It happens to the best of us. No matter how much you love your hardwood flooring, it’s a high traffic area. Eventually, you’re going to want to know how to hide scratches in wood floors. Of course if it’s a deep gash or major damage to your flooring, you’re going to want to call in a professional to have it repaired. In this article, we’ll go over what a pro does and how to do the repairs yourself with minimal hassle.

“Happiness is having a scratch for every itch.” - Ogden Nash

Hiring a Professional

Hardwood looks great but is not immune to scratches
Keep your hardwood flooring looking great with these tips. Source: Lingo Flamingo

The first thing any pro is going to do is putty up. This can potentially be avoided if the matching stain is open and handy, but if that were the case, you probably wouldn’t need a professional.

So when hardwood floor scratch repair products aren’t enough, a pro will know how to putty the mark, sand it down, plaster it over, and buffer it, leaving it good as new. Now this can pose an issue for old wood, as the buffering process does remove a tiny layer off the original floor.

Finally, a wax, polyurethane, or acrylic polish is laid over for an end result that is truly professional. To prevent damage in the future, try out the following:

  • No dogs allowed in the rooms with hardwood flooring
  • Protective pads under furniture legs
  • Don’t slide furniture when moving it
  • Remove your shoes
  • Sweep often
  • Vacuum the wood
  • Strategically place doormats and rugs

How Will a Professional Address Different Severities of Scratch Marks?

Here's how a pro would handle the situation
Even a deep mark can be corrected. Source: DIY Network

The steps a pro will take generally depends on the severity of the damage. Some scratches can be repaired in less than a day, others can take some time. The trick is in knowing how to fix gouges in hardwood floors. A brief rundown:

  • Minor Scrape: Paste wax and a cloth buffer
  • Scratch: Finding the right color of polish and rubbing that in
  • Gouge: Putty and knife technique
  • Gash: Epoxy wood glue and sanding dust

DIY Floor Repair

Here's a great solution for cheap
This can fix most tiny scratches in under ten minutes. Source: Amazon

Of course you can always just try to repair the damages yourself. Be sure to have Google handy, as well as some hardwood floor scratch repair products. Here is a multi-step process to just go over the basics of hardwood floor repair. An ambitious DIY-er can jump right in.

  1. Assess the damage
  2. Rub over the affected area with steel wool, a walnut, or sandpaper
  3. Rub mineral spirits, polish, or wax over that
  4. If it’s a deep cut, use wood filler
  5. Sand down
  6. Wipe away dust or excess material
  7. Seal, re-stain, or polish the area

Buff Out

Polishing your hardwood flooring can really make a difference.
Look at that night and day difference in flooring. Source: Royal Hardwood

It’s important to buffer the afflicted area for a smooth, shiny finish that any homeowner can be proud of. After you remove scratches on hardwood floors, simply lay down some protective finish or stain and give it a once over. This will make your flooring shine again.

Protective Surface

Once you repair hardwood floor damage, it’s time to double down and make sure your hardwood is more scratch resistant for the next time. This can be done by matching the protective coating over the floor that matches the original flooring material. So depending on the type of floor you have, you might use polyurethane, wax, or simply a solid finish.


Even your beloved doggo can cause flooring issues.
Your little puppy means well, but doggie nails are still nails.  Source: Huffington Post

Many homeowners who are pet lovers wonder how to fix scratches in hardwood floors from a dog. This usually can be repaired by purchasing and using a floor repair kit, sold in most hardware stores. If damage continues, consider giving the pets a room to themselves or just putting little booties on their paws to prevent scratching.

Walnut Trick

The walnut trick is an oldie but goodie for fixing light wooden floor damage. This is how to get scratches out of hardwood floors without sanding. You’re really just taking a walnut and rubbing it over the mark until it comes out. Top it off with a stain or finish and no one will be able to tell the difference.

Do you want to get the scuffs and dings out of your hardwood flooring? Wondering what that might cost coming from a professional? Call one of our experts and request a free quote!

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