Simple ways to protect your hardwood floors from scratches
Hardwood timber flooring has long been a classic home feature because of the sense of warmth and character it brings. Each type of hardwood brings its own elegance and uniqueness.
Hardwood is a timeless choice and when cared for properly can last a lifetime.
Although its inevitable hardwood floors will take extra effort in cleaning and protecting, they’re certainly worth the trouble. With any home though hardwood timber flooring is prone to accumulated wear and tear. Complete floor restorations can be expensive and you want to conserve your investment for as long as possible.
The potential for damage is high without the proper steps and precautions.
Initial steps when designing your home to prevent the inclusion of dust, dirt and other particles can help to reduce floor damage.
For instance a tiled mudroom or entrance area with built in benches for storing shoes will minimise the amount of unwanted particles spreading throughout your floor spaces.
Other factors are pets…
Dog claws will mark and scratch the floorboards easily. If your beloved family pet is indoors, make sure to regularly trim back its paws, and provide rugs or beds for them to lie on.
If you are one to care and protect your hardwood floors but not quite sure what to do, then these simple tasks broken down into 3 main categories can help you protect them for many years to come.
Protecting Your Timber Floors From Moisture
Common home cleaning practices involve running the mop over to pick up small amounts of grime.
For vinyl, tiles and other types of hard flooring this is a quick and easy method.
Unfortunately for hardwood flooring whilst it would be quick and easy also, the process will actually damage your hardwood floors.
Obviously during mopping, your using water which can seep into the hardwood fibres.
This in turn will eventually warp, twist and swell over time potentially damaging the floorboards permanently.
Other considerations for moisture control include design choices and placement of hardwood flooring.
High moisture areas including bathrooms, laundry’s and ensuite’s are not suitable for hardwood floors however it’s very popular to see kitchens and entry ways with this flooring.
Excess water from your sink, dishwasher and other appliances can seep into the floorboards.
Water can also track into the grains of the timber at entry ways from people entering with wet shoes.
Where hardwood flooring is used in kitchen or entryways, try to place down rubber mats or other moisture absorbing types.
Considering placing shoe racks at the entryways to reduce the spread of moisture when walking through your home.
Cleaning Hardwood Floors Without Damaging Them
As previously mentioned, never use wet mop to clean or scrub down the surface.
Where heavy grime exists, use dry cleaning methods followed by light mopping quickly followed by a drying off process with towels or other moisture absorbing materials.
Other methods of cleaning include:
- Rolling up rugs and area coverings before taking to outdoor areas to shake off and vacuum.
- Sweep high traffic areas regularly with a soft bristled broom followed by a electrostatic mop to pick up light dust particles.
Small dust particles, dirt and other types of debris can scratch, dent and mark wood floors when they’re stepped on.
- Vacuum the floor on a regular basis with a hardwood flooring specific vacuum cleaner.
There are typically two types of vacuum cleaner heads…types for carpet and types for hardwood floors.
Make sure to use the hardwood flooring attachment as its designed to be more gentler on wood floor boards.
- Try to avoid using cleaning agents or products.
Whilst there are many products claiming to be safe for hardwood floors, many of them can actually cause harm to the surface if used repeatedly.
The reason being they tend to eat at or strip away the top coating and turn the finish shine dull.
Seek professional help from our team at Freedom Flooring is your unsure what types of cleaning products are suitable for your hardwood floors.
Protect From Furniture
The source of your hardwood floor damage will mostly be contributed by furniture and daily use.
For instance furniture tends to be heavy and can move around on the floor boards. This leads to deep scratches and dents.
When moving furniture around, be sure to lift them completely up trying not to slide them. A tip here is to use towels or any other soft material under the furniture feet.
For large spaces such as dining and living room, consider using rugs or floor runners. They add character and style, segment the space from other rooms, whilst protecting your floors in high use areas.
When choosing rugs and floor coverings, consider natural rubber or felt underlined.
It’s highly recommended to place felt pads on the bottom of chairs, sofas, and tables to help eliminate scratches and scuff marks that can occur when furniture is being used.
Felt or natural rubber pads can be purchased in stick-on versions or tap-in style, and they’re an easy and inexpensive method to help protect your floors. For office spaces, also consider using rubber mats for computer chairs to sit on. Castor wheels can damage hardwood floors from the constant movements the wheels make.
So What Types Of Furniture Protection Is Available
A popular form of chair leg protection is the furniture pad. Put simply, these are pads made of different types of material that are put on the bottoms of your chair legs.
There are different types of furniture pads, each offering different levels of cost and protection.
These types of pads offer high levels of floor protections, as they’re very secure since they are attached to the furniture leg with either a small nail or staple.
Care should be used with the installation of tap-on/staple pads though, because if they’re not properly installed, the nail or staple may be exposed to harm your floor.
Perhaps the most common, these are peel and stick pads that can be found at any hardware store.
They are typically made of felt or rubber and are the least expensive.
The downside is they tend to peel of after some time as the adhesive bond is reduced.
DIY solutions can be used for this style. With the use of a hot glue gun, felt, carpet cut-offs, leather and other soft material can be attached.
Felt Pads – While felt furniture pads can be bought in store, any thick felt material will do the job. Cut the felt into the correct size and glue on.
Towels – Old towels can be cut into pads, making sure they are of appropriate thickness.
Leather – Leather is another soft, durable material that can be cut to size and made into a good furniture pad.
These rubber, or material pads are typically custom made to fit over a chair leg.
The most expensive option of the three, but the long term benefits are they wont have a problem of falling off like a self-adhesive pad or have the potential to scratch your floor like a poorly installed tap-on/staple pad.
Here are some DIY solutions for that can help if you have these materials lying around.
Regardless of which type of pad you buy or make, make sure that your furniture is level on the floor. If it’s not, it can scratch the finish or make gouges on your floors.
So that’s our guide to protecting your hardwood floors from damage.
These simple steps should go a long way in making sure your hardwood floors look pristine for many years to come.