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3 Ways to Prevent Scratches on Wood Floors

The first scratch is always the worst.

Whether it’s your new car, phone, or hardwood floors, a scratch or gouge brings a feeling of disappointment especially if it could have been prevented.

Not all accidental damage is preventable.  The routines of daily life happen and along with it so does normal wear to our homes.  Before long, you accept that your new floors have now become part of your home, rich with the character of being lived on.

While “wear and tear” is an inevitable part of owning a home, it’s important to clean your floor the right way and protect it from scratches.

Keep reading for 3 easy ways to prevent scratches on wood floors.

scratches on wood floors

Use walk-off mats at all entrances

Shoes track in abrasive dirt and debris with imbedded stones that become like sandpaper when dragged across your wood floors. It doesn’t take much pressure for a hard rock or pebble embedded in a shoe to leave a noticeable mark.

The game changer is to put two rugs at every outside door to avoid scratches on wood floors.

A sturdy walk off mat outside entryways will allow your guests and family to brush off their shoes before coming inside. A common practice is to get in the habit of checking your shoes before entering the door.

A second softer rug or mat just inside the doorway will help catch even more dust and dirt, keeping it off your wood floors.

Even better is having a no shoes rule inside your house. Give your floors and feet a break, you’ll be the healthier for it!

Felt pads prevent scratches on wood floors

You may not realize that a large, fixed piece like a sofa needs felt protectors.

Think about it, every time you sit down and get up from (or your kids jump on) the couch the slight movements can over time put a distinctive scuff or wear spot on your floor.

Chairs, couches, bar stools, coffee tables when dragged across the floor can easily leave a scratch or scuff mark.

Use felt protectors to protect your furniture from scratches on wood floors.


Felt protectors come in different shapes and sizes:

  • Round discs work well attached to the circular legs of chairs and tables.
  • Peel and stick felt pads make application easy and quick.
  • Nail-in plastic disc pads give a long-lasting option.
  • Tap on felt pads are best for wooden dining chairs and bar stools as they are used more often.

Adhesive Pads

Also known as “peel and stick pads”, these are made up of felt or rubber with adhesive on one side. They’re less expensive but typically a short-term solution.

Slip On

These floor protectors are made to slide tightly over the leg, and are usually made with plastic or rubber. These are more secure on the furniture, but are not as well hidden as tap-on or felt pads.

Tap On

Tap-on protectors are typically attached to the furnitre leg by a small nail or screw. These are less likely to detach, but if installed incorrectly the exposed screw could damage the floor.

Hover over one of the pictures above to read more about the three most common furniture/floor protectors

Felt protectors are an inexpensive way to protect your hardwood floor.

Don’t forget to replace them when they wear out – especially for chairs that get used a lot. Felt protectors are not meant to last forever.  Check them periodically and clean them of dust buildup as the felt can become dirty and abrasive to the floor.

Use wood floor-safe caster wheels on office chairs

If you use an office chair on your wood floor, order replacement caster wheels ASAP that are safe for hardwood floors.

Most office chairs come with hard plastic wheels that are damaging to the finish on flooring. Some try to resolve this by putting down a plastic, rubber, or glass mat or rug under their chair, but these are often unsightly and hide the floors beauty.

Get rid of the rug and mat and glide smoothly across your wood floors by using hardwood safe caster wheels for your office chairs. You can find these on Amazon that will fit most chairs.

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How To Prevent Scratches on Wood Floors

Get these three steps for protecting your hardwoods from scratches in a one-page guide!

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BONUS: Learn how to fix scratches on wood floors

If you just can’t live with that ugly scratch in your new floor that glares at you every time you walk past it, there is hope!

We’ve developed how-to videos that show different techniques for addressing scratches, scuffs, gouges, and other problems in your wood floors.

Watch our how-to video below to learn how to hide a scratch in no time!

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