6 ways to prevent scratches in your hardwood floors

Home Builder with The Flooring Girl

Hardwood floors - preventing scratches - Westchester County NYMany of my customers ask me how to prevent scratching in hardwood floors, so I thought these tips would be helpful.  

First, let me preface this by saying that ALL hardwood scratches. It's just a matter of time. Yes, some are harder than others and yes, some have a bit more scratch protection than others.  Anyone that tells you the hardwood flooring won't scratch isn't telling the truth.   So given that all hardwood will scratch, here are some tips to MINIMIZE the scratches and prolong the life of your hardwood floors.

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. I'd love to take credit for it,but I can't...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 to place their shoes. Maybe even add a bench near the door.  

2. Add entry mats at the doorways. Water (and snow/salt) are the worst culprits and the areas by the door tend to wear down the fastest because of this. So, you should protect these areas.  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 NY

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.  

5. Clean regularly to get the dirt/grit up. Swiffers 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 NY

I also 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.

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6 ways to prevent scratches in your hardwood floors - Westchester NY


Re-Blogged 9 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Michelle Francis 03/27/2012 04:48 AM
  2. Bonnie Vaughan 03/27/2012 11:02 AM
  3. Judy Chapman 03/27/2012 11:56 AM
  4. Women of Westchester Working Together 03/28/2012 03:56 AM
  5. Donna Foerster 03/30/2012 08:08 AM
  6. John McCormack, CRS 04/01/2012 10:21 PM
  7. Marilyn Boudreaux 05/06/2012 11:09 AM
  8. Cheryl Ritchie 05/06/2012 08:09 PM
  9. Miriam Bernstein, CRS 05/06/2012 09:26 PM
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Blatt + Cutino
Keller Williams Coastal Estates - Monterey, CA
Broker-Associate 831/206-8070*Call today*

Great post! Thanks for the info. I am bookmarking it.

Mar 27, 2012 07:03 AM #41
Donna Foerster
HomeSmart Realty Group - Parker, CO
Metro Denver Real Estate Assistant

Debbie~ We have hardwood floors in our kitchen, dining room and great room.  I've never made anyone take off their shoes, but maybe I will start.  Didn't think about the dirt and grit scratching the floor.

Mar 27, 2012 07:21 AM #42
Stephanie L. Solano
J. Philip Real Estate LLC Westchester County NY - Pleasantville, NY
Licensed Real Estate Agent

Great info Debbie! Can't wait to read your reccomendations on cleaning hardwood floors as well.

Mar 27, 2012 09:18 AM #43
Debbie Gartner
The Flooring Girl - White Plains, NY
The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers

Cindy - Thx so much.  You are so sweet.  That means a lot to me.

Marte - Smart thinking.  Yes, distressed wood helps hide the scratches very well and I mentioned that on the linked post.  Oh, and I think they have the felt pads at Home Depot.

Bryan - Thx and I completely agree.

Connie - Good for you and LOL.

Kathy - Thank you so much.  I really appreciate that.

Rob - Yes, the aluminum oxide really helps.  Sorry about what happened with your friend.  Yes, not a smart choice.

Angelica - Excellent.  I hope it comes in handy.

Donna - that's great.  And, yes, it will make a huge difference if everyone takes their shoes off.

Stephanie - Thx.  Yes, I'll have to find some time for that one.


Mar 27, 2012 11:11 AM #44
Myrl Jeffcoat
GreatWest Realty - Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent

Excellent tips, that will really work with hardwood floors, Debbie!  My habit is to step out of my shoes the minute I'm inside the door.  In winter, I wear socks around the house.  By far, the most damage can come from furniture that is moved around without proper protection.  The felt protectors on the bottoms of chair legs do wonders.

Mar 27, 2012 12:03 PM #45
Carla Muss-Jacobs, RETIRED
RETIRED / State License is Inactive - Portland, OR

Great tips Debbie.  I'm not sure if anyone mentioned this in the comments (didn't read them all the way through) but clip doggies' nails.  I see the claw marks in quite a few houses ;-)

Mar 27, 2012 12:40 PM #46
Michael S. Bolton
Michael S. Bolton,Inc. - Zimmerman, MN
MN Appraiser

Ah Debbie, Your a wealth of knowledge when it comes to flooring. I've seen so many nice hardwood floors that have been scratched to death, it just pains me. I wish I could discreetly leave them this post, then maybe they would get a clue.

Have an AWESOME evening!


Mar 27, 2012 01:09 PM #47
Captain Wayne - Rowlett Real Estate School
REcampus Fully Accredited Florida ONLINE & Classroom Training in Destin, Pensacola Florida - Panama City Beach, FL
Rowlett Real Estate School / Owner and Instructor

Good Morning Debbie, thank you for the tips.  I find the felt pads work best for us.

Mar 27, 2012 11:03 PM #48
Wendy Tomm
Beyond the Walls - East St Paul, MB
CCSP, RESA-PRO, BBB - Wpg Realtors

Love this post.  Interesting how these things all come without saying and yet...well people don't get it. Thanks for posting

Mar 30, 2012 06:35 AM #49
Debbie Gartner
The Flooring Girl - White Plains, NY
The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers

Myrl - Good for you.  And, I would get felt pads for the furniture.

Carla - Yes, sometimes this can really help.

Michael - LOL, that would be funny.

Capatn Wayne - Glad to hear that.

Wendy - Yes, exactly!

Mar 30, 2012 10:07 AM #50
Debbie Gartner
The Flooring Girl - White Plains, NY
The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers

Valerie - Yes, that can definitely help too.  Excellent point.

Mar 30, 2012 08:36 PM #52
Juli Vosmik
Dominion Fine Properties - Scottsdale, AZ
Scottsdale/Cave Creek, AZ real estate 480-710-0739

Debbie, great information for homeowners with hardwood floors.  I didn't know that tip about an extra coat of sealant.  

Apr 04, 2012 01:08 PM #53
Debbie Gartner
The Flooring Girl - White Plains, NY
The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers

Juli - Thx so much and I hope it helps many out there.

Apr 04, 2012 07:24 PM #54
Patricia Kennedy
Redfin - Washington, DC
Home in the Capital

Hey, Debbie!  I included this post in Last Week's Favorites.  So welcome to Active Rain, and have a great week.

May 06, 2012 03:52 AM #55
Jane Peters
Home Jane Realty - Los Angeles, CA
Los Angeles real estate concierge services

These are simple ways to avoid ruining a beautiful wood floor.  Very well explained too.

May 06, 2012 11:33 AM #56
Morgan Evans
Douglas Elliman Real Estate - Manhattan, NY

Having the discipline to take off your shoes and doing something as simple cleaning the floors regularly is great advice. 

May 06, 2012 12:51 PM #57
Debbie Gartner
The Flooring Girl - White Plains, NY
The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers

Pat - Thx so much.  I'm so honored.

Jane - Thank you so much.  I really appreciate that.

Morgan - Yes, it really is a discipline and it does make a huge difference.

May 06, 2012 06:57 PM #58
Cheryl Ritchie
RE/MAX Leading Edge www.GoldenResults.com - Huntingtown, MD
Southern Maryland 301-980-7566
I love the beauty of hard wood floors so an article on how to protect them is a great idea.
May 06, 2012 08:03 PM #59
Debbie Gartner
The Flooring Girl - White Plains, NY
The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers

Cheryl - Thx so much.  Yes, soon I need to do one on cleaning hardwood floors.

May 06, 2012 08:06 PM #60
Barbara Todaro
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Franklin, MA
Marketing Agent for The Todaro Team

Good morning, Debbie.... fantastic post.... I think taking your shoes off at the entrance is most important.... all it takes is one small stone wedged in a sneaker sole to start scratching the floor.... everyone was in the habit of taking off their shoes in my house especially my family.... now they automatically do that in everyone's home.

May 06, 2012 09:59 PM #61
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