How to Prevent Scratches on Hardwood Floors

A grand living-dining area of a home with vaulted ceilings, wood beams, and rich hardwood floors throughout

Homeowners love hardwood floors.

When it comes to creating a wonderful, inviting space, hardwood flooring is the go-to option for home renovators and new builds. Keeping your hardwood floors looking new, however, can be a challenge.

To prevent scratches on hardwood floors from chairs, pets—and even your own two feet—it’s important to know how to prevent scratches and stick to regular cleaning.

Do Hardwood Floors Wear Out?

First, your hardwood floor will experience signs of normal wear and tear over time. Even the most dedicated homeowner will spot scratches at some point, but you can get more years out of your floors by reducing scratches in the high-traffic areas and avoiding certain types of chairs that may cause more scratches than other styles.

How to Protect Hardwood Floors

  • Always take off your shoes: Think your shoes are clean? They’re not. At least when it comes to hardwood floors, even the smallest bits of dirt and sand can have a big impact on the flooring surface. Be strict with yourself and others about removing your shoes at the doorway.
  • Use felt pads: This one might seem obvious, but it comes with a bonus: get extras. Felt pads can come off chairs, couches, and other furniture, usually right when you’re trying to move it. Instead of letting it slide (literally), have a pack of replacement felt pads on hand.
  • Sweep or mop regularly: By reducing the amount of dirt and dust on your floors, you’ll also reduce the risk of scratches. While dropped objects or friction from moving heavy furniture might cause deep divots or scratches, it’s often the dirt on your bare or stockinged feet that leaves the most scratches.
  • Use area rugs: Area rugs are a hardwood floor’s best friend. Place area rugs in high-traffic areas like entryways, hallways, and the kitchen. You might also consider placing rugs under furniture, too, especially in places that get a lot of use, like the kitchen table. This is the key to knowing how to keep chair legs from scratching floors; don’t let them touch the hardwood.
  • Don’t use chairs with rollers: You’d think a wheeled chair would be less of a problem than a normal chair leg. Instead, the constant rolling leaves countless fine scratches every time you push back from a table or desk. If you do need a chair with rollers in a home office or workspace, always place a clear plastic mat under the chair. Make sure the mat is large enough to cover any area you might roll to while using the chair.

How to Prevent Dogs from Scratching Hardwood Floors 

This can be a tough challenge. There’s no way to ask your dog to stay on a rug, walk carefully, or wipe his or her paws after coming back from a nice walk. But here’s what you can do:

  • Clip Their Nails: Regular nail clipping is good for your dog’s health, and it can reduce the risk of scratches, too. Walking your dog on pavement regularly can help keep them manageable, but you may need to trim them every month or so, depending on how fast they grow. If you’re worried about cutting them too short, ask your vet for advice.
  • Use Runners: Using runners, or long carpets designed to stay in place, can help keep your pup off the hardwood floors, particularly when they’re excited. Install a runner or two in high-traffic areas or in locations where your dog tends to jump or run indoors, like near their food bowl.
  • Wipe Up Accidents Quickly: Moisture can quickly damage hardwood floors. Wipe up any accidents quickly to keep urine from seeping through cracks and coming into contact with baseboards. Clean up standing water from a wet dog just as urgently.

A Clean Hardwood Floor That Will Last

There is no debating that a clean hardwood floor looks beautiful and can really accentuate a room. But getting and keeping your hardwood floor clean takes a considerable amount of time and effort. Get more out of your hardwood floors with regular cleaning from Molly Maid! Our trained professionals can help to maintain the beauty of your wood floors with consistent cleaning. We’ll work with you to create a customized house cleaning plan to meet your family’s unique needs and target the tasks you would rather not tackle yourself. To get started, request an estimate online today!