Hardwood floors are a favorite among St. Louis Park homeowners for their beauty and timelessness. However, they can also be prone to scratches and nicks. If you find scratches or dents on your floor, rest assured that there are plenty of ways to fix them. Here are some tricks on ways to cover up the most common types of wood flooring damage and how to tell when you should hire a professional.
Light Scratches and Nicks
If you notice a surface scratch (i.e. the protective finish is damaged but the inner wood hasn’t been exposed), then you’re in luck. Surface scratches and nicks generally don’t need extreme intervention —they just need a little love and care. You can buy a touch up kit that contains a stain marker matching the wood color. Clean the area with a wood-friendly cleaner, buff with a soft cloth, color over the damage of with the marker, allow it to dry completely, and you’re done! Properly cleaning your hardwood floors will also go a long way towards reducing these types of scratches.
If a scratch has exposed the inner wood, it will need to be repaired with wood filler and finish. Most hardware stores or flooring retailers offer pre-colored fillers to match most types of wood flooring. As before, make sure to thoroughly clean and buff the damaged area first. Use a putty knife to apply the wood filer (avoid over applying), and let it dry. One the filler has set, carefully sand away any excess material and apply a new layer of protective finish. Work carefully so you don’t accidentally damaged the wood surface around the scratch. Keep in mind this solution is best suited for small areas of damage. Larger gouges or multiple scratches will require more intensive repairs.
Gaps Between Planks
Sometimes gaps between planks form because fluctuating levels of humidity in the room (such as in bathrooms, kitchens, or laundry areas), causes the floor to shift. Increased humidity causes the boards to swell and decreased humidity causes them to shrink, resulting in gaps over time. Using a dehumidifier and ensuring proper ventilation in the room can help minimize these gaps.
When to Call A Professional
When your wood floor has deep scratches or is showing wear and tear over a larger area, it will need a complete overhaul — meaning sanding down and refinish your hardwood floors. At this point we recommend hiring a professional due to the intensity of the work involved, specialized tools, and the large amount of dust and chemical fumes. It’s easy to accidentally to sand off too much of the wood surface, or to misapply the finish, which can cause permanent damage to your floor. You will also want to seek out professional help with floorboards that are warped or cracked. It’s important that replacement boards are installed properly to prevent them from becoming warped as well.
Want to know more about how to repair your hardwood floors? Call the expert at Floor Coverings International Southwest Metro Minneapolis today! We will come out for a free in-home consultation and help you find the best solution to restore the beauty of your floors. We proudly serve the greater Minnetonka, Chanhassen, Eden Prairie, St. Louis Park areas.