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Can You Fix The Gap Between Floor And Wall? (How To)

When you own a home, you can expect some problems to occur from time to time. One of those issues is a gap that can form between the floor and the wall. Is it possible to fix the gap?

The easiest way to fix a small gap that forms between the floor and the wall is to use caulking. Latex caulk is used in most areas of the home because it is pliable and paintable. Otherwise, you can use silicone caulking in the bathroom or other areas of the home where water is possible.

Modern wooden floor and wall

Fortunately, gaps are not always as big of a problem as many homeowners make them out to be. That doesn’t mean that an issue doesn’t exist, so recognizing the difference is an important factor to consider.

Can You Fix The Gap Between Floor And Wall? (How To)

As you will learn in this article, some gaps can appear between the floor and the wall because of common shrinkage and expansion. These issues happen all of the time and many materials used to build a home are subject to those problems.

The real issue is, are there other problems that are occurring along with the gap appearing between the floor and the wall? If you see cracks in the walls, ceilings, or elsewhere appearing, then you may have an issue that needs to be looked into more carefully.

Generally speaking, you can expect a house to settle. It’s not something to worry about but if other problems begin to appear, then some concern is certainly in order.

Why You Should Fix The Gap Between Floor And Wall

Modern wooden floor and wall

When a gap occurs between the floor and the wall, it is more than just a cosmetic problem. It can sometimes be fixed easily but why should you fix it in the first place?

In some cases, the gap that exists between the floor and the wall is a sign that something is going on under the surface. As a homeowner, you are rightfully concerned about these things because additional damage may be happening in the home. What are some of the things that can occur if you don’t take appropriate action?

1. Mold – When the floor and the wall separate, it opens an area where moisture can get in. Since you are unable to clean this area, mold growth can be a problem.

2. Energy Bills – Undoubtedly, the gap between the floor and the wall is going to cause some loss of air or perhaps an exchange of air from inside to outside. This is going to show up in your energy bill.

3. Collapsing Floors – Although not every gap between the floor and the wall is a sign that the floor is collapsing, you should pay attention to it. If the gap continues to grow, look for the possibility that the floor could be unstable.

4. Ceiling Collapsing – We tend to pay attention to what is happening in the direct area where the issue appears. This is typically low where the gap is appearing between the floor and the wall. You need to look above, however, at the possibility that the ceiling could be collapsing as well. Something similar is also true on the lower floor.

5. Pests – Since a small gap is appearing between the floor and the wall, it gives pests an opportunity to invade the home. If they are in the home, it also gives them additional areas to hide. Otherwise, it can make your home an inviting place to stay for those unwanted guests.

6. Leaks – One other potential problem is for a leak to occur. It is not just the floor and the wall that are separating, there may be other issues occurring behind the scenes with the water and sewer in the home that could lead to leaks.

What Is Causing The Gap Between Floor And Wall

Confused woman standing

We are now stepping into some territory that often is stressful to homeowners. What is actually causing the gap to appear between the floor and the wall? Here are a few possibilities:

1. Lack of Support – If you have a basement or crawl space, you may not have the support that is necessary to keep the floor from sagging. As the support weakens over time, it can cause those gaps to form.

2. Rot and Damage – The floor joists are what hold the floor in place both horizontally and vertically. If the floor joists are damaged or rotting, then they are not going to support the floor as they once did. The walls will stay in place but the gap will appear because the floor is shifting.

3. Bowing – Sometimes, the walls may be to blame. We might have a problem with the walls bowing and separating from the floor, rather than having the floor separating from the wall.

4. Foundation – Among the most serious issues that can occur when a gap appears between the floor and the wall is for the foundation to either be sinking or damaged. Some settling is not out of the question but when the damage is severe, it can result in problems that are far more serious. The gap between the floor and the wall is often the first sign.

How To Prevent Gaps From Forming Between Floor And Wall

Confused woman standing

If you don’t yet have a gap between the floor and the wall, it may be possible to prevent it from happening. If you do have the gap, you can prevent it from getting larger. Here are some ways to do it.

1. Additional Support – If you inspect the floor joists and notice they are either rotted or damaged, you can add additional support. The old floor joists may cause the floor to move but when you have new floor joists in place, they will work along with the old to provide the additional support that is necessary.

2. Foundation Repair – if you have an issue with the foundation, it may need to be repaired. Sometimes, it is a problem with water in the area, and it may require that you dig down and install a French drain to redirect the water. One thing is certain; if the foundation is compromised, you need to get some help quickly to get it back on track again.

3. Pest Control – All too often, it is pests that are causing the wall and floor to separate. This is especially true of termites, which eat through the structure of the home and cause it to shift. Unfortunately, we don’t often know that we have termites until these signs appear.

That is why some regular pest control is a great way to correct the issue before it gets out of hand. If you already have termites and notice the signs, then a local exterminator can help to get it under control.

3 Ideas To Fix The Gap Between Floor And Wall

Confused woman standing

1. How To Fix The Gap Between Floor and Wall (Caulking)

The most common way to fix a gap between the floor and the wall is to use caulking. This is not a structural fix but it is one that can fix a common issue that occurs as a result of shrinking and expanding.

If you have a gap between the floor and the wall in the bathroom or shower, you should use silicone caulk. It will hide the gap and form a waterproof seal. Otherwise, use latex caulk because it is easier to work with and is paintable.

The real key to using caulking for hiding the gap between a floor and wall is to use the appropriate amount. You don’t want to use so much that you have a large area of caulking visible. It should be minimal.

Copyright protected content owner: ReadyToDIY.com and was initially posted on September 20, 2022.

After applying a small bead of caulking, you can wipe it down with a damp cloth. The goal is to have the caulking breach the gap but not extend out onto either the floor or the wall in the open area.

2. How To Fix The Gap Between Floor and Wall (Baseboard)

Another way to correct the issue between the floor and the wall is to hide the gap with some baseboard. This can be a problem, especially if the gap is under the baseboard.

It may seem like a simple thing to remove the baseboard and reinstall it closer to the floor. The problem is, that you will then have to do some painting because you will have a noticeable gap between the paint on the wall and the top of the baseboard.

If the floor has settled unevenly, you may need to scribe the bottom of the baseboard and cut it using a saber saw. Otherwise, you can simply install the baseboard and then use a small bead of caulking to cover any additional gap.

One other option is the use of quarter-round. It can be installed directly on the baseboard and will hide the gap underneath it. Not every homeowner likes the look of quarter-round but it is an easy fix.

Copyright article owner is ReadyToDiy.com for this article. This post was first published on September 20, 2022.

3. How To Fix The Gap Between Floor and Wall (Repair the Foundation)

Finally, if the gap between the floor and the wall is due to the foundation having any type of problem, you need to get it repaired. After all, the small gap you are seeing now can grow very quickly and other problems will not be very far behind.

Some foundation repairs can be done by the homeowner but for the most part, this is going to require that you hire a contractor to do the job for you.

It is possible to fix a gap between the floor and the wall and the easiest way to do so is to use a thin bead of caulking. Make sure that you remove any caulking that is already in the area and only use it to fill the gap, being careful not to get it on the floor or the wall in the process.

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ReadyToDIY is the owner of this article. This post was published on September 20, 2022.

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