Buffing Scratches Out Of Wood Floor – According to HomeAdvisor, the average cost of installing new hardwood floors in 2020 was between $7,200 and $14,400 — and that’s just for a 1,200-square-foot home. At such a high price, any tiny scratch or scuff on the floor is sure to cause panic. It’s hard to believe that we spend so much money just walking around, but you have to admit, nothing feels more homely than a slightly squeaky, perfectly polished wood floor that feels good to live on.
But there’s a difference between normal wear and tear and something more dramatic. Maybe you have kids playing on the floor with toy cars, leaving scratches on the surface, or dogs running to greet you when you come home from work, leaving a blaze in the wood next to the rug. Maybe it’s the original wood that came with your new home, or maybe you splurged on fancy finishes while building your dream home. Either way, the stress of the simplest scratch on your wood floor is the same.
Buffing Scratches Out Of Wood Floor
Before you begrudgingly dip into your emergency fund to refinish the entire floor, we’ve compiled a list of budget-friendly ways to fix a huge scratch on your hardwood floor. In the end, it will look like nothing happened.
Hacks To Remove Scratches From Hardwood Flooring
We have good news: you may be able to fix a common scratch without even visiting your local hardware store. And as a homeowner, you likely make plenty of trips to Lowe’s. So, if the scratch seems minimal, it may be best to start with a home remedy.
Try to prepare a solution of equal parts of olive oil and apple cider vinegar, as recommended by the family master. Apply it to the scratch and let it sit; check after a day and wipe off the mixture. Now the scratch should be invisible. Note that this option is best for shallow scratches on a new floor with a recent coating.
No apple cider vinegar in the cupboard? BobVila.com recommends using a combination of baking soda and olive oil. Just let it sit on the scratch for a few minutes and then rub it into the wood. If your floor was unfinished or recently sanded when it has scratches, choose coconut oil instead. Either way, your floor should look scratch-free and with an extra shine.
For shallow surface scratches — like those a dog or cat might leave on your floor — This Old House offers a product like paste wax. There are even tinted options for darker floors, keeping everything looking flawless and looking like new.
How Do You Repair Scratches Or Gouges In Hardwood Floors?
All you have to do is let it dry and then rub it into the floor to make the scratch go unnoticed. Just be aware: wax paste is not recommended for polyurethane floors, so do your research and know what floors you’re working with before going down that route (via Jabara’s).
You can purchase a bucket of paste wax from your local hardware store to have on hand in case of any additional problems. A one-pound bucket costs less than $7 at Home Depot, and it’s enough to cover any future scratches that may appear—without breaking the bank.
Pencils, pens, or felt-tip pens work like paste wax, but they can be a cheaper and more convenient option for repairing scratches. It all depends on what works best for your particular floor type and finish. Polished Habitat said Minwax stain markers have been a lifesaver for her floors, and the difference is clear as day with just one swipe of the marker.
Another pro tip? Unlike paste wax, you can switch between stain shades with a pencil or marker, allowing you to match the color of your floor’s grain exactly. Polished Habitat used a darker marker for some spots and a lighter one for others, bringing this DIY fix into professional-looking territory.
Should I Refinish, Repair, Or Replace My Hardwood Floor?
With an average pen, pencil, or marker costing less than $15, this solution fits any budget, especially when compared to the cost of new or refinished floors.
If you are in a hurry to remove a small scratch from an old wooden floor, you don’t have to go for the most expensive option and completely restore a small area. You might even get lucky with the easiest of all methods that might be in your pantry right now: walnuts.
BobVila.com explains that because walnuts “contain great natural emollients and browning agents,” they act as a little-known remedy for scuffs and scratches on hardwood floors. Start by warming the walnut oil with your fingers, then slowly rub it into the problem area of the floor. The process is similar to using coconut oil to repair a scratch. Let it sit for about five minutes, then buff it with a soft cloth or cloth. If you’re particularly lazy, Wide Open Country also notes that you can split a walnut and rub it directly onto a stubborn scratch for a quick fix.
If none of the above techniques have helped to remove the giant scratch on your hardwood floor, you may need to look into refinishing. Fortunately, this doesn’t mean you have to sand everything down and start over—you’ll likely be able to get the job done on a much smaller scale.
How To Remove Burn Marks On A Hardwood Floor
According to Family Handyman, the first step in such a case is to start with a finish restorer. If that doesn’t work, try matching the finish to your floor and apply a new coat instead. The same goes for dirty floors: do your best to match the color so that the edges of this new section blend seamlessly with the rest. The new coating will cover the scratch without fail, but you have to be extra careful to make sure it doesn’t look like a patch.
Jabara notes a few extra precautions, like using a squeegee before applying the finish coat to polish off any raised edges left by the scratch. Once this is done, fill any depressions with wood filler or putty, then sand lightly. While this is one of the trickier items on the list—and more expensive considering the price of a new finish—it’s definitely worth a try if it saves your precious hardwood floors.
And if all of this sounds like a headache you want to avoid entirely, you may want to consider laminate flooring in the future. If you have hardwood floors in your home, scratch repair is something you’ll have to deal with eventually, no matter how careful you are. This is just a natural part of caring for a wooden floor and is almost always due to dirt or sand on the floor or furniture being moved around.
Depending on how bad the scratches are, there are several things you can do to repair a scratched floor. But the best thing you can do for your floor is to do everything you can to prevent scratches in the first place.
Should I Refinish Hardwood Floor With Scratches?
So, here are seven ways to avoid scratches on your wood floor, along with some additional tips on how to remove scratches from your wood floor.
Make sure you remove your outdoor shoes before stepping on hardwood or hardwood floors, and store wet or dirty shoes in a porch or closet away from hardwood floors. It is also important to avoid walking on wooden floors in shoes with studs, such as golf shoes, football boots or stilettos, as they can cause deep scratches.
Placing entrance mats both outside and inside the door will help reduce the amount of water, sand and salt that enters your home. This is another major cause of damage to wooden floors.
Moving furniture around is another common cause of scratches on wood floors, and adding felt pads to the base of chairs, tables and sofas will help prevent this. It’s a good idea to have a few extra pillows on hand in case one falls!
How To Fix Minor Scratches On Your Hardwood Floors
Keeping the floor free of dirt and debris is one of the best ways to reduce the risk of scratches. You can use a soft brush to sweep the floor or buy a vacuum that is suitable for hardwood floors. And make sure that when you wash the floor, you remove excess water to avoid warping.
Our specialist cleaning kits for oiled wooden floors and varnished floors are the perfect way to keep your floors free from dirt or sand.
Dirt and sand can easily get into the seat or castor rollers, so it’s best to avoid them if possible. If you have chairs with castors, you can install cups with wheels or put a mat under the chair to protect the wooden floor from scratches.
Rugs and carpets are a great option for protecting large spaces where furniture is moved around a lot, such as a dining room or home office. And just like that