If builders installed your flooring hardwood style, you may be looking at ways to keep your nice wooden floors from being scratched. A variety of common tips and guidelines can help keep hardwood floors looking good in homes.
1. Rugs and Carpeting
One of the best ways to protect your hardwood floors is with additional floor coverings. Any kind of rug or carpet will keep the underlying hardwood looking good, barring any stains that seep through the coverings. Your rug doesn’t have to be a masterpiece—any kind of covering will do. Think about adding area rugs to protect your investment in hardwood floors.
2. Institute a “No Shoes” Policy
Both homeowners and renters do this for various reasons, including sanitary concerns, but one of the side benefits of not allowing shoes in a home is that it helps to protect hardwood floors. Small rocks or other objects can get stuck in the tread of a shoe and seriously damage flooring. Keeping shoes off of a floor lengthens its life and keeps it in better looking condition.
3. Use Furniture Tabs for Permanent Pieces
Putting small felt tabs or other items on the legs of your furniture will help keep your hardwood floors looking good. When you have to move furniture, even if it’s only a few inches, scratching can result. With furniture tabs, there is no chance of messing up your floors when you have to shift around your tables and chairs.
4. Get Furniture Rollers and Pads for Moving
A move is another time when hardwood floors can get scratched. Use appropriate pads for moving furniture in and out of the house.
5. Blunt Your Pet’s Paws
Another very common way for hardwood floors to get scratched is when active pets dig into the hard wood surfaces. You can avoid this by keeping your pet’s paws well clipped or limiting their access to hardwood flooring areas. There are also “fake nails” for dogs and cats that will help keep your floors from getting scratched. Declawing is not recommended by a lot of animal experts. Another big concern with hardwood floors is whether your pet is housebroken. Dog or cat urine can stain and decay hardwood floors over time, even with the best clean-up. Think about how your pets will affect new hardwood floors.
Some kinds of floor sealers can help protect hardwood floors from scratching. The problem is that these items might also make floors less attractive, or hide the wood and make it harder to resurface later.
7. Fix it Kits
Stores sell different kinds of hard wood fix-it kits with oils that can make some scratches less visible. This might be an easy way to do damage control on scuffed and scarred floors.
All of the above can help homeowners or renters protect their floors. Hardwood floors are a significant investment, whether you or your landlord has installed them. Be sure to use good maintenance to keep these floors in decent shape.