Hardwood floors are a great way to tie a room together with a little bit of warmth. Many people are unfortunately put off installing a hardwood floor as it can be time-consuming and messy to lay and stain a whole floor.
The solution? A prefinished hardwood floor.
Prefinished hardwood floors are still solid wood, but they are pre-treated with sealants before they are sold.
Industrial strength sealants protect the hardwood floor from deep scratches and more minor scratches. Scratches caused by anything from high heels, to pet nails, and moving heavy furniture.
That said, prefinished hardwood is by no means indestructible and some damage is inevitable in the course of day-to-day life.
We think that being aware of how to fix dents in prefinished hardwood floor is essential for basic home maintenance and so we have put together this quick guide on repairing dents of differing severity.
Assessment And Prep
First of all, you need to assess the damage and see how bad it is – you may have some dents and minor scratches or some deeper scratches that need to be fixed.
If you have the odd dent and a small scratch here and there you can relax a little because these are super easy to fix. Any scuffs that go a bit deeper into the wood layer are going to need more work to fix.
Fixing Light Hardwood Floor Dents
To fix light damage to your floor, add a little bit of water to the dent. Any varnish or stain is likely to turn blue so don’t be alarmed if this happens.
Once you have enough water in the dent, you need to use an absorbent but dry cloth to get rid of any excess water – you only want water in the dent. Now use a damp folded cloth to protect the wood while you press a hot iron over the top of the water filled dent.
When the cloth is dry, carefully take off the iron and inspect the dent. Hopefully, this has done the trick and the moisture has penetrated the wood to expand the fibers, fixing dents.
If the damage is still visible, repeat the above steps until it is gone.
Fixing Deeper Dents In Hardwood Floors
Use this method to fix dents that go beneath the surface level of the wood. These steps will also work for fixing deep scratches.
However, if you have a lot of deep dents or scratches over a large area we do not recommend this process. This is because wood filler or wood putty is never going to look like wood and so there will always be a noticeable difference in texture for more extensive repairs.
You need to fill in the dent or scratch with some wood filler. It is essential that this stage is done correctly and you need to find a wood filler that is the same color as your wooden floor.
Use a putty knife to smear the filler into the wood flooring until it is slightly raised above the level of the surrounding wood.
You need the extra wood filler because it will shrink as it dries – compensating for this should leave a level floor.
Leave the wood filler to dry for however long the manufacturer says, then finish off with some stain if needed and some sealant. You need the sealant to protect the repaired area and to prevent dents in the future.
Sometimes it is impossible to conceal huge dents or scratches. It will then be necessary to replace some boards to make the floor look better.
Thankfully, prefinished boards are easy to install and replace. You do, however, need to be sure that you get the exact match for color. Bear in mind that sheen levels are going to be almost impossible to match perfectly, so the repaired area is likely to stand out.
If you want to get a perfect and cohesive floor, we recommend that you lightly recoat the whole floor. This will help keep the sheen levels uniform, protect any bare wood, and prolong the life of the finished wood.
Preventing Future Dents
We are always going to be in the opinion that prevention is better than cure and prefinished hardwood flooring is no different!
There are numerous factors involved in extending a floor’s longevity, but simple measures like not wearing high heels are going to seriously prevent dents on your hardwood floor. Keep pet claws trimmed and put furniture pads on heavy items as well to keep your floor looking excellent.
It is worth repeating that finished wood is more durable than bare wood floors, but nothing lasts forever! Repair work, like fixing dents, is inevitable with any wood floor but we think it is absolutely worth it.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is A Prefinished Hardwood Floor?
A prefinished hardwood floor is a type of wooden floor that has been treated with various sealants – the most common is aluminum oxide crystal sealant – before it is laid down.
As it is treated on an industrial scale, the protection from the sealants is much greater than traditional hardwood flooring and is a good option for a high traffic area.
How Do I Protect My Hardwood Floor?
Preventing damage to your hardwood floor is easy with a few simple steps.
Take simple measures like not wearing high heels, be sure to trim pet nails regularly, and affix furniture pads or protective caps to any heavy furniture. If you are careful and follow these tips, fixing scratches and more extensive damage is now a thing of the past for your entire room!
How Do I Fix My Hardwood Floor Fast?
The quickest way to neaten up your hardwood floor is to get hold of a touch up marker or some touch up sticks.
These act a bit like a brown crayon and will quickly color the uppermost layer of wood or wax layer to conceal the scratch – just make sure you find an exact match to blend in with surrounding boards!
A mixture of baking soda and olive oil buffed into the wood is also going to get rid of some superficial damage.
Simply mix together some baking soda with a couple of drops of olive oil and apply to the damaged but cleaned floor. Wait a few minutes and then polish off with a dampened towel. Finish off by drying the area.