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Gouge repairs and scratch prevention tips for hardwood floors

A hardwood floor is a beautiful addition to any home. It’s easy to clean, strong and durable, and doesn’t go out of fashion as a patterned carpet does. A hardwood floor will last for years, even decades – it really is possible to keep hardwood and laminate floors looking like new. However, no matter how well you protect it, over time it will get scratched or gouged: it’s unlikely that you’ll never move furniture across a hardwood floor, or that your children keep all their toys off the floor.

In this post, I’ll show you how to remove scratches from hardwood floors, and I’ll give you my top five tips to keep hardwood floors scratch free.

Four types of scratches on hardwood floors and how to remove them

There are four types of scratches that your hardwood floor may suffer. These range from a scrape to a deep gouge. How you remove them is a little different in each case.

1.    To remove a scrape

A small scrape can be removed by using a little paste wax, and rubbing it gently along and cross the direction of the scrape. When the wax has dried, wipe off the excess with a clean, soft cloth and buff to a shine.

2.    To remove a shallow scratch

A touch-up pen matching the color of your hardwood floor is what is required to remove a shallow scratch. You may even find that shoe polish of the same color will do the job. Fill the scratch and wipe off the excess before it dries.

3.    To fix a deep scratch

A deep scratch or shallow gouge is a little more difficult to conceal. For this you’ll need a wax filer stick in a matching color. Rub into the gouge until it is filled, before using a clean, soft cloth to buff away any excess. The scratch should disappear.

4.    To repair a deep gouge

To repair a deep gouge in a hardwood floor – the sort of damage that might be caused when moving a heavy fridge in the kitchen – you’ll need to visit your local hardware store and buy some colored wood putty. Use a putty knife to push the putty into the gouge, so that it is well packed and slightly raised from the surrounding wood. When it has dried, sand flush to the surrounding wood floor and varnish the repair.

5 tips to prevent gouges in a hardwood floor

As you can see, removing scratches from hardwood floor is not a difficult job. But it would be better to prevent scratches before they happen. These tips will help you keep your hardwood floor in perfect condition from the day it is first laid:

  1. Place doormats next to all exterior doors. This will stop people bringing in dirt and grit from the outside (the number one cause of shallow scratches on hardwood floors).
  2. Ask anyone who enters the room to remove their shoes – supply slippers at the entrance to the room.
  3. Sweep the floor regularly with a soft brush to remove dirt and grit.
  4. Never slide furniture across a wooden floor without first placing carpeting or pads underneath the furniture (this will make it easier to slide, too).
  5. Keep pets’ nails trimmed, and don’t let larger dogs into the room.

If you have gouges in a wooden floor that cannot be removed, contact Porter's. Our professional restoration services may be able to help return your floor to its former glory.

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