-resistance
Budget Option
Coconix 8541814788
Coconix 8541814788
• 10 base colors
• Affordable
• Color wheel included
• Easy instructions

Reviews of the Top Wood Fillers for Hardwood Floors

1. Minwax 42853000 Stainable Wood Filler

The Minwax 4285300 Stainable Wood Filler is a two-component product that can be used to fix rotten or decayed wood. Since it’s constructed from wood fibers, the finished product looks like stained wood and can be painted, sanded, and stained like regular wood once it’s dry.

I’ve used it for patching up places where wood decayed or where I installed a new door frame, and it fills those holes like a charm. The ease with which you can fill in floor gaps with this pliable wood filler will astound you.

Plus, the texture is a bit smoother than your standard wood putty, so you can actually mold it by hand if you don’t want to go hunting for a putty knife.

What I Like

What I Don't Like

2. Abatron WoodEpox Kit

Now, if you’ve got some serious structural issues with your hardwood floors—like large cracks or significant decay—I’d steer you toward the Abatron WoodExpox Kit.

This WoodEpox resin is a high-strength adhesive that can bond to wood, concrete, and other porous surfaces and is resistant to water, chemicals, and UV rays. The hardener is a catalyst that, when mixed with the resin, triggers a chemical reaction that causes the epoxy to harden and cure.

I found it quite easy to apply and it doesn’t sag, which is always a win in my book. The bond it forms with the existing wood is something to write home about—strong and long-lasting. It retains its original shape and size and never breaks or chips. It has a fantastic twenty-minute operational time.

What I Like

What I Don't Like

3. COCONIX Wood Restore PRO

Coconix floor and furniture repair kit is an easy-to-use filler for repairing holes, cracks, chips, knot covers, and even screws. It’s also great for erasing scratches and touching up blemishes on floors. 

Here’s what I love about it: it’s not laden with glue, wood flour cement, or any of that other stuff you might find in standard wood repair products. Also, it does a fantastic job of fixing maple, oak, mahogany, light, painted, natural surfaces, and various other surfaces. I’ve used it on everything from decks, colored shelves, molded surfaces, baseboards, edging, laminate, and tables.

The Coconix Wood Restore Pro package’s instructions are straightforward and will help even novices achieve professional results.

What I Like

What I Don't Like

4. Timbermate Wood Filler

The Timbermate Wood Filler is unlike any other wood putty or grain filler for hardwood floors on the market because it is water-based, dries quickly, and takes stains exceptionally well. It can be stored and used for future woodwork repairs.

The stain’s exceptional ease of use makes it an ideal choice even for individuals with limited experience. Cleaning this stain is a breeze, as it only requires a simple mixture of soap and water. 

Moreover, it exhibits a strong bonding capability with wood, ensuring a secure and long-lasting adhesion without the risk of drying out or fracturing.

Also, the quality of its consistency is superb. Because it is grain-free and adaptable, it works great for patching damaged hardwood floors and plywood, filling nail holes, and repairing cracks. It’s been a go-to of mine for various woodwork repairs, and I couldn’t be happier with it.

What I Like

What I Don't Like

5. Elmer's E855 Carpenter's Wood Filler

So, you’ve got some holes or gouges in your hardwood floors or maybe even your furniture. No biggie. I’ve been using Elmer’s Carpenter’s Wood Filler (E855) for years for little imperfections like these. It is a water-based filler that can be sanded, stained, painted, or drilled once it has dried, making it a versatile option for a wide range of woodworking projects.

This pre-mixed filler comes in a tube and is easy to apply using a putty knife or similar tool. It has a creamy texture that allows it to be spread evenly and smoothly over the damaged area. 

One of the advantages of Elmer’s Carpenter Wood Filler E855 is that it is easy to clean up with soap and water.

What I Like

What I Don't Like

6. DAP 00585 Latex

The DAP 00585, a solvent-based wood filler, is a versatile wood filler used to repair and restore surfaces. 

It is suitable for indoor and outdoor applications and can be used on various wood surfaces, including furniture, doors, windows, trim, and siding. It can also fill gaps, cracks, and holes in wood surfaces.

This latex-based wood floor filler dries to a smooth, paintable finish and is accessible to sand and shape. It comes in a squeeze tube for easy application and is ready to use straight out of the tube. You can clean it with water, making it a convenient and easy-to-use product.

What I Like

What I Don't Like

7. FamoWood 40022126 Latex Wood Filler

If you’re looking for latex-based fillers, the FamoWood 40022126 is among the best options for both indoor and outdoor use. What I love the most is how quickly it dries—about fifteen minutes flat. So, if you’re eager to finish up a project, this filler’s your guy.

It doesn’t contain harmful solvents, and it comes in different colors. The wood floors can be stained or painted to blend in with the rest of your room. You can use it on any sort of wood, and it’s equally as paintable as real wood.

It’s the best wood filler for hardwood floors when it comes to filling large gaps or replacing large chunks of missing wood. Apply this in thin layers and let it dry in between coats.

What I Like

What I Don't Like

Wood Fillers for Hardwood Floors Buyer’s Guide

Color

Unlike a traditional wood filler, there is a wide range of colored wood fillers to choose from. Choose the best wood filler that is the same color or can be stained to match the adjoining wood. 

If you want it to go unnoticed, don’t buy a color that stands out a little if you want it to go unnoticed.

Stainability

The stainability of a wood filler is the most crucial factor to consider when fixing hardwood floors.

You can choose the best wood filler that is already the color of your floors or a stainable wood filler that can be painted or stained to resemble the existing wood grain.

However, the most effective wood filler will look just like the rest of your floors.

Gypsum-Based

Wood fillers made from gypsum [1] can be stained to match the surrounding flooring or wall. Gypsum dust is the main ingredient in this filler, and it should be mixed with water to make a paste.

But let me tell you, once this stuff dries, you can’t reshape it. It becomes as hard as rock.

A gypsum-based filler may not be suitable for use in damp environments due to its susceptibility to decay when exposed to water.

Epoxy-Based

Epoxy wood floor fillers are among the most long-lasting and flexible, so you can use them indoors or out. Combine the two components as the manufacturer directs for the best filler consistency and adhesion.

You can apply the wood epoxy to the damaged area once correctly mixed.

The best epoxy-based wood fillers are ideal for outdoor applications due to their flexibility in responding to changes in temperature.

Latex-Based

When I needed a filler for some outdoor furniture and didn’t want to do a lot of prep work, I turned to latex-based fillers. They’re water-resistant and dry in about an hour.

Filling holes, repairing gouges, restoring rotten wood, and mending outdoor furniture are all easy tasks that can be made more accessible with a latex wood floor filler.

Type of Wood Filler

Cellulose-based wood fillers, gypsum-based, and wood fibers are examples of water-based fillers. They smell somewhat and are easily damaged by water, making them perfect for indoor use. 

They dry rapidly, and a soapy solution is needed to clean them. Yet, the vinyl and epoxy compound used in solvent-based fillers makes it a superior choice. They have stronger scents. 

However, they adhere securely and can also withstand the elements, so they’re great for outdoor tasks. It may take some time for them to cure and set, and they can be challenging to clean up after.

Time to Dry and Cure

The drying and curing time of wood fillers for hardwood floors can vary depending on several factors, including the type of filler used, the depth and width of the repair, and the environmental conditions. 

The curing time refers to the time it takes for the filler to cure and harden fully. This time can vary depending on the type of filler and the environmental conditions.

In my experience, it’s generally a good idea to let the filler dry and cure for at least 24 hours before you think about sanding or staining it. Trust me, you’ll want to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines closely for this. It really does make a difference in the end result.

Durability

Let’s talk about durability because it’s a big deal, especially for hardwood floors that see a lot of foot traffic. I learned the hard way that not all wood fillers are built to last. Some can start cracking or peeling up over time, and that’s not what you want.

You want to seek natural wood look in wood floor fillers if you care about strength and durability. This will fortify it and lengthen its useful life.

I’ve also had good luck with oil-based fillers, especially those that are epoxy-based, for areas that really need to stand the test of time.

Indoor vs. Outdoor Use

The best wood filler you choose depends on the task at hand. For indoor projects, I usually lean towards either a filler that’s good for both indoor and outdoor use or one that’s water-based and ready to apply with a trowel. Indoor fillers are often easier to work with, and if you’re anything like me, you’ll appreciate the convenience.

Now, if you’re tackling an outdoor project, you’ll need a grain filler that’s specifically designed for exterior use to increase the longevity of your wooden floor. Remember that filler for outdoor projects must be resistant to elements like ultraviolet radiation, rain, snow, etc.

Steps to Fill Cracks and Gaps in Your Hardwood Flooring

Step #1: Mix Your Filler

If you’re using an epoxy-based wood filler for hardwood floors, mix it up first. The furniture repair kit can be combined with a putty knife. You can ignore this step if your filler is water-based.

Step #2: Spread it on the Surface

Spread the wood filler throughout the damaged area of your floor. Wood putty can be easily applied into the gap or crack with just your finger.

A putty knife can spread wood floor filler evenly on a hardwood floor. Depending on the size of the hole or crack, the filler can be pressed down with a finger.

Once the filler has been put in, remove the excess filler. 

Step #3: Allow it to Dry

It’s essential to wait until the wood floor filler is completely dry before walking on it. The drying time of wood filler is dependent on several elements, most notably the wood filler itself.

It takes a few hours for the water-based wood filler to cure entirely. An oil-based filler may take more than 24 hours for an oil-based filler to dry completely.

Step #4: Start Sanding

After the wood filler dries, you can smooth it out so it blends in with the furnishings. Be careful not to sand too aggressively, or the wood grain on your flooring could be damaged. You should aim for a finish that is as smooth as the surrounding wood.

Is Wood Putty or Wood Filler Better for Hardwood Floors? + Key Differences

Both wood filler and wood putty can be helpful in repairing and restoring wooden surfaces, but the choice between them depends on the project’s specific needs.

Wood filler is my go-to for larger issues like holes or gaps caused by rot or insect damage. I find that it fills those areas effectively and stands up to wear and tear over time.

On the flip side, wood putty has a special place in my toolkit too. Unlike wood filler, it’s usually a blend of sawdust and some sort of binder. The natural look it provides blends seamlessly with the surrounding wood, making it perfect for fixing minor nicks, dents, or scratches.

If you’re repairing larger areas of damage, you need the best wood fillers for hardwood floors, while for more minor repairs, wood putty is more suitable.

Wood PuttyWood Filler
Indoor and Outdoor useIndoor use
Stays workableHardens when dry
Oil-based or solvent-basedWater-based
Best for finished woodSuitable for unfinished wood

FAQ

Can I walk on wood filler?

Wood filler can be walked on, but it’s essential to remember that it may be weaker than the surrounding wood. While it can help fill in gaps or holes and make a surface smoother, it’s not intended to replace or reinforce the structural integrity of the wood floors.

What else can I use to fill holes in hardwood flooring?

To fill holes in hardwood flooring, use colored wax, wood plugs, and a mixture of sawdust and glue. It’s important to note that while these solutions can work well for small to medium-sized holes, they may not be suitable for larger holes or extensive damage to the wood floors. 

Can poly fill cracks on flooring?

Polyurethane is not typically used to fill damages in the flooring. While polyurethane can be used as a finish for hardwood floors, it is not recommended for repairing or filling gaps. 

Consider using the best wood filler or wood putty to fill nail holes or fill gaps in hardwood flooring. 

How can I make my own wood filler for hardwood flooring?

To make your wood filler for hardwood flooring, you can mix fine sawdust from the same type of wood as your hardwood floor with wood glue or wood flour cement in a 2:1 ratio. Mix them until they form a thick paste, then apply it to the cracks.

My Top Pick For a Wood Filler for Hardwood Floors:
Minwax 42853000 Stainable Wood Filler

After a series of tests, I’ve landed on the Minwax Stainable Wood Filler 4285300 as the best wood filler for hardwood floors. It is specially formulated to be stainable and can be tinted to match the color of the hardwood floor. 

You can use it both indoors and outdoors, it dries quickly, and it is a favorite of DIYers and professionals for its ease of use and ability to blend seamlessly with other furnishings.

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Robert Johnson is a passionate furniture maker & carpenter, sought after for his knowledge on the craft.
You’ve probably seen his down-to-earth wisdom in USA Today, Bobvila, Family Handyman, and The Spruce, where he has shared commentary and guidance on various woodworking topics.

Robert is the brain behind Sawinery, where he aims to share tips, tricks, and a passion for all things carpentry.

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