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  • Joni Rocco

Ahhhh, a scratch! How to fix a scratch on your hardwood floor.

Updated: Sep 8, 2020

The dreaded first scratch on your beautiful hardwood floors! Don’t worry, it happens to the best of us.  From children, heavy foot traffic, to your furry friends, floors can sure take a beating over time. Before we get into the steps of what to do next, we need to first clarify the difference between a scratch versus an indentation.

A Scratch…

A scratch in your hardwood flooring is a mark or marks that go through the finish & colorant.  Because of that, you will notice a different color showing through and what we commonly call a scratch.


An Indentation…

Indentations are marks in the finish which occur in one of two ways. Either a buff mark from sliding a heavy piece of furniture so the sheen becomes different in its tracks or a dog claw mark that doesn’t go all the way down to the raw wood but leaves an indent in the film-forming finish.


The Good News…

Scratches are common and can be touched up by you! For scratches, you likely need a stain pen and a rag/terrycloth towel to buff in the color. You can find furniture pens at places like Hobby Lobby or Home Depot, but if you know the stain color that was applied to your floor, you can also either reach out to your professional contractor and request a stain pen from the brand of stain used or you can contact the stain manufacturer directly for help.  Make sure you are always starting with a clean floor and a clean cloth for wiping up the excess stain. Want to see a live example? Check out our video where Joe is touching up a few scratches with a stain pen.


The Not So Good News…

Indentations are not as easy to fix as scratches. They can really only be filled with a maintenance coat (professional service). Do not attempt to use any type of polish or wood filler! Those are like “get rich quick” schemes; they don’t work and can, in fact, make the floor finish worse in the end. It is best to leave your indentations alone until you are ready to call in the professionals.  Need help with one now? Reach out to our page here and we can set a time to get you a no-cost quote on completing the repair.


In Conclusion…

Some of the charm of hardwoods is that they can last a lifetime, and, over time, will show some wear and tear that matches the home that surrounds it. If you have a busy life filled with active kiddos, pets, and high foot traffic, your floor may start to look worn-in and marked up. If you have a pristine show-home that has a strict “Shoes Off” rule and the floor is protected with regular cleaning and rugs, then your floor may look like-new for years to come. Either way, embrace the beauty of your hardwoods and rest easy knowing that perfect floors (and a fun new look) are just a refinish away!

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