3 questions on a Dented & Scratched Engineered Floor
This was posted as a comment on our piece What is Handscraped Hardwood Flooring?. My answer was a little long for the comments section, so I'm posting our exchange here. These are good questions to which many may need answers.
Not Jay's floor, but the image ''Työn alla, lattiahionta'' by Anssi Koskinen
Hello David: I too wanted to learn the meaning of “hand-scraped”, so thank you for the article. I currently have a room with an engineered wood floor that had some heavy furniture on it such as a bedroom set and the floor is now slightly damaged with dents and scrapes where the furniture was. I have two questions for you please:
1) How can I fix my floor without the expense of replacing it?
SCRATCHESMost flooring manufacturers offer a kit for the repair of scratches on their flooring. This is enough of a Best Option as to really be the only one.
Most experts will say that a dent cannot be repaired. The wood has been compressed, you see. This is especially true of an engineered floor, where the visible, top layer is so thin. The Sand & Refinish option is one we only recommend for solid wood, as to accommodate a dent one must sand down quite a way, probably beyond the top layer. Also, one slip of the sander and you make a bigger problem than you started with. Here is our best advice on dented boards. 1) Replace the boards. If the flooring is a click together, floating floor, you might be able to do this yourself if you have replacement boards in storage. If you’re not completely comfortable with the idea of doing it yourself, certainly if the flooring is nailed or glued down, you would want to contact the original installer and get a price for replacing damaged planks.
2) Use a wood putty to fill in the dents and then stain over them with the color of the floor.
3) A try at your own risk solution frequently listed online in forums - not by professionals, but by homeowners who recommend it if the top layer is at least 1/8” thick:
i. Remove the finish from the dented area (chemical stripping or very detailed sanding) ii. Using distilled water, wet a cloth in an area only large enough to cover the dent iii. Press down on the wet cloth over the dent with a hot iron
In theory, you’re forcing steam into the wood, and expanding the wood in the dent. It should take a few tries, but the wood should level out. Then touch up the spot with your stain or finish.
Again, we haven’t tried the last one, but it pops up more than a little when searching online for solutions to the problem of dents, so there may be something to it.
Jay says: I found Mr. Sandless on the internet who claims they do not sand the floor and they can remedy my situation. What do you know about “Sandless” floor refinishers. Does the process really work? Can they renew my floor with their process? have you ever seen it done?
David says: MR. SANDLESS
As far as this company, Mr. Sandless, they make the unusual claims of being able to refinish both engineered wood and laminate. Online, they don’t say how they would do this, so we can’t evaluate what their process might be just yet. Our flooring expert has called our local branch of this business. He is cautiously pretty optimistic, and may put the service to the test directly. We are looking into this service closely, and when we know enough to give informed advice on them, I will post a follow-up in the comments section.
Jay says: 2) What can I do in the future to prevent my heavy furniture from damaging my engineered wood floors?
David says: PREVENTION
Here are the basic and best tips:
- Always remove high heels. Always. Allow no one to walk your floors with high heels, even if you have to be mean about it - Use felt protectors under your furniture legs, and caster cups under table or chair legs - Do not wear anything that can scratch the floor (roller skates, stilts, metallic cleats, torture boots, etc.) - Use mats both outside and inside entrances to minimize grit getting to the floor - Use area rugs in all high–traffic areas of your floor - Clean your floor regularly. Believe it or not, even if enough dust builds up it can cause damage in the form of minute scratches that permanently dull a gloss - A “satin” finish instead of a glossy finish will reduce the appearance of dents and scratches (basically, it hides them) - Trim your pets’ nails - Place floor mats beneath any pets’ food and water dishes. This is the easiest place for unnoticed water drippage to remain on the floor and soak into the boards
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David is has written and made videos about flooring products and installation since 2011 at Floors To Your Home (.com), where he is also the PPC Manager, a Researcher, a Website & Marketing Strategy Team member, Videographer, Social Strategist, Photographer and all around Resource Jito. In my spare time I shoot and edit video, put together a podcast, explore film history, and mix music (as in ‘play with Beatles multi-tracks’). Connect with W. David Lichty
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