Best Way to Protect Your floors from getting scratched daily, consider using cloth furniture protectors under the feet or legs of your tables, chairs, and heavy furniture. Also consider removing shoes, especially high heels and shoes that can scuff and scratch the floor. For pets and kids that regularly track through your home, you will have to be more diligent for keeping up with sanding and maintenance. While many homeowners feel scratches and natural wear can add to the character of the flooring.
Since hardwood is made from natural wood products, the tendency for flooring to expand and contract is natural. Although, when your flooring tends to raise and dip in areas unnaturally, this is called cupping. This can occur from humidity, a plumbing leak, or sitting water. Be aware of areas of your floor that don’t feel even and investigate where the root of the cause is before your flooring is ruined. Once you find the source your floor can be renewed with sanding. For areas that have been cupping for long periods of time, it may be necessary to replace the entire plank or several planks of your hardwood flooring.
There are a few different types of protectors on the market. Some are good, some are not so good. There are “tap-on” type pads with either a plastic or felt bottom, slip-on pads with the same type of bottoms, or peel and stick pads. Regardless of which you choose, there are a few things to be aware of.
Hardwood Flooring Protectors – Tap On Pads
The “tap on pads” are held on by a small tack or a type of hollowed out nail. These are usually good for big, heavy furniture like a sofa or dining table that won’t be moved much.
If these are used on kitchen or dining chairs they are more likely to break off due to the constant movement. If this happens you can be left with a small piece of the metal in the bottom of the leg and if this isn’t caught right away, it can cause serious damage to your floor.
Protecting Your Wood Floors with Slip On Pads
Slip-on pads are generally made of rubber or soft plastic and will usually fit over a chair leg up to a 1.25″ diameter. If fit properly, there should be no problem with them coming off. The problem I’ve found with this type is with the bottom covering.
The ones that are rubber will tend to leave scuff marks on the floor. The plastic ones will, over time, wear down the finish on the floor. The others are felt covered and work well for a while depending on the thickness of the felt. Very thin felt will wear off down to the plastic and again cause damage to the finish.
Peel and Stick Pads for Wood Flooring Protection
The peel and stick pads are the simplest and least expensive of the three and can be found in most hardware and home improvement stores. The different size and shaped pads are typically made out of felt. Just peel off the paper backing and stick them to the bottom off the chair leg. The thinner pads have a bad habit of peeling off fairly quickly so I suggest using a thicker one.
Keep in mind that if the bottom of the leg is not sitting level on the floor, you may need to sand it down flat so that the full surface of the leg is on the floor. If not, it may scratch the floor finish or even gouge the wood itself. Another thing is to periodically turn the chair over and clean the dust and debris that may accumulate in the pad. If not, this may damage the floor as well.