Protecting hardwood floors

(TACT) Shiny hardwood floors can make a home look like a million bucks. After all, your flooring sets the visual canvas for everything else that occupies square footage in your abode.

 But what happens when wear and tear turn that investment into a disaster zone?

 Scratches and scuffs can turn a million bucks into a rusty penny really quickly if you don't know how to protect your hardwood floors.

 Thankfully, it doesn't take much to keep those floors in great shape for many years to come. 

 Keep reading to learn methods of hardwood floor protection.

House Rules on How to Protect Hardwood Floors From Scratches

While carpet is still the flooring king, hardwood floors are gaining in popularity, up from 4.4 percent of the industry market share in 2007 to 10.6 percent in 2017. 

Whether you choose pre-finished, engineered or laminate wood flooring, the truth of the matter is all hardwood floors scratch. Now that we've gotten that out of the way, let's focus instead on ways to reduce the number of scratches your floor will get. 

Here are some very simple preventative measures that you can take:

  • No shoes allowed policy. It may feel a bit awkward asking every guest to take their shoes off after passing your threshold and we get it, hardwood floors can make your tootsies a little chilly. 
  • Try keeping a basket of cozy socks (you know, the fluffy, fuzzy kind) at your door that guests can slip into when they arrive. It makes the ask a lot more bearable--for everyone. 
  • If you're a pet owner, don't forget to keep your pet's claws trimmed, too! 
  • Sweep every day. Yeah, what a hassle, right? But dust particles, pebbles, dirt, and other debris can accumulate on hardwood can eventually create scratches when you're walking around. 
  • This chore is a lot more manageable when you just take a few minutes to run a Swiffer along the floor with some polish each day. 

Furniture Fixes for Hardwood Floor Protection

Scratches in hardwood can also be prevented by keeping your furniture protected. Here are some quick furniture fixes to help keep your floors in pristine condition:

  • Just add rugs. Rugs not only provide pops of color to your home decor, but they can also add some protection for your hardwood floors.
  • Bonus: they dull the sound of pitter-patter feet. Use rug mats underneath to even further prevent scratching. 
  • Flop down floor mats. Floor mats that prevent fatigue if your standing (say, if your hardwood floors are in the kitchen or bathroom), and can provide hardwood floor protection underneath furniture with wheels and casters.   

 Use Products Designed for Hardwood Floors

It may seem pretty obvious, but many people make the mistake of using products that are designed for carpet-covered floors on their hardwood floors. A few simple switches can save your floors. 

Here are some examples of how to protect your hardwood floors:

  • Use only cleaning products made for hardwood floors.
  • Use vacuums for hardwood floors (basically, limit the damage caused by wheels from regular vacuums).
  • Swap your chair casters out for those made specifically for hardwood floors.

 Keeping your hardwood floors protected can be as simple as regular maintenance and laying down some easy-to-follow house rules. 

Get even more tips on keeping your hardwood floors clean and pristine!

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