How to Repair Scratched Hardwood Floors
Hardwood Floor Scratch Repair Tips From A+ Hardwood Floors
Have scratches compromised the beauty of your hardwood floors? Don’t let excessive scratches ruin your enjoyment of your hardwood floors or the resale value of your home. Depending on the severity of the scratch marks, they may be fixable with buffing or refinishing. As hardwood flooring experts in Denver, CO with over 25 years of experience, A+ Hardwood Floors helps homeowners maintain their wood flooring with tips for everything from cleaning them to advice on hardwood floor scratch repair. Keep reading for tried-and-true methods to repair scratches in hardwood floors, or reach out to us with specific questions or concerns as you delve into the process.
Prevention Can Help Minimize the Damage From Scratch Marks
Prevention is key to maintaining your hardwood flooring. However, just because you have area rugs in high-traffic areas such as hallways, keep your pet’s nails clipped regularly, or use soft protective pads when rearranging your furniture, the occasional scratches are still going to happen. The durability of your flooring will depend on the type of hardwood floors you have, as some wood species are more durable than others. A few of the most durable species are oak, mahogany, maple, hickory, and teak.
There are also durability differences between engineered vs. natural hardwood flooring. Engineered hardwood flooring was created to mimic the appearance of natural hardwood flooring, but it has multiple layers to make it more water-resistant. Its multiple layers of plywood and fiberwood also give it additional strength. The bottom line is you may not have to worry about scratch marks or water damage as much if you have engineered hardwood flooring installed instead of natural hardwood flooring.
What Type of Finish Do You Have on Your Hardwood Flooring?
Your hardwood flooring’s finish works hard to protect it from daily wear and tear. However, there are various options for finishes, and it’s important to know which type was used on your hardwood flooring. The first step to repairing hardwood floor scratches is examining your type of finishing. Is it an oil-based polyurethane, water-based polyurethane, wax coating, varnish, stain, or aluminum oxide coating?
Sometimes, adding a new coat of a polyurethane-based product can improve the appearance of scratch marks without resorting to the more labor-intensive process of hardwood floor refinishing. Polishing your hardwood floors once or twice a month can help you cover up minor scratch marks. Many hardwood floor manufacturers also provide over-the-counter touch-up kits to refill minor scratches. Blending pencils and pens are especially useful for filling in minor wood scratches as long as you select an exact match in color. Finish restorers are also available to treat light scratches or faded finishes.
Next, Assess How Deep Your Wood Floors’ Scratch Marks Are
How deep are the scratch marks in your hardwood flooring? Superficial scratches involving only the floor’s finish or minor scratches penetrating just below the protective coating may be cleaned, filled, or buffed. Cleaning your hardwood floors with the appropriate products – soft-bristle brooms, mops, and non-toxic wood cleaners – can help you minimize the appearance of many superficial scratches. Several hardwood scratch repair products are also available for purchase to clean, polish, and reduce the appearance of minor scratch marks caused by pets, furniture scrapes, shoes, or debris tracked inside your home. Regardless of what method you have chosen to remove scratches from your hardwood floors, you’ll want to clean the work area thoroughly before attempting any scratch repair work.
Buffing and Applying Wood Stain Can Cover Minor Scratch Marks
Fine-grained sandpaper and a little elbow grease may be all you need to buff out minor scratch marks. You’ll want to sand the floor in the grain’s direction for the best results. Once you’re through buffing, you’ll need to apply a wood stain to give it a uniform appearance. We suggest testing a hidden patch of your floor, such as inside a closet or under your bed, to ensure the wood stain you’ve selected is an exact color match. Sometimes, you may even be able to color in scratch marks using a wood stain.
Deeper Scratches May Require Wood Floor Fillers for Repairs
Deeper scratches beyond the protective coating may require you to apply a wood floor filler to repair the cracks. We recommend using a plastic putty knife to press the wood filler into the crack, as it’s softer and gentler than a metal putty knife and won’t result in further damage to your flooring. You’ll smooth the filler down and wipe away any excess filler while it’s still wet before leaving it to dry for a few hours. Once you’ve given the wood filler ample time to dry, you’ll want to sand it down by hand before applying a wood stain or stain pen to match the rest of your flooring’s color.
When Hardwood Floor Refinishing Is Your Best Option
If your hardwood floors have excessive scratch marks over wide areas, your best option may be to sand down the floors and refinish them. If you have engineered wood floors, you’ll need to make sure their surface is at least 1mm thick because sanding takes quite a bit off the surface. In some cases, you may want to consider a wax-based repair kit made especially for engineered flooring instead of sanding. This process is similar to using wood fillers. Always be sure to read the label carefully before buying and applying any products to your hardwood flooring to ensure they’re appropriate for your type.
Entrust Your Refinishing Job to Denver’s A+ Hardwood Floors
While you could rent a floor sander and even out the scratches in your wood flooring yourself, you could save time and money by entrusting the job to Denver’s A+ Hardwood Floors. Our innovative dustless hardwood floor refinishing process eliminates the hassle and messiness of the wood dust that occurs during sanding. If you suffer from allergies, our dustless procedure is perfect for minimizing the amount of wood dust floating around inside your home. Contact us today to request service or a free estimate. We would be happy to help you maintain your hardwood flooring for the long term!