House Party! Scratched Wood Floors

House Party! Scratched Wood Floors

damaged wood floorsWood floors add beauty to you home and increase the value.  But, as you may have found out, it is possible to scratch the surface.  To get back to that gleaming floor, there are several ways that you can refinish the surface and repair a scratched wood floor.

Clean the Floor Well

The first step is to clean the floor and assess the damage.  You can use warm water and a mild soap or a specialty product designed specifically to clean wood floors.  After a thorough cleaning, examine the damage to see just how much repair is needed.

Light Repair

If the marks in the wood’s surface are not deep, there are products available at large home repair stores that can be applied to the scratches that will mask the damage, restore the wood’s appearance and remove hardwood floor scratches.  If you wax your floors, completely stripping the old wax and a new application of wax will frequently cover or mask minor scratches.

Heavier Damage

If the scratches are really gouges and cannot be fixed in a simple way, it becomes necessary to sand the surface of the floor and reapply stains, sealers and other finishes to the floor.

Sanding is a messy job and a job that requires some skill.  For the average homeowner, it is possible to create additional problems if you do your own sanding and leave an uneven surface or put further marks into the wood.  You will want to consider hiring a professional to do the work.  Professional floor finishers can do the entire job, including all of the refinishing, or they can do just the sanding operation.  The overall process can take a couple of days.  Just be very careful when you replace furniture so that you do not put a new scratch into the surface.

Before you sand the floor, make certain that there is adequate wood thickness to allow for the removal of the top surface.  Generally sanding will remove from 1/16” to 1/8” of material.  Most hardwood floors are 3/4” thick to start with, but the tongue and grooves allow you to remove less than 1/4”.

Engineered wood floors allow about the same amount of material to be removed.  Veneered products do not have the same thickness and sanding may ruin the floor entirely.

Professional advice can help you determine how extensive the repair must be, and how to fix hardwood floor problems.

To conclude …

Hardwood floors are an important part of your home’s value and appearance, and hardwood floors will last for decades or longer.  Keeping them clean and shiny is also an important part of your home’s maintenance schedule.  And that maintenance schedule should also include the occasional porfessional refinishing project.

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