How to Fix Floor Scratches

Between the scuffs and scratches, traffic can take a toll on your floors. Your floors withstand a lot on a daily basis and can end up looking worse-for-wear after years of use. Whether it’s from moving furniture or from the paws of an excited dog, here’s how to fix floor scratches:

Hardwood Floor Scratches

Before you begin, take note of the following:

Superficial Scratches

These are scratches that only affect the finish of the hardwood floor.

  1. Clean the scratched area using a soft rag and hardwood floor cleaner.
  2. Rinse off the cleaner with a damp rag and let dry.
  3. Fill in the scratch with a wax stick.
  4. Buff the scratch with a clean, soft cloth.

Minor Scratches

These are scratches that have penetrated the wood under the finish.

  1. Clean the surface with a quality wood cleaner to pick up any dirt or dust.
  2. Use steel wool on the scratched area, rubbing with the grain of the wood.
  3. Buff the scratch with steel wool until it’s removed.
  4. Use steel wool to gently blend the edges that surround the surface of the scratch—don’t overdo it.
  5. Use a wax stick to cover the scratches. Let sit for 5-10 minutes.
  6. Buff the area with a soft cloth.
  7. If you don’t have polyurethane on your floors, use a paste wax to make the scratches even less noticeable. Buff out the scratches a second time.

Deep Scratches or Lots of Scratches

If your floor has a lot of scratches or gouges in the wood, it’s best to have the entire floor professionally refinished. If there’s one area with scratches, refinish that area only.

Vinyl Plank Floor Scratches

Just like real hardwood, this wood-look flooring can get scratched too.

  1. Clean the scratch and the surrounding area. Let dry.
  2. Lightly sand the vinyl in the direction of the grain, starting with P320 and repeating with P500 and P800.
  3. Clean the floor again and let dry.
  4. Apply wax to the area with a soft cloth in circular motions.

Ceramic Tile Floor Scratches

The following steps also work for scratches on porcelain tiles.

  1. Clean the scratched area of dirt and dust and let dry.
  2. Apply a dab of non-gel toothpaste to a cloth and buff into the scratch. Brass cleaner also works.
  3. Let the paste or polish dry. Buff the area with a soft cloth.

If the tiles are deeply scratched or chipped, replace them. We recommend storing a stash of extra tiles just in case.

Fix up the rest of your home with these tips:

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