Protecting Your Hardwood Floors

Wood floors can sustain damage from furniture and other everyday household items. A few protective measures can help keep your hardwoods looking good for years to come.

Putting furniture pads under chairs can protect wood flooring from scratches. These can be made of different soft materials that reduce the friction between a chair and the floor.

Furniture Sliders

Furniture sliders can help protect hardwood floors from scratches and other damage that often occurs during moving or rearranging furniture. Unlike hard plastic glides that work well on carpet but can cause severe scratching on wood floors, soft-felt furniture sliders provide cushioning between your furniture legs and the hardwood floor. This reduces the friction that can cause wood floors to scratch and allows you to move furniture without damaging the surface.

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There are a number of different types of furniture sliders available for you to purchase, including slip-on protectors that simply slip over the bottom of your furniture legs. These are very affordable and do not require any installation. However, they are not long-term solutions as they tend to loosen over time and can easily fall off. Another option is nail-on furniture pads, which are a bit more expensive but do offer a permanent solution. However, this type of protection can be tricky to install as it requires some expertise and can leave exposed nails or screws on the bottom of your furniture legs that could scratch the floor.

Another great way to keep your floors protected is to use rugs throughout your home, particularly in high-traffic areas and near doors that lead outside. Rugs are not only attractive, but they can also absorb the impact of heavy furniture and help prevent scratches from occurring on your wood floors. If you have a lot of doorways leading to and from your home, you can even put down a large area rug that can help to delineate the space where people sit to prevent them from accidentally bumping into the wood floors with their chairs or feet.

You can also buy chair leg floor protectors that are designed to slip over the top of your furniture legs. These are a great, low-cost solution that provides immediate protection for your hardwood floors. These can be purchased from most hardware stores, home improvement centers, or online retailers. The key is to ensure that the floor protectors are the right size for your furniture and have no gaps or holes that can allow debris into your home.


Putting a doormat in front of all your doors is a great way to protect your wood floors from the elements. Doormats trap dirt, grit, and snow before they get tracked inside, where it can damage your hardwood floors. The best door mats are made with materials that are safe for floors and can be easily brushed or vacuumed to clean off dried dirt, dust, and mud. Mats that feature a textured surface can be particularly effective at removing these substances from shoes and boots without damaging them.

Another good option is to use long runner rugs in your hallways and main living areas. These will add color and charm to your home and can prevent the tracking of dirt, sand, and grit from shoes across your wood floors. Choose rugs that are made from natural fabrics and avoid rubber-backed rugs, as these will stifle your hardwood flooring and stop it from being able to breathe.

If you have a lot of furniture in your home that has wheels, consider using chair mats to protect your wood floors. They can be used underneath rolling chairs to provide a durable surface that will not scratch or dent your floors. Some are even designed with a raised border to contain water and help keep the floor dry.

Moving your furniture around is inevitable in any home and can lead to dents, scratches, and scuffs on hardwood floors. One way to reduce the impact on your wood floors is by laying down a sheet of cardboard over them. This can also be useful if you are planning on working with heavy equipment at your work site and need to protect your wooden floors from damage.

Alternatively, you can buy self-adhesive furniture pads to protect your wooden floors. They are available from most hardware stores and big box retailers and are easy to apply. They are usually made of felt or a combination of rubber and felt and provide a soft buffer between your furniture and your hardwood floors. If you prefer a DIY approach to protecting your floors, you can cut old quilts or blankets into furniture feet protectors and use them on your chairs and other furniture pieces.


Rugs can add texture and color to any room but can also serve as a durable barrier between furniture feet and hardwood floors. The type of rug you choose for a particular space can depend on its purpose, but you may want to use an area rug in areas with high traffic, like hallways and entryways, to protect floors from shoes that could leave marks or scratches. A runner rug can also be effective in preventing dirt, grit, and moisture from being tracked onto wood floors.

Rugs that are made of natural rubber or a felt-rubber hybrid are better options for protecting floors than synthetic ones, as they don’t leak chemicals into the floor or air. Polyvinyl and plastic rugs can harm flooring and also have the potential to cause irritation for sensitive skin, as well as contribute to indoor air quality problems.

Another benefit of rugs is that they can help protect wood floors from fading, as they act as a shield between the sun’s harsh rays and the flooring underneath them. This can keep the hardwood floors looking new and protect them from stains and discoloration.

If you have heavy furniture pieces, especially those with wheels or casters, it’s a good idea to use furniture pads on them to prevent scratching and other damage to the hardwood floors. These small pads, which can be purchased at most home improvement stores, are easy to attach to the feet or base of furniture and prevent them from dragging across the floors.

Dragging any type of furniture across a hardwood floor will create scratching and other damage. It’s important to use a runner rug in a hallway or other high-traffic area to protect the floors and prevent wear and tear, but you can also protect furniture from making marks on the floors by moving it around regularly. A change of location can also help redistribute the weight of the furniture, reducing the stress on the floor and other surfaces in the room. Also, make sure to use a furniture glide or bumper pad on the bottom of any chairs that sit directly on hardwood floors.


Keeping hardwood floors clean and free of damaging materials is the best way to protect them. Regular mopping with a wood floor cleaner that has been formulated for your flooring material and finish is the key to keeping it shiny and beautiful. Avoid harsh chemicals and fragrances that can damage or discolor your flooring. A little preventative maintenance can also go a long way in protecting your investment.

Dragging any kind of furniture across a hardwood floor can cause scratches and scuffs, so to help you maintain your beautiful flooring, invest in some padded furniture foot protectors. These are typically made of different types of soft material and attach to the bottom of the chair legs. They are designed to cushion the legs and raise them up slightly off of your floor. They come in a wide range of sizes and shapes to fit the feet on most types of furniture.

If you live in an area that has a lot of salt and ice, be sure to sweep and mop your flooring regularly. This will help keep the grit and salt off of your hardwood floors, which can damage it over time. You should also enforce a no-shoes policy in your home, as most shoes pick up pebbles in their treads that can scratch your floors. If you have children, make sure to have them remove their shoes before entering your home and keep a shoe rack near the front door to help with this.

Using too much water on your wood floors can also be detrimental, even though it may look like it would be okay. Wood is a natural product that expands when it’s wet and can warp or crack over time if left unprotected. It is recommended to use a hygrometer in several areas of your home to monitor humidity levels, which can also affect the health of your floors.

Other factors that can affect the life of your hardwood floor include abrasive dirt and debris, pet claws and hair, and sun damage. If you have a light-colored hardwood, UV rays from the sun can bleach and darken it over time. You can protect your floors by minimizing sunlight in rooms that receive lots of it, and by adding window treatments that filter out UV rays. If you have pets, be sure to trim their claws often so that they don’t indent your floors.