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How To Repair Hardwood Flooring

No matter how well you care for your floors, most hardwood floor owners as the seemingly inevitable question at some point or other: how can I repair my hardwood flooring?

From small scratches to worn patches in high foot-traffic areas, after a while, you may start to see areas of your floor that could do with a little TLC. While this is difficult to do on engineered flooring, if you have a genuine, solid hardwood floor, you'll have little issue in easily restoring your floor to its former glory.

One thing that you'll need to be mindful of is the type of floor finish already on your floors. While finishes like waxes and oils can be easily touched up, some other finishes cannot be spot repaired.

Generally, there are three levels of 'damage' that you may experience with your floor, and they all come with different treatment options. Some can be repaired quickly and easily, others require time and effort.

1. Repair Small Scratches & Worn Areas

Small, hairline scratches on your hardwood floor can be quite common, but they can also be somewhat irksome! Superficial scratches are usually only affecting your floor's finish, not the timber itself.

Luckily they can usually be fixed with little effort, and often with items you've likely already got in your pantry. Mixing a solution of apple cider vinegar and olive oil can be a quick and effective remedy to small floor scratches.

Once you've made your solution, apply it to the scratch and leave it for a few hours and wipe away. If this doesn't work, you can use a wax stick to fill the scratch and buff it out.

When it comes to worn areas, the vinegar and olive oil technique won't generally work, so you need to source the same finish your floor uses and buff that into the area. This is easy for hard wax and oil finishes but some other finishes like varnishes may not be as simple. Some finishes require the whole floor to be sanded and refinished, so think about whether these areas really need to be done, and if they do, consider choosing a flooring finish which will allow you to repair it more easily in the future.

2. Repair Moderate Scratches Spot Repairing

Unlike small, superficial scratches, moderate scratches are those which have penetrated the finish and the timber beneath.

In order to buff out the scratch, use steel wool on the scratch itself, making sure you're rubbing with the grain. Feather out the edges of the site you're buffing and then use a wax stick on the area. Depending on the finish your floor has on it, you can simply use the same finish to apply over the scratch site once you're done.

3. Repair Deep Scratches and Heavy Wear

Sometimes spot healing won't be an option if your floor is badly scratched or own. The beauty of solid hardwood floors, though, is that they can be sanded and refinished multiple times over their lifetime.

DIYers can usually do this themselves: you can hire a floor sander and put in the hard work... or you get a professional to do it for you!

If you're going to do it yourself, make sure you get some professional advice before tackling your floors.


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