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How to Remove a Scratch from Wood Floors

by Jason Brubaker

People love wood floors for their elegant look, how long they last and because they require little to no maintenance. However, one disadvantage of wood floors is that they're prone to scratching over time. This is especially true in households with pets and in restaurants, as well as commercial facilities that see a lot of traffic. The good news is that there's a lot that can be done to battle scratches, both preventatively and after scratches become visible.

Taking Preventative Measures Against Scratches

First things first, there are things that you should be doing now to ensure that your wood floors are kept in good condition to reduce the potential of scratches from taking form. Here's a look at some of your options:

  • Use Door Mats: Door mats help capture dirt and grime that can wreak havoc on wood flooring. While this dirt may not directly lead to floor scratching, it's good practice to take measures to prevent it from entering your home during all seasons of the year.
  • Be Smart: Don't slide furniture and other heavy items across wood floors, as that's almost a certain way to scratch them up. If you insist on sliding furniture, for example, place protective pads underneath the legs. If possible, however, the best practice is always to lift and move the furniture or other heavy items to prevent possible damage.
  • Polish and Deep Clean: In addition to sweeping and mopping the floor, you should also make sure to work in polishing and finishing on an annual basis. Not only does doing so help prevent scratches from occurring, but it makes them significantly easier to remove if they do become evident.

How to Remove Scratches

Even if you take preventative measures to minimize the likelihood of wood floor scratches, they're still likely to scratch over time. But there's a lot that you can do to remove the scratches or hide their appearance.

  • Stain Markers or Pencil: If a scratch is evident, use a stain marker or pencil that matches the color of the wood floor. These items are available for purchase just about anywhere. You can even opt for wood stain and apply that to the affected area with a brush or cotton swab.
  • Wood Filler: For deeper scratches, a latex-based wood filler might be your best bet. Be sure you purchase one that matches the color of your wood floor. Pick up a plastic putty knife to apply it and then use sandpaper to level the surface of the wood floor after the wood filler has completely dried. Then, don't forget to use a coat varnish over the area.
  • Sand It: For scratches that don't respond to the above removal methods, sand the scratched area down with a piece of sandpaper to remove the scratch. Sand the wood in the direction of the wood grain until you can't see the scratch any longer. Then, go over the area with a wood wax product, and allow the area to fully dry. Finally, buff out the scratch to smooth out the area and restore the shine to the wood floor.
  • Floor Polish: Wax or acrylic floor polish can do wonders for your floor, by preventing scratches and even eliminating the appearance of light scratches. The only downside is that the floor polish may dull and darken the floor over time.
  • Wood Refresher: Finally, you could simply coat scratches with a quality wood refresher product. While you don't have to sand the floor before to applying, it is recommended that you clean the area beforehand. The floor also needs ample time to dry after application.

Reach Out to Professionals

As you can see, while scratches and wood floors seemingly go hand in hand, that doesn't mean that they're a death sentence for your floor. It's possible to prevent scratches and remove them after they become evident, you just have to know how.

And while many of these removal methods are manageable for the DIYer, there are plenty of qualified professionals out there that can also help you make your floors look like new. Quality wood floors are designed to last for several generations - and with the right know-how of how to remove scratches, you can help ensure that these types of floors are long-lasting options in your home or office.

For more information on wood floors and wood floor scratch removal, contact us today.