Hardwood flooring prevent scratches - Westchester NYMany 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.


Westchester hardwood flooring - Brazilian cherry - scratch prevention1. 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 chair that are moved frequently.


Hardwood flooring -  Westchester County NY4.  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.


5.  Clean regularly to get the dirt/grit upSwiffers or similar products are ideal.  (I will write a future post on cleaning 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.


Hardwood floors in kitchen Westchester NYI 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.
The Flooring Girl 914-937-2950

Map of Westchester County NY

View Westchester Flooring in a larger map

How to prevent scratches in your hardwood flooring – Westchester NY


My name is Debbie Gartner, and I'm known as "The Flooring Girl." I own my own flooring store called Floor Coverings International, and we serve Westchester NY and Fairfield CT counties.We install hardwood flooring, carpet, tile flooring, laminate, bamboo and cork flooring. We also refinish hardwood floors. We are a shop at home flooring store. You can call us at 914-937-2950 to schedule a free flooring consultation or email us at debbie@TheFlooringGirl.com. Let us "bring the store to your door."If you are calling outside of Westchester/Fairfield Counties, please contact us at 914-407-3899.

More Posts - Website

Follow Me:
TwitterFacebookLinkedInPinterestGoogle Plus

9 Response Comments

  • Ken R  March 27, 2012 at 6:34 pm

    Wow! Great article! I will make these suggestions to my customers who insist on bamboo floor installations. I have had many requests to refinish relatively new bamboo floors. Apparently although bamboo is harder than almost all hardwoods, it appears to be more susceptible to scratching. It is conventionally accepted that bamboo can not be refinished due to its fibrous structure. For this reason it is critical that customers who insist on bamboo be aware of these anti-scratch tips. Thanks!

    • TheFlooringGirl  March 31, 2012 at 2:12 am

      Ken – Thx so much. While bamboo is often harder than oak, it usually shows the scratches and dents more. And, Recently, I went to an apartment that has bamboo flooring. They had a minor water leak. It appears that the bamboo also seems to be more susceptible to water than oak and it seemed to spread out more than how I usually see it on oak.

  • Donna L  July 29, 2012 at 5:25 pm

    Hi debbie,
    I am so confused with buying an area rug for my hardwood floors. What type of rug should I look for that will not scratch the floors? We do not want to use a pad underneath…some rugs just feel very gritty and I know they will scratch..HELP!!
    thank you,

    • TheFlooringGirl  July 30, 2012 at 3:24 am

      Hi Donna. First, even though you don’t want to buy a carpet pad, I would highly recommend that you get one for the following reasons:
      1. It’s the best way to prevent scratches.
      2. It will prolong the life of your area rug
      3. It will help keep you area rug in place and prevent it from slipping.

      That is the best advice I can give you…and bear in mind the carpet pad does not need to be thick.

      If you want to go against all the manufacturer’s suggestions (both the carpet and hardwood manufacturers), then the next best bet is to get a carpet w/ soft back which scratches less. Shaw makes carpets like this. You will need to check the backs for the white backing. Not all of them have that. Please note that this will severely limit the type and color selection of your area rug and you will most likely need to do a solid or tone on tone.

      As I said above, I would rather see you get the area rug of your choice and just do a thin carpet pad underneath.

  • Kishore  June 24, 2013 at 8:01 pm

    Hi – Great article. Would you recommend a chair mat (such as those available in Office Depot etc) or an area rug for an office area in the house where rolling chairs are used? Do the chair mats stain the hardwood over time? Thanks!

    • TheFlooringGirl  June 27, 2013 at 6:23 pm

      Kishore – I think both can work. I would not think that mats stain the hardwood, but you do need to wait at least 30 days before putting them on top. I might also check w/ the manufacturer to make sure there isn’t an issue.


Leave A Comment

Please enter your name. Please enter an valid email address. Please enter a message.