Close-up of wood floor scratches.Wood flooring can add a natural touch to any home. Whether it’s new, refinished or even engineered hardwood, we all want to keep our floors looking new as long as possible. Even with our best efforts, scratches can still happen due to furniture, pets, children and dirt, amongst other factors. But, with a maintenance routine and a little TLC, we can help prevent scratches on wood flooring.

Leave Your Shoes at the Door

Shoes can damage your hardwood floors. Rocks and dirt trapped in soles can cause wear and tear, scratches and even divots on wood floors. High heeled shoes can cause even more damage as they do not evenly distribute weight. Leave slippers at the front door for use in the house if you want something on your feet.

Protect Your Floors From Furniture

Glides and fabric pads, which are placed on the bottom of your furniture’s legs, are great ways to protect your hardwood floors from surface scratches. Choose the pad according to how often the furniture is moved. Avoid plastic wheeled furniture as they can easily scratch hardwood. There are different types of chair glides, each offering different levels of cost and protection.

  • Self-adhesive pads. These are peel and stick pads that can easily be found at most stores. They are typically made of felt or rubber, are inexpensive, and have a shorter life expectancy.
  • Nail-on pads. These types of pads are very secure since they are nailed onto the furniture leg.
  • Slip-on pads. These pads slip over a chair leg and are often made of rubber or plastic. These won’t fall off over time like a self-adhesive pad will.

While chair glides and furniture pads can be purchased nearly anywhere, other options are available if you want to make your own. Here are some DIY solutions:

  • Old Carpet. Old scraps of carpet can be cut and glued on furniture legs. Make sure these pads are placed with the carpet-side on the floor.
  • Felt Pads. While felt furniture pads can be purchased, any thick felt will do nicely. Simply cut the felt and glue it onto the furniture legs.
  • Velcro. If you have industrial grade Velcro, you can use the soft side of the Velcro as a furniture pad.
  • Towels. Old towels can be cut into pads, but make sure they are of sufficient thickness.
  • Leather. Leather is another soft and sturdy material that can be made into a long-lasting furniture pad.

Use Rugs to Protect High Traffic Areas

Rugs are a great way to protect your floors while offering a bit of personal style. Use a rug wherever your floors get the most traffic, such as doorways. Be sure to use rugs inside and outside main entrances to prevent as much debris as possible from getting on your floors. Avoid rugs with rubber backing since they can lock in moisture and damage hardwood floors.

Keep Your Dog’s Nails Trimmed

While dogs’ nails can be a source for scratches on hardwood floors, you don’t have to choose between having a scratch-free floor and having a dog. Make sure pet nails are properly maintained on a regular basis.

Clean the Outside of Your Home

Surface scratches on hardwood floors can be caused by dirt particles that find their way into the home. The dirt can get tracked in by guests, pets, or even a strong breeze when the door is open. Be sure to pay special attention to high traffic areas such as garages and patios.

Follow a Floor Cleaning Schedule

Regularly cleaning your floors will further help to prevent damage. Here’s a schedule you can follow for keeping your floors in tip top shape:

  • Daily – Sweep
  • Weekly – Vacuum/Mop
  • Monthly – Polish
  • Yearly – Deep Clean

With preventive maintenance, you can prevent scratches and keep your hardwood floors looking like new longer.

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