Warning: this is a pretty bossy article about what to do and not to do when filling holes and gouges in hardwood flooring.

One crucial part of our hardwood refinishing processes at Valor is to find and repair holes and gouges in the wood after we sand. We fill everything we find down to the last nail hole. Only then can we stain your floor and apply final top coats to protect your investment.

When we fill these blemishes, the size and number of them come into account to decide which rout of action to take.

  1. First, we try to fill holes and gouges with actual WOOD. This keeps the fill from sinking in, and has the organic capacity to shrink and swell with the wood around it as temperatures change over the year.
  2. Sometimes, the hole is so small that we actually drill it out to a perfectly-rounded circle to fill it with a wood plug of the same species as your flooring.
  3. Wood filler is also a necessary evil for some holes and gouges. I say “evil” because no filler will have the same texture as wood. It will blend in and look nice, but it won’t ever be permanent or give the same grained look desired at close-up examination.


Wood filler does take on the color of the stain or finish you use, which is why it’s part of our hole and gouge correction process. Large areas are always filled with woods or even replaced boards, where necessary.

No matter what, gouges and holes in your hardwood floor must be fixed because stains and top coats are all designed to seep into every nook. No number of coats will hide a blemish.

Not sure whether a hole in your flooring requires a filler or a new board? Call me personally with questions.