Protecting hardwood flooring during the Thanksgiving Day holiday
Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday of the year. It’s all about family and spending some time together and makes us reflect on the year and how many wonderful things we have in our life to celebrate.
But, with extra foot traffic and activity, our hardwood floors can take a bit of a beating, especially if your guests are wearing high heeled shoes. So, I wanted to provide a few tips to help preserve your hardwood flooring and prevent scratches.
These tips will apply all year round, in addition to Thanksgiving and other holiday events. These tips will help reduce scratches, scrapes and dents.
Please note that this article may contain affiliate links. You can read my full disclosure at the bottom of the page.
1. Door mats for Thanksgiving
Yes, entry mats can do wonders for your floors as you guests can wipe their feet on the entry mats to remove excess dirt, pebbles and water (or even snow). All of these elements can wear down your floors. It’s best to have an entry mat both outside and inside the front door, as well as back door (or any other main entrances from the exterior such as the garage, etc.).
Entry mats should be washed and/or replaced every so often (so that they do their job and look presentable. And, if you’re looking for something fun and special for the holiday, check out these entry mats.
- The one above can be found on Amazon and it’s good quality (made of coir). Most of the other entry mats I’ve found on Amazon are low quality (if they are below $20 that’s a good sign that it won’t hold up outdoors.
- The below entry mats from Wayfair are also good quality. Just click on the pictures below to go directly to the product. Some of these are so cute.
Don’t forget to have an indoor mat as well. And, make sure that your indoor mats have some sort of carpet cushion or soft rubber underneath so that the mats don’t scratch the floors. Here’s a basic area rug pad you can buy on Amazon. For larger area rugs, I prefer the more cushiony type of padding such as this one, but on a small entry mat, this could be a bit of a slipping hazard, so I would go with the thinner and cheaper basic one.
You may need to cut the padding down to size. Also, sometimes people buy larger ones and cut them to fit multiple rugs. (Never place an area rug without some sort of area rug pad as the backing can scratch the floors. Plus, the padding help the rug last longer).
2. Have the family and your guests remove their shoes
Yes, I know this one is easier said than done. But, I’m here to tell you that shoes are often the worst culprit for damaging hardwood floors…and they often do more damage than our pets do. So, if you can have people remove their shoes on a regular basis, your floors will last much longer (perhaps an extra 2-3+ years?)…and of course your floors and house will be cleaner.
So here are some tips to help with this.
- First, make it easy for your guests to remove their shoes. Make sure you have a place for people to sit in the entryway so that they can comfortably remove their shoes. Often a comfortable and inviting bench will do the trick.
- Second, make sure there is a place for people to place their shoes. This could be a piece of furniture, or as simple as a plastic tray. (Hint: if you already have shoes there, it will make it more obvious for your guests to remove their shoes).
- Third, if you can, provide a comfortable foot solutions for your guests such as slippers.
3. If you have a dog, consider doggie socks for the occasion
This is something that I typically recommend to my customers right after they’ve refinished their hardwood floors. Why? Because your floors are most vulnerable during the first 30 days as it cures. You really should wait at least 2 weeks before your dogs walk on the floors…unless they wear doggie socks.
You may also want to consider getting some doggie socks for this special occasion as well (especially if the weather turns cooler). By the way, they also have doggie boots available to protect your furry friend’s paws from the snow and salt.
4. If you have hardwood in the kitchen, consider an extra area rug or runner to protect the floors
The kitchen is the heart of the home, and it especially gets a lot of traffic at Thanksgiving and the other holidays. Not only will your guests gather round the kitchen, but if you have a dog, you’ll probably find them in the kitchen near the food, too.
So consider placing an extra rug or runner there…even if it’s just for special occasions. You could even get one to match the holiday.
Also, if you haven’t already, get a cushiony rubber pad for underneath the sink area. These are often called anti-fatigue mats. This will help prevent water damage and will really comfort your feet, so you get less tired.
Items to avoid:
I know it’s tempting to try to do a short-term fix and add some polish or luster to your floors. But, I’d recommend avoiding this. Waxes or products that claim to restore the sheen or shine in your hardwood floors contain oils and waxes…and these temporarily make your floors look better. BUT, in the long term, they actually damage your floors by wearing down the polyurethane so that you need to refinish your floors sooner. Plus, you will need to keep reapplying these products (often weekly) to maintain the appearance, and that’s a lot of work (and of course more products to buy).
Recommended cleaning products (for Thanksgiving and every day use)
- Bissell vacuum for hardwood floors (read my review here…and most don’t realize that you need a different type of vacuum for hardwood vs carpet)
- Bona cleaner for hardwood floors
- Bona starter kit with microfiber mop and cleaner
- How to reduce scratches in hardwood floors
- How to protect your hardwood floors while you have a Christmas Tree
- What is the best vacuum cleaner for hardwood floors?
- What is a screen and recoat and how can it prolong the life of your hardwood floors?
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How to Protect your hardwood floors during Thanksgiving