How To Get Rid Of Scratches On Wood Floor

Hardwood floors are one of the best features in any home. Whether they're laid in traditional horizontal strips or a more unique herringbone pattern, wood floors add a sense of elegance and timelessness. Recent flooring trends are embracing this classic style with modern refreshes, such as rustic finishes, darker tones, and unconventional designs (via The Flooring Girl). Regardless of whether you've inherited a fantastic wood floor or you're refurbishing an existing style, it's important to maintain the overall quality of the wood to ensure its longevity.

Most homeowners assume that wood floors are low maintenance and opt for a simple cleaning routine. While this removes any dust, dirt, and residual buildup, it doesn't do anything to preserve the life of the wood floor itself. A high-quality wood cleaner is needed to clean and protect the floor, and it must be applied and removed properly. Saturate a sponge mop with your chosen wood cleaner, wring out the excess liquid, then mop the floor accordingly. Be sure to go over the floor again with clean water to remove any leftover cleaner before drying the floor completely with a towel (via HGTV).

Once you've mastered the correct cleaning technique for the wood floors in your home, you can move on to bigger projects, like getting rid of scratches. If you don't know how to get rid of scratches on a wood floor, we've broken down the process into a few simple steps that you can follow with ease.

Getting rid of fine scratches on wood floor

Getting rid of the scratches on your wood floors varies depending on whether there are fine scratches or deep scratches, so you'll need to identify the type of damage before you begin. According to The Spruce, a fine scratch is classified as anything less than 1/8 inch deep. If your floor became scuffed after you slid your furniture across it while rearranging the room, this is considered a fine scratch.

In these instances, you'll need to lightly sand the scratches before applying a stain marker or a resin-based colorant (via The Spruce). Doing so minimizes their depth and makes it easier to fill in the remaining space with the correct stain or colorant. This is usually the trickiest part, as you need to match the stain or colorant perfectly to your existing floor. It's best to test the color on any area of the floor that isn't immediately visible.

Once you've gotten the correct resin-based colorant or stain marker, you'll brush the color lightly across the sanded-down scratches. Next, rub down the area with fine-grade steel wool, then clean the area with a soft cloth. For a quicker, homemade solution, mix olive oil and apple cider vinegar in equal parts and then lightly dab the combined liquids onto the fine scratches (via The Family Handyman). Leave the solution on the floor throughout the day, then rub it out with fine-grade steel wool and wipe the area with a clean cloth afterward.

Getting rid of deep scratches on wood floor

Getting rid of deep scratches on wood floors is a slightly more complicated process than removing finer lines. One of the simplest solutions is to purchase a latex wood filler from your local hardware store in a color that matches your existing floor (via Classic Wood Floors). Test the filler on a section of the floor that isn't immediately visible to ensure it's the correct tone before applying it in large swathes to address the damage.

Similar to the process with fine scratches, you'll sand the deeper grooves down as much as you can before applying the latex wood filler. Allow the filler to set and dry properly before wiping the area clean. Depending on the tone of the filler, you may need to apply an additional layer of resin-based colorant or stain to match your hardwood floors more effectively, per The Spruce.

If your wood floor has been damaged beyond these deep scratches, it may be time to contact a specialist to determine whether you need to sand and repair the entire floor with the help of hardwood professionals.