Can You Repair Small Scratches on Hardwood Floors?  

If you’re dealing with localised scratches on your hardwood floors, you’re not alone. Many homeowners face this common issue and find themselves googling, “Can you fix a small scratch on your hardwood floor?”. So, whether it’s from moving furniture, pet activity, or everyday wear and tear… I’m going to help you!

Hardwood floors are a beautiful and timeless addition to any home, providing a sense of warmth and elegance. However, over time, even the most well-maintained hardwood floors can develop small scratches and imperfections that can detract from their overall appearance.

In this guide, we’ll explore effective methods to address and repair those pesky small scratches on your hardwood floors. We’ll cover different types of finishes, DIY solutions, and professional approaches to ensure your floors regain their pristine look.

Also, below is the video interview I did to get some of the information in this blog. I know life can be busy and listening to something is sometimes easier and quicker!

Understanding Your Floor’s Finish

Before diving into scratch repair methods, it’s crucial to understand the type of finish your hardwood floors have. There are two main categories: surface finishes and penetrating finishes.

  • Surface finishes: such as polyurethane, create a protective layer on top of the wood.
  • Penetrating finishes: like oil-based finishes, soak into the wood itself.

Surface finishes are more challenging to repair due to their external layer. If you have a penetrating finish, you have more options for localized repairs. To determine your floor’s finish, consult the manufacturer’s specifications or seek advice from a professional.

What it can look like if it goes wrong:

This was one of our customers whose husband tried to do a localised fix, but it made it a lot worse!

This is how it looked after restoration:

Cleaning and Preparing Your Floors

Start by thoroughly cleaning the scratched area and its surroundings. Use a soft mop or vacuum to remove dust, dirt, and debris. Avoid abrasive scrub pads and excessive water, as they can damage your floors further. A mixture of a few drops of liquid soap and water can be gently applied to clean the area, followed by a light misting of fresh water and a buff with a dry cloth. Non-toxic wood cleaners designed for hardwood floors can also be used.


Localised Sanding and Refinishing

For deeper scratches that have penetrated the finish and affected the wood beneath, localized sanding and refinishing may be necessary. This method is more suitable for floors with a penetrating finish, as it involves sanding the damaged area, applying a fresh finish, and blending it with the surrounding floor. It’s important to choose a finish that matches your existing floor to ensure a seamless appearance.


All Over Sanding and Refinishing

In cases where scratches are widespread or deeper and they have a lacquer finish, professional sanding and refinishing of your hardwood floors may be the best option.

This process involves sanding down the entire floor’s surface to remove imperfections, followed by applying a new finish. While it may be a more extensive process, it ensures a consistent and uniform appearance for your entire floor.

If you want to try it yourself, I have linked some other blogs to help you with this process.


Replacing Damaged Floorboards

For severely damaged areas, such as wide gouges or deep scratches, you may need to consider replacing the damaged floorboards entirely. This can be a more intensive process, but it ensures that the affected area is restored to its original state.


So, as you can see,  small scratches on hardwood floors are a common concern, but they don’t have to be a permanent eyesore. By understanding your floor’s finish and selecting the appropriate repair method, you can effectively address and even prevent further damage. Whether you opt for DIY solutions or seek professional assistance, your hardwood floors can regain their beauty and charm, enhancing the overall appeal of your home.

Remember, proper maintenance and preventive measures such as using area rugs and furniture pads can help minimize the occurrence of scratches, keeping your hardwood floors looking pristine for years to come.


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Written by Tracey Gilbey, Marketing

For further advice or information on our Carpet and Soft Furnishing care, please don’t hesitate to contact the Art of Clean team on 01223 901549 in Cambridge. Our services include Carpet CleaningUpholstery Cleaning, oriental and area Rug Cleaning, Curtain Cleaning, Patio and Driveway Pressure washing, Leather Cleaning, Stone and Tile Floor Cleaning and Wood Floor Sanding and Restoration. We also supply new flooring and carpets through our sister company Art of Flooring. Farthings Cambridge provides our Dry Cleaning service.