How To Fix Scratches on Hardwood Floors

Hardwood floors are beautiful to look at and add that rustic charm to the whole household. But, sadly one scratch can ruin the whole beauty of the floors. Of course, if you do the basic care by cleaning it on a regular basis, then scuffs and scratches will be almost negligible. In fact, the cleaner your hardwood floors, the better you will be in a position to notice scratches on the floors if any. So, maintenance is key to preventing frequent scratches.

However, accidental scratches can happen at any given time but not to worry because there are easy ways to fix those depending on the extent of the scratch and also on the kind of finish you have on your hardwood floors. 

We have you covered in detail on this subject, so if you want to know more, keep reading. 

Fix Scratches on Hardwood Floors- Important Things to Remember

At first, you need to identify the type of finish your hardwood floors have. For that, you may consult your manufacturer. After that, depending on the severity of the scratch, choose the option that will serve your purpose. 

1. Know the kind of finish you have on your hardwood floors

Hardwood floors can come in various finishes and knowing what type of finish you have is important before you start with the repairing work. Below is mentioned a list of the most common type of finishes:

  • Water-based polyurethane
  • Oil-based polyurethane
  • Varnish
  • Wax coating
  • Stain
  • Aluminum oxide coating

2. Fix superficial scratches

A superficial scratch affects the finish of the wooden floors and if yours is a superficial one, then you can get the scratches removed with the help of olive oil and apple cider vinegar. All you need to do is mix both of them and then apply the mix to the scratch. Allow it to stay for about a few hours and then wipe it. This method, in most cases, will work but if you do not see any improvement, then follow the below-mentioned steps to repair. 

  • First, get rid of the dirt and dust from the concerned spot with the help of a good quality hardwood floor cleaner and a soft rag.
  • After that, rinse the cleaner. Dip a rag in water and wipe any remaining cleaner and allow the surface to dry.
  • Rub a wax stick to fill the concerned spot. To force the wax down in the scratch, you can use a putty knife. 
  • After that, rub back and forth on the scratch with a soft cloth and buff the wax. This will make the area smooth and shiny like before.

3. Fix minor scratches

You should consider it a minor scratch if it has penetrated the wooden surface under the protective coating. To repair it, follow the steps below.

  • Get rid of any dirt and debris from the surface using a good-quality wood cleaner.
  • Rub the grain of the steel wool on the concerned spot. This will help make the spot more noticeable.
  • Then buff it with steel wool until it’s gone.
  • Blend the edges gently with the help of steel wool. The feathering should be kept to a minimum to prevent making the area more noticeable.
  • After that, use a wax strip to cover the scratch. Then allow it to rest for about 10 minutes.
  • With the help of a soft cloth, buff the spot.
  • If you do not have polyurethane floors, use paste wax after that. This will help make the scratch even more invisible. 
  • Post that, you can buff the area again if needed.

4. Fix deep scratches

In case of deep scratches and gouges, it will require sanding, repairing, and refinishing to make them look like they were before. You can do it in the following two ways.

a. The whole floor can be refinished

If you notice too many serious scratches on your hardwood floor, then refinishing the entire floor would be a wise choice. If you have real wood floors, then go for a complete sanding to remove all the scratches. If your is an engineered one having a real wood surface, then try to find out whether it was sanded before. This is because this kind of floor can be sanded once or twice before the entire real wood is sanded off. 

If you are not that comfortable doing it, then it is best to hire a professional. They, with all their skills and experience, will be able to get the work done perfectly.

b. Parts of the floor can be refinished

You can refinish some sections of the floor instead of the entire one. 

  • If you have a polyurethane coating, take a scouring pad and moisten with mineral spirit to remove the scratches. 
  • The pad should be gently rubbed using the pad. Wipe the area and let the surface dry after that. 
  • Then choose a colored wood putty that goes with the floor. With the help of a putty knife, place the putty on the scratch.
  • Let the putty harden and after that take 150-grit sandpaper and sand the area smooth.
  • Use a fresh coating of polyurethane to restore the space. If your floors do not have polyurethane coating, then use the coating that is used on your floor.
  • Do the blending.

Protect The Hardwood Floors to Prevent Scratches

Fixing scratches on the hardwood floors is not difficult but with little care, you can actually protect your floors and minimize the chances of scratches occurring in the first place. Here are a few things to consider. 

1. Dusting and mopping the hardwood floors on a weekly basis is recommended. Use a microfiber duster to dust and for moping, use clean pads after moistening them with a good quality cleaner meant for wooden surfaces.

2. Place pads at the bottom of furniture and be a little careful while dragging them here and there.

3. Some shoes and heels cause permanent damage on the floors, so it is better to remove shoes before stepping over the floors. 

Hope this helps. All the best.