Many of my customers in Westchester County ask me how to prevent scratching in hardwood flooring, so I thought I would provide some tips.
First, let me caveat this by saying that ALL hardwood scratches. It’s just a matter of time. Anyone that tells you the hardwood won’t scratch isn’t telling the truth.
Here are some tips to MINIMIZE the scratches and prolong the life of your hardwood. By far, the #1 culprit of scratches is dirt/grit, so do whatever you can to minimize this.
1. Take off your shoes! It is amazing how large an impact this can have on your floor. I just went to a repeat customer’s home…a rental. We installed the hardwood over 2 yrs ago and it looks like the job was done yesterday. That is the impact that removing your shoes has…even with renters! To make life simpler, add a plastic or rubber bin by the door to make it convenient for you and your guests. Maybe even add a bench near the door.
2. Add entry mats at the door. Water (and snow/salt) are the worst culprits and the areas by the door tend to wear down the fastest because of this. Get entrance mats – one for outside and one for inside the door. (and if you have an overhang above the front door that also helps).
3. Add felt pads to the furniture, and get extras. The Felt Pads can make a big difference and they are especially important for chairs that move the most. Most people do not move the heavier items such as couches that often. I advise my customers to buy extra felt pads as they tend to fall off often especially on chairs that are moved frequently. You can buy the felt pads on Amazon through this link: Felt Pads.
4. Avoid chairs with rollers. These really scratch up floors as dirt and grit tends to get caught in them. Either avoid them, or get mats for under these areas as they will destroy your hardwood floors. If you must use rollers, consider buying these Office Chair Caster Wheels – Ideal for Hardwood Floors on Amazon as they are better for hardwood floors.
6. Consider area rugs for areas where chairs are moved often. These can be especially handy for dining rooms or other areas where chairs are frequently moved. Area rugs will also reduce the noise. Also, you can use a plastic mat under rolling chairs (check out this one on Amazon: Clear office chair mat for Hardwood Floors).
And, for kitchens, consider this anti-fatigue mat as it serves 2 purposes: 1) makes it easier on your feet, 2) prevents splashing water getting on the floor. Anti Fatigue Mat, for Standup Desks, Kitchens, and Garages – Designed to Relieve Foot, Knee, and Back Pain
I get a lot of questions about pets and hardwood. Generally, most cats do not cause issues with their claws (although sometimes kitty litter can scratch up the floor so be careful to clean that up). There seems to be more issues with dogs claws and for sure trimming nails will usually help. I’ve also read somewhere that there are some sort of doggie nail covers, but most pet lovers would prefer to leave the pets alone. You can read more here on types of hardwood flooring that are best for pets.
Does adding an extra coat of polyurethane help prevent scratches? Well this depends. If your hardwood is prefinished, then, no this will actually make your floor more susceptible to scratches (as it will sand off some of the aluminum oxide) and it will void your manufacturer warranty. If however, you have hardwood that has been finished on site (i.e. it was sanded in the home), then, an extra coat can help reduce scratching.
If you live in Westchester County NY/Fairfield County CT, and you would like advice on refinishing your floors, please give The Flooring Girl a call at 914-937-2950.
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Disclosure: Please note that some of the above links are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, I will earn a small commission, if you decide to purchase them. Please note that these are products I know/use and recommend to my customers. I recommend them as they are good products. I am in the flooring business to help my customers and that is how I earn my living, not by the small commissions earned on these products.