How to Treat Scratches on Your Hardwood Floor

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When you have hardwood floors, you want to do everything in your power to ensure that they are sleek, smooth, and beautiful for years to come. One issue that inevitably comes up for anyone with hardwood flooring is scratching. Even when you do your best to avoid it, whether they are from pets’ claws, high heels, or your favorite furniture, scratches happen. Fortunately, there are ways you can address small scratches when you see them that may help prevent you from having to re-sand or refinish your hardwood flooring.

Surface Scratches

Light scratches can often be addressed with hardwood refresher products, which are sold anywhere you can get cleaning supplies. To treat surface scratches:

  • Make sure that you are using the correct refresher. If you have a prefinished hardwood floor, they often do not do well with these refresher products, and using one runs the risk of destroying your hardwood floor. Before you use one of these products on your hardwood floors, call Texas Hardwood Flooring, and we will let you know what product is most appropriate for your hardwood flooring.
  • Follow the directions on your chosen refresher.
  • Clean your floor and make sure it is entirely dry.
  • Apply the refresher, following the directions, and allow it to completely dry. It may be necessary to reapply the refresher every couple of months.

Deep Scratches

If you have a scratch that goes through the finish and the stain and into the raw wood, but is not wide enough to use filling, it may be possible to mask it by re-staining it. While this does not repair the scratch, it may hide it enough for your purposes. This may be best for floors that are already distressed, because any imperfections only add to the aesthetic. To treat deep, narrow scratches:

  • Buy a matching stain. If you had your hardwood floors installed by Texas Hardwood Flooring, we should have the exact stain of your floor on hand for these types of repairs. Otherwise, stain pens can be found at hardware or home repair stores.
  • Clean the area to be treated and ensure that it is completely dry.
  • Dab the stain onto your applicator, such as a rag or sponge. This gives you control over the stain so you can avoid putting too much on there, as a dark patch of stain will only draw more attention to the scratch.
  • Rub in the stain in a circular motion, going over again and again until it matches the hardwood flooring. It is also a good idea to apply a seal if the scratch is in a place that may be exposed to water.

Deeper Scratches/Gouges

For gouges or deep, wide scratches, you can often patch it in a way that prevents the scratch from being too noticeable from a distance. While it is more complicated, it is actually rather easy to accomplish.

  • Clear the gouge of dirt, dust, and debris.
  • Invest in a wood filler that matches your floor.
  • For scratches: rub lightweight sandpaper over the scratch and around the sides in a circular motion, going with the direction of the wood grain. Be gentle; you only want to blend the scratch in more. Clean the area with mineral spirits and let it dry.
  • Using a putty knife or your finger, scoop some of the filler and fill the scratch or gouge completely. You don’t have to be exact about it, because you can remove excess filler later.
  • Smooth the filler to ensure there are no bubbles.
  • Scrape any excess filler off carefully as to not scratch the nearby surface.
  • Allow the filler to completely dry.
  • Once it is dry, use a fine sandpaper to buff the area and remove smears. Use a circular motion to avoid creating marks. Remove any more smears with a damp cloth.
  • Seal the area.
  • You may also want to refinish the spot to ensure it is matches the rest of your hardwood floor.

As you can see, addressing scratches on your hardwood flooring can be a simple process. If you need any guidance on repairing your hardwood floors, contact our hardwood flooring company and we will help you. Schedule a free in-home estimate with Texas Hardwood Flooring today!

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