Holes in Hardwood Floors? There’s a Solution for That

By Cezar

Hardwood is a fantastic flooring material, offering you durability, longevity and classic, versatile good looks. While a hardwood floor is durable, it’s certainly not immune to damage or wear and tear. However, one of hardwood’s advantages is that there are a variety of ways to restore its good looks once it has taken a hit.

Holes in hardwood are one form of damage that can really give homeowners a scare! The good news is that there are usually a variety of solutions to restore the appearance of your floor.

Top Causes Of Holes

Holes in your hardwood floor can come in all shapes and sizes. Here are the most common types of holes and their causes:

  • Pin Holes

Usually called pin holes, these blemishes do not actually penetrate down to the surface of the wood. Actually, they are artifacts of a finish that was not properly applied, or had the wrong temperature or humidity conditions as it was drying. These are not true holes in the wood.

  • Emergence Holes

Emergence holes are made when small insects or their larvae emerge from your wood. They are usually also quite small. As insects almost never lay their eggs on finished wood, if you see these holes in your finished floor it usually means that the eggs were laid prior to installation. Nevertheless, it’s a good idea to have a pest control expert assess the situation before fixing the cosmetic damage.

  • Gouges and Dents

The most obvious kind of blemish, gouges and dents can occur for any number of reasons. Pet claws, dropped items, stilettos, and moving furniture improperly are all common causes of these unsightly pits and holes.

How To Fix Holes In Hardwood Flooring?

There are a variety of ways to fix holes in your hardwood flooring, depending on the type and size of the hole.

Pin holes are not true holes in the wood, but just issues with the finish. You’ll simply need to remove the current coating and refinish properly, taking care to follow directions for whatever product you use.

For the other types of holes, the wood tape can be a great choice to hide the blemish until you can fix it. When you’re ready to solve the problem, you can use one of the many products available. To varying degrees, they will fill the hole and match the look of the wood around them to blend in and avoid notice.

The different fillers have different properties, so let’s take a look at the options.

The Many Ways To Fix Holes In Hardwood

  • Wood Repair Pencil

This product is a good choice for small holes of all kinds. Available in a variety of colours, you’ll simply need to pick a pencil that closely replicates the particular look of your stain and wood.

  • Wood Putty

If the hole is too big to be filled with a wood repair pencil, wood putty is your next choice. This soft product can be moulded into holes and scrapes before you scrape away the excess. Like a wood repair pencil, you’ll need to select the correct shade of wood putty to closely match that of your particular floor.

  • Wood Filler

Lastly, larger or more noticeable holes will need to be dealt with using wood filler. This product will bond to the surface of your wood as it dries, and can be stained to closely replicate your floor’s colour. However, it is more complicated to use.

You’ll first need to remove the finish from the area of wood containing the hole, as it will prevent the filler from bonding properly. Then, apply the filler and allow it to dry – following the manufacturer’s directions. Lastly, sand down the filler until it’s even with the floor. Then you’ll need to stain and refinish the area. For a truly seamless look, it can be a good idea to call in a pro to do this.

You can also make a good homemade wood filler yourself out of leftover sawdust and wood glue. Just watch out, as it can dry more quickly than a store-bought product.


You might panic upon seeing a hole in your wood floor, but there’s really no need. Depending on the size and cause of your hole, just use the right product for the job and you’ll soon have your floor back to looking its best.