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Tips to Protect Your Hardwood Floor from Scuffs and Scratches

Although one of the things most people love about hardwood flooring is the material’s sense of history and character, it’s highly doubtful anyone is setting out to intentionally marr the surfaces of the floors in their homes or businesses to create that effect.

How to Protect Hardwood Floors

Hardwood, Soft Surfaces

The easiest way to prevent damage to the surface of your hardwood floors (or other similar types of flooring, including laminate flooring and vinyl flooring) is by making sure there’s a barrier between the floor’s surface, and the things in your life causing the damage. For 90 percent of people, the scuffs and scratches are the results of regular wear and tear. Maybe it’s a dog who hasn’t been to the groomer in a while and needs her nails trimmed, or repeated shoe wearing inside. But the surfaces of your hardwood flooring will weaken over time. You can prevent this from happening by placing rugs and other large mats throughout your home or office, if it is acceptable to do so. The rugs will absorb the brunt of the damage the floor would normally receive, and they’re much cheaper to replace than multiple planks. The rugs will also help protect your floors from the sun; another harmful element that could lead to surface damage. However, if you don’t want to cover beautiful hardwood floors with rugs, there is another option.

Hardwood Floor can Be Resurfaced 

The great advantage that hardwood flooring has over pretty much every other type of flooring material is that it can be resurfaced. The vast majority of hardwood species can be sanded down until all the visual imperfections are gone, then refinished, making your floors look like new again. The finish seals the wood, making it incredibly difficult for moisture and humidity to seep its way into the floor, which could lead to more damage. Most hardwood floors can be resurfaced multiple times throughout their lives, which is part of the reason they’re found in so many homes and buildings. Hardwood flooring is the only flooring material that allows you to change your mind about the look of the product without physically installing a new product in its place. 

Humidity Harms Hardwood Flooring

Another culprit for scratches, scuff marks and other visual deformities could be humidity. Moisture and humidity affect wood floors in strange ways. It all depends on whether there’s too much humidity, or not enough. Nashville is a humid place, even during the wintertime, relatively speaking. When the humidity level is too low, the floorboards dry out and become brittle, leading to cracking and the floorboards begin to separate at the seams. When there is too much humidity in the room, the floorboards begin to warp and expand. In either case, the stress will cause distortions along the surface of the floorboard, and is not ideal. A good rule of thumb is to keep the humidity levels in your home between 50-60%, tweaking it slightly depending on the season.  

Hardwood floors will last for decades if taken care of properly, which you can do by monitoring the humidity levels in your home. Making sure there’s proper protection on the floor’s surface if it’s a high traffic area, and resurfacing the floor if there are already blemishes on it are good starting points for caring for your floors. If it’s too late for the floors in your home or office, it’s time to call the professionals here at Ozburn-Hessey to come up with a plan to conquer all of your flooring issues or needs!

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