How To Take Scratches Out Of Hardwood Floors – The average cost of new hardwood floor installation in 2020 runs between $7,200 and $14,400 — and that’s just for a 1,200-square-foot home, according to HomeAdvisor. At such a high price, any small scratch or scuff on the floor should cause a bit of panic. It’s hard to believe we’re spending so much money on something we’re just walking around with, but you have to admit: There’s nothing quite as homey as a little creaky, perfectly shiny, happily living hardwood floor. floor
But there is a difference between normal wear and tear and something more dramatic. There may be children playing on the floor with toy cars, dragging a scratched face in their hay, or dogs running to greet you when you come home from work, leaving a hard tree next to it. on the doormat. Maybe it’s the original wood that came with your new home, or maybe you wasted a nice finish building your dream home. Either way, the full stress of the simplest scratch on your wood floor is the same.
How To Take Scratches Out Of Hardwood Floors
Before you hesitate to dip into your emergency fund to replace your entire floor, we’ve put together a list of budget-friendly ways to fix a big scratch on your hardwood floor. In the end, nothing seemed to happen.
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We have some good news: You can fix a run-of-the-mill scratch without even going to your local hardware store. And, as a homeowner, you probably make enough trips to Lowe’s as it is. So, if the scratch seems minor, it might be best to start with a homemade remedy.
Try making a solution of equal parts olive oil and apple cider vinegar, per the Family Handyman. Apply it to the scratch, and let it sit; check again after a day, and wipe off the mixture. The scratch should now be unnoticeable. Note that this option is best for shallower scratches on new floors with newer finishes.
No apple cider vinegar in the cabinet? 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 put it on the wood. If your floors are unfinished or have just been scratched when mopping, opt for coconut oil. Either option should keep your floors looking scratch-free and with an extra shine to boot.
For shallow surface scratches — like the kind a dog or cat might leave on your floor — This Old House suggests a product like paste wax. There are even tinted options for darker floors, which make everything look neat and pretty new.
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All you need to do is dry it, and then rub it on the floor to make the scratch invisible. Just a heads up: Paste wax is not recommended for polyurethane floors, so do your research and know what type of floors you’re working with before you go this route (via Jabara’s).
You can pick up a bucket of wax paste at your local hardware store to keep any additional problems at bay. A one-pound bucket costs less than $7 at Home Depot, and has enough to tackle any and all future scratches that may arise — without breaking the bank.
Blending pencils, pens, or markers works like pasting wax, but it can be a cheaper and more user-friendly option for scratch repair. It all depends on what is more suitable for your specific type of floor and finish. Polished Habitat says the Minwax stain marker is a lifesaver on its floors, and the difference is as clear as day with just one swipe of the marker.
Another pro tip? Unlike paste wax, you can switch between shades of stain with a pencil or marker, allowing you to precisely color match the grain of your floor. Polished Habitat used a darker marker for some spots and a lighter one for others, elevating this DIY fix into professional-looking territory.
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With a blending pen, pencil, or marker costing less than $15 on average, this solution works for any budget level, especially when compared to the cost of new or refinished floors.
If you’re in a hurry to remove a small scratch from old hardwood floors, you don’t have to jump to the most expensive option and completely restore a small section. You may even have luck with the simplest hack of all, which may be in your kitchen pantry right now: walnuts.
BobVila.com explains that, since walnuts “contain the best natural emollients and brown dyes,” they act as a little-known solution for removing scuffs and scratches. on your wooden floor. Start by warming the walnut oil with your fingers, and then gently apply it to the problem area on your floor. The process is similar to using coconut oil to heal scratches. Let it sit for about five minutes, and then bump it with a soft rag or cloth. If you’re feeling particularly lazy, Wide Open Country also says you can open the walnut and rub it directly into the hard scratch for a quick fix.
If none of the hacks above did the trick to get the giant scratch out of your wood floor, you may need to look into refinishing. Fortunately, that doesn’t mean abandoning everything and starting over — chances are, you can do the job on a smaller scale.
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According to Family Handyman, the first step in a case like this is to start a finish restorer. If that fails, try to match your floor’s finish and give it a fresh coat. The same applies to a stained floor: Do your best to match the color so that the edges of this new section blend smoothly with the rest. The new coat will cover the scratch seamlessly, but you’ll want to be extra careful to make sure it doesn’t look like a patch job.
Jabara notes some additional precautions to take, such as using a scouring pad before going in with the finish to remove any raised edges left by the scratch. Once that’s done, fill any gouges with wood filler or putty, and then give it a light sanding. While this is one of the trickier items on the list – and more expensive, given the price of a new finish – it’s definitely worth a shot if it can save your precious hardwood floor.
And, if all of this sounds like a headache that you want to avoid completely, you may want to consider laminate flooring in the future. This article was co-authored by Mark Spelman. Mark Spelman is a General Contractor based in Austin, Texas. With over 30 years of construction experience, Mark specializes in interior design, project management, and project estimating. He has been a construction professional since 1987.
There are 11 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.
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If you have hardwood floors, the accumulation of scratches is inevitable, no matter how careful you are. Most scratches are caused by moving furniture, pets, and small stones from outside. Hardwood floor restoration can be easy, depending on the severity of the scratch. With a few simple steps, you can repair and hide nicks and scratches in your hardwood, to get the most out of your floor.
This article was co-authored by Mark Spelman. Mark Spelman is a General Contractor based in Austin, Texas. With over 30 years of construction experience, Mark specializes in interior design, project management, and project estimating. He has been a construction professional since 1987. This article has been viewed 851,942 times.
Before you repair scratches on hardwood floors, be sure to clean and rinse the scratched areas first. Then, to repair shallow or superficial scratches, apply a wood stain marker or a thin layer of sealant. You can also try rubbing wood wax over the scratches, then buff the wax and cover the area with stain or sealant. For deeper scratches or gouges, use wood filler that matches the color of your floor. Give it a day to dry, then use a fine-grit sandpaper to remove any excess filler before you seal the area. For more tips from our reviewer on how to repair scratches on hardwood floors, including how to clean the floors before you start, read on! killing (yes it has something to do with the floor).
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Lady Macbeth’s famous line is “Out darned spot!” Since this is a family friendly blog, the quote has been slightly edited.
Yet his spirit captures our concern over a shiny scratch or scratch on a beautiful wooden floor. The good news is that you don’t have to redo your entire floor to get rid of that darn spot.
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