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How to Protect Hardwood Floors from Scratches

How to Prevent Scratches on Hardwood Floors – 9 Easy Ways to Protect Wood Floors from Scratches

Learn how to protect hardwood floors from scratches to help keep your flooring looking its best.

Did you install new hardwood floors? Move into a home with old hardwood floors? Your hardwood floor is beautiful and can leave your space feeling elegant but how you care for them is so important.

With the right moves to protect your hardwood floors, you can keep scratches at bay and keep them looking great.

Living room with wood flooring with text that says, "How to protect hardwood floors from scratches".

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Preventing Scratches on Hardwood Floors – Why It is Important!

When it comes to keeping your home looking nice and preventing costly repairs that take a lot of time and effort, prevention is your best option. Preventing your floors from being damaged by shoes, furniture, and high traffic is important to keeping your home in the best shape possible.

Old hardwood floors are back in style and if you are lucky enough to have them in your home, odds are you spend a long time or a lot of money repairing them to bring them back to their original shine.

If you have recently installed hardwood floors, you personally know the cost of wood has risen and those floors are a valuable investment. Protecting your investment is important for the resale value of your home.

You may also want to read this article on how to clean unfinished wood floors.

How to Protect Hardwood Floors from Scratches – 9 Simple Tips

While there is no 100% foolproof way to prevent all scratches on hardwood floors in rooms that are part of daily traffic, there are a few things you can do to reduce the damage that commonly happens as we go about our lives.

These simple ways to protect hardwood floors from scratches will help.

#1. Place Entry Mats at the Door

Placing door mats at the entrance of your door (outside and inside) will help you avoid bringing sand, pebbles, dirt, snow and other debris from the outside into your home, protecting your wood flooring from scratches and damage.

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#2. Take off Your Shoes

One thing you can do to help make it easier for you to protect your hardwood floors and every other floor in your home is to have everyone remove their shoes at the door.

This will protect your floors from things like rocks on the bottom of shoes, high heels, and even scuffs from dark soles. To make this easier for you and guests, place a chair or bench near the door so everyone can sit down for putting shoes back on easily.

#3. Rugs

Rugs are handy for protecting your hardwood floor from scratches. Place rugs in highly trafficked areas around your space. The entrance to your home should have a rug where people can take their shoes off.

Place rugs along highly trafficked walkways. These are areas in the room where everyone tends to walk as they move from room to room. This will greatly reduce the damage from constant use while protecting the floors from dragging bags and other moving objects as people move from one area to the next.

Place rugs under furniture that moves often. This includes things like your dining room table and desk chairs where you are more likely to see issues with the furniture dragging along the floor causing damage.

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#4. Furniture Pads

Taking the time to protect your hardwood floors from your furniture is one of the most important things you can do to protect your floors from scratches. Chairs, tables, and even sofa legs can be very damaging to your hardwood floors.

You can buy bulk packs of furniture pads and can install these on the bottom of furniture legs. These place a soft pad between the feet of your furniture and your wood floors.

#5. Don’t Use Chairs with Rollers

You may think that chairs with rollers are safe for hardwood floors since you can easily move them around. However, the truth is that these rollers can actually damage your wood floors, because constant rolling leaves tiny scratches on the wood flooring.

So, avoid chairs with rollers. If you must use them, I suggest you put mats under them to protect your floors. Or consider getting these Rollerblade chair wheels, which have smooth casters that are safe for hardwood floors.

#6. Wax Your Hardwood Floors

Someone waxing hardwood floor

Hardwood floors need a layer of protection to help keep them from becoming scratched and keep them shining. While you can get some amazing products to rejuvenate your wood floors, the most effective prevention method is good old floor wax.

Not only will waxing your floors protect them from scratches by allowing scratches to happen to the soft coat of wax rather than your wood, it also protects your floors from water damage from spills.

#7. Dust Mop Your Wood Floors Often

Dust mopping is a simple and easy way to clean your hardwood floors often to prevent crumbs and dirt from scratching your floors.

You can get disposable dust mops or a mop that uses microfiber cloths that can be washed for a more eco-friendly option that will save you money over time. Dust mops will get more small particles than a broom or hardwood floor-safe vacuum can do.

#8. Use a Vacuum that is Designed for Hardwood Floors

To avoid scratches or any damage to your floors, it is best to use a vacuum that is made for wood flooring like this Bissell Deluxe Canister Vacuum. This vacuum has non marking wheels that are safe to use on wood flooring.

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#9. Keep Pet’s Nails Trimmed

If you have pets in your home you want to keep their nails trimmed to protect your hardwood floors from scratches.

For cats, a quality scratching post can help maintain well-trimmed nails. For dogs, you can use a nail grinder or get a scratch pad to help keep your dog’s nails short and smooth to protect your wood floors from dog nails.

What to Do if You Get Scratches on Your Hardwood Floors

Sadly, some scratches are bound to happen eventually. If you properly cared for your floors and took the above steps to prevent scratches on your hardwood floors you can usually fix these light scratches easily.

How to Fix Mild Scratching on Your Wood Floors

Start by removing any floor wax. This will show just how deep the scratches are and allow you to deal with them at the wood surface rather than around the wax on the floor.

After removing the wax, clean your hardwood floor and fill in scratches with wood filler. You can get great wax crayons a wood finish stain marker designed for filling in scratches in wood. Choose one that is as close as possible to the color of your wood stain and fill in the scratch.

You can then simply re-wax your floors and enjoy your floors looking as good as new. When you remove wax from your floors you may need to refill these but this is a rare situation, making this the best option for a few small scratches.

How to Fix Heavy Scratching in Your Hardwood Floors

If your hardwood floors are very damaged with deep scratches, your best bet will be to strip them and sand them down to refinish.

The problem with this is that sanding your hardwood floors makes the slats thinner every time you do it. This will eventually reveal the nails used to hold them in place as well as make the slats thinner and more likely to break.

This is why it is so important to care for your hardwood floors and prevent the kind of scratches that require refinishing to fix.

Final Thoughts on How to Protect Hardwood Floors from Scratches

Protecting your floors from scratches not only helps to keep them looking their best, but it can also help prevent costly repairs that can take time and efforts. The good news is, there are simple things you can do to prevent these scratches.

Did you find the tips on how to protect hardwood floors from scratches? Leave your comment below.

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Brenda Viets

Monday 11th of July 2022

Hi. My name is Brenda Viets . There was a bag of molded potatoes that were left on my wood floor in my kitchen for a long time. There’s a huge black stain on my Dk Oak floors. How do l fix this ? Thanks for any help !

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