Scratch Floors: Common Causes and How to Repair

No matter how careful you are, you will ultimately need to deal with scratch floors in your home. This is often the result of moving furniture, dirt or grit on the floor, and pets and kids running around the house. Depending on how severe the damage is, there are various methods to repair a scratched or dented floor. In this post, we’ll discuss the common causes of dents and scratches and ways to get rid of these unsightly marks and scrapes on your floors.

Common Causes of Dent and Scratch Floors

Accidents can happen, particularly inside the house with children and pets. Your kids will eventually run down the hallway, potentially scratching floors; you will spill a can of tomatoes on the floor, or you will get inside the house to get your forgotten keys without removing your shoes, which can scratch floors.

One of the main worries of homeowners when considering dents, scratches, and scuffs on floors is how to properly safeguard the flooring. Dents and scratches on floors can occur due to various reasons. Some common causes include:

  • Heavy furniture —- Moving heavy furniture across the floor without proper protection or lifting can cause scratch floors and dents.
  • Pet claws —- Pets, particularly dogs with long or sharp claws, can inadvertently scratch and dent floors, especially if they run around or play vigorously indoors.
  • Shoes and High heels — Walking in high heels can leave marks on hardwood floors, especially if the heels are worn or damaged.
  • Abrasive materials — Sand, gravel, and other abrasive materials brought in from outdoors on shoes can scratch floors and damage over time, particularly hardwood and laminate flooring.
  • Improper cleaning tools —- Using rough or abrasive cleaning tools like steel wool or hard-bristled brushes can scratch the surface of floors, especially those with a delicate finish.
  • Accidental impacts —- Dropping heavy objects or accidentally knocking items against the floor can cause dents and scratches.
  • Poor installation — Improper installation of flooring materials, such as inadequate underlayment or incorrect installation techniques, can result in premature wear and tear, leading to dents and scratches.
  • Wear and tear —- Over time, normal foot traffic can cause wear and tear on floors, resulting in minor scratches and dents, particularly in high-traffic areas.

Ways to Repair Scratch Floors

Hardwood Floors Repair

For minor scratches on the hardwood flooring, use a floor cleaner to clean the scratched area. Then, a small amount of wood filler or wax stick that matches the floor color directly into the scratch is applied. Use a putty knife to level it off and wipe away excess filler with a clean cloth. Buff the area gently to blend it with the surrounding floor. For deeper scratches, consider lightly sanding the area with fine-grit sandpaper to level the surface. Then, apply wood filler to the scratch, let it dry, and sand lightly again. Finally, a matching wood finish is applied to the repaired area.

Vinyl Floors

Clean the scratched area with a vinyl floor cleaner before removing any scuffs. Use a vinyl repair kit or vinyl floor seam sealer to fill in the scratch. Apply the filler according to the manufacturer’s instructions, ensuring it matches the color of your vinyl flooring. For deeper scuffs and batters on the vinyl flooring, you may need to replace the damaged vinyl tile or plank. Use a utility knife to carefully cut out the damaged piece, then install a new one following the manufacturer’s guidelines.

Tile Floors

It’s important to clean the scratched area first with a tile cleaner and allow it to dry completely. Use a tile touch-up pen or paint that matches the color of your tile to cover the scratch. Apply the paint carefully, allowing it to dry between coats if necessary. If the scratch penetrates through the glaze and affects the tile itself, you may need to replace the damaged tile. Remove the grout around the damaged tile, carefully break it out, and install a new tile in its place. Re-grout the area once the new tile is in position.

Concrete Floors

For minor scratches, clean the scratched area with a concrete cleaner and allow it to dry. Apply a concrete patching compound to fill in the scratch, smoothing it out with a putty knife. Let it dry completely before sanding lightly if needed, and seal the area with a concrete sealer. For deeper scratches, you may need to apply multiple layers of patching compound to build up the surface. Once dry, sand the area smooth and apply a concrete sealer to protect the repaired spot.

Laminate Floors

When the surface has minor scratches, you can use a laminate floor repair kit that includes wax pencils or markers matching your floor color. Fill the scratch with the appropriate color and gently buff away excess filler with a clean cloth. Apply laminate floor filler putty to the scratch for deeper dents and scrapes, smooth it out, and let it dry. Sand lightly if needed and apply a matching finish to the repaired area.

scratch floors

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I repair deep scratches on hardwood floors myself, or do I need professional help?

It depends on the severity of the scratches and your DIY skills. Minor scratches can often be repaired using DIY methods like wood filler or wax sticks. However, deep scratches may require professional sanding and refinishing to achieve satisfactory results.

How can I prevent further damage after repairing scratches on my floors?

To prevent further damage, consider placing protective pads under furniture legs, using rugs or mats in high-traffic areas, and regularly maintaining your floors by cleaning them with appropriate products and methods. Additionally, avoid dragging heavy furniture or sharp objects across the floor.

Is it possible to repair scratches on laminate flooring, or do I need to replace the affected planks?

Minor scratches on laminate flooring can often be repaired using laminate floor repair kits, which typically include markers or putty that match the floor color. However, deeper scratches may require replacing the affected planks for a more seamless repair. It’s best to assess the extent of the damage before deciding on the appropriate repair method.

How long does it take for scratch repairs on floors to dry and set completely?

The drying and setting time for scratch repairs on floors can vary depending on the type of repair product used and environmental conditions. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for specific guidance on drying times. In general, allow ample time for the repair to dry and set completely before resuming normal use of the floor to ensure optimal results.


We hope that these scratch floor repair tips will help keep your floor looking like new, but if the worst does happen, don’t panic —- Flooring 941 can help you. Our flooring repair expertise can help remove the most difficult gouges and scrapes. Contact us today.