Hardwood flooring can really bring a beautiful home to the next level. Wood can be fragile however, and damage is bound to happen sooner or later. Luckily, there are many ways to fix scratches and dents in flooring, and some of these methods might take a lot less time and energy than you’d originally thought.
A scratch that is only affecting the very surface of the floor.
Clean Hardwood Floor
Dirt and debris can really make a beautiful hardwood floor look ugly. If your hardwood floor is only slightly scratched, there’s a chance that you don’t actually need to put too much time, energy, and money into bringing your floor back to life. All your floor may need is a good cleaning to look good as new.
You can clean your floor with these simple steps:
- Sweep or vacuum your floor and remove any dry debris.
- Mix a light amount of liquid soap with about a quart of water. Depending on the size of your floor, increase the amount of mixture you use as needed.
- Using a soft mop, lather out the soapy water you’ve mixed together across your floor and mop up the excess water.
- Once finished, use a microfiber towel to completely dry the floor and buff out any hard to clean dirt and stains.
- You can use your microfiber towel to apply a wood polish if you think your floor needs some extra shine.
Sand Out The Scratches
If your floor is clean and you’re still seeing some minor scratches, you may need to resort to a little bit of elbow grease. Using a fine grained sandpaper, sand away any damage to the floor moving in the direction of the grain.
Once you’ve sanded away the damage, you’ll need to re-apply the finish that you’ve buffed away with the sandpaper.
You can find a few examples of hardwood floor coatings here:
Scratch Repair Product
Now if there is only one small scratch in your hardwood floor, it may not be necessary to sand down a large section of flooring. Using a scratch repair product is fast, easy, and doesn’t cost much at all.
The instructions vary depending on the product you choose for the hardwood flooring repair, but normally you’ll just need to clean the scratch of any dirt, apply the product, and remove the excess before it dries.
Any damage that goes deeper than the finish of the floor.
Completely Remove And Reapply The Finish
If your entire floor is covered with scratches then it may just be time to remove the finish altogether and reapply a fresh coating. To do this, you’ll need to use a sander machine, unless you want to be scrubbing your whole floor with pieces of sandpaper.
Make sure you only use a sander on real hardwood flooring. Engineered flooring does not have the durability that real wood has, and can leave you with worse damage than what you started off with.
Once the whole floor has been sanded, you can evenly reapply a new fresh layer of finish onto your flooring. Make sure to let the finish dry for at least 6 hours before trying to walk on it again.
Singled out dents and scratches are very easy to fix since it does not require maintenance to your entire floor. If you’ve dented up an area of your floor, you can simply take a bottle of wood filler, fill in the dent or scratch, then scrape off the excess wood filler and you’ll be good as new.
Replacing The Damaged Board
If your floor is beyond repair using the methods listed above, the last resort would be to completely replace the floor boards. This kind of work is a trade in itself and should really be done by a professional.
If you’re going to replace the floorboard on your own, you’ll need to first find a new board that matches the flooring you’ve already installed and you’ll need to cut it to make a perfect fit, so measure carefully!
Once you’ve measured and cut your new floor board, you can remove the broken flooring using a chisel and a hammer. Vacuum up any dust or dirt left behind, then place the new board in place. You can secure the floorboard using a nailset. Set the fastener heads below the wood’s surface, and then cover up the nails with wood putty that matches the color of your floor.