How To Fix Scratched Wood Floor: The Best DIY Guide

How To Fix Scratched Wood Floor

Scratched wood floors are a common sight in homes. Wood is a natural material, which means it will show signs of wear sooner rather than later. Scratches can appear on the surface of the floor from a number of different sources — everything from pets and children to houseguests and visitors can be responsible for leaving behind scratches as their mark on your home. If you’re the owner of scratched wood floors and are looking for a solution, don’t worry! There are many different ways to fix scratched wood floors. Follow this DIY guide to learn more about how to fix scratched wood floors so that your home feels new again. 

How To Fix Scratched Wood Floor? 

Step 1: Sand Away the Damage

The first step in how to fix scratched wood floors is to sand away the damage. This will ensure all the old layers of finish are removed and will make it much easier for you to apply a new finish. Using a random orbital sander with a sandpaper grit of roughly 80, you can quickly and easily remove the existing damage without damaging the wood further. Sand in the direction of the grain. When sanding your floor, try to avoid creating a ton of dust by covering your floors with drop sheets. You can also use a vacuum with a HEPA filter to suck up as much dust and debris as possible.

Step 2: Apply a Stain Protector

After you’ve sanded your floors to remove all the scratches, you’ll want to protect the wood from future scratches by applying a stain protector. This will essentially fill in the damaged areas and restore the finish of your floors with an even coat. Stain protectors can be a bit tricky to find, so your best bet is to visit a home improvement store like Home Depot or Lowes. You can also find them online if you’d like to shop around. When shopping for stain protectors, look for a product that’s designed for unfinished or un-stained wood floors. You can also read the reviews to see what other customers are saying. You can apply the stain protector with a paintbrush, roller, or paint pad. Just make sure to cover your floor with drop cloths to avoid creating a ton of extra mess.

Step 3: Lay Down a Coating of Varnish

Now that you’ve applied a stain protector, it’s time to lay down a coating of varnish. A varnish is a great option for scratched wood floors because it’s incredibly durable and can last for years without needing to be replaced. It’s also water-resistant, making it a great choice for protecting your floors against unexpected drops and spills. Varnish can be a bit tricky to apply if you’re unfamiliar with the process, so we recommend hiring a professional if you’re unsure of how to proceed. A pro will ensure your floors are protected properly and will look great when the job is done.

Step 4: Give Your Varnish Time to Cure

After you’ve applied a coating of varnish, be sure you give the finish adequate time to cure before applying the final coat. A typical varnish will take about two weeks to fully cure, though this can depend on the product you’ve used. Varnishes are temperature-sensitive, meaning they require a certain amount of time to fully cure depending on what they’re being applied to. For scratched wood floors, you’ll want to apply a urethane-based varnish.

Step 5: Apply the Final Coat of Varnish

After you’re certain the previous coat of varnish has dried and cured, it’s time for the final layer of finish. The main difference between the first two coats of varnish is that the final layer is going to be much thicker, so it can fully protect your floors from scratches and dings. When applying the final coat of varnish, try to apply it evenly to avoid creating an obvious difference between the new and old layers. You can use a paintbrush, roller, or paint pad to apply the final layer.

What Can Cause Wood Floors to Scratch?

They’re installed in areas of high traffic.

No matter how careful you might be, high-traffic areas are going to be more likely to get scratched than a low-traffic areas. Heavy furniture that sits in one spot but gets moved around frequently is also a common culprit that can cause scratches. If you want to minimize the risk of scratches in high-traffic areas, it’s best to choose a more durable type of wood flooring. It’s also a good idea to keep those high-traffic areas free of loose items that can get scuffed. It may also be helpful to put a mat or runner at the entrance of your home. This will keep dirt from being tracked into your home, where it may be tracked elsewhere.

They are scuffed during installation.

Installing wood floors can be a tricky business. No matter how carefully you measure and mark the floor, there’s a chance you’ll end up scuffing the wood as you install it anyway. Even if you’re installing the floor yourself, you may not be able to avoid scuffing it. There’s even a chance that you might damage the underlay or scuff the subfloor if you don’t know what you’re doing. If you’re installing wood floors that have been refinished, you’re less likely to scuff them during installation. Prefinished floors are sanded and sealed before they’re installed on a floor, so they’re ready to go out of the box. If you’re installing unfinished wood flooring, it’s recommended that you seal it with a water-based sealant after installation. This will help protect the wood from scratches and staining.

The wood is a low-quality type.

Not all wood floors are created equal. If you install a lower-quality wood floor, you’re more likely to end up with dings, dents, and scratches. A higher-quality wood floor will be less likely to get scuffed. If you’re unsure about the type of wood you should install in your home, talk with a flooring contractor who can recommend a type of wood that would be a good fit for the space.

How To Fix Scratched Tiled Floors?

  1. Scratches on tile are less common than those on other flooring types, but they can still happen. If you have tile floors and they’re scratched, you’re probably wondering how to fix them.
  2.  The good news is that scratches on tile are often pretty easy to fix! In some cases, you can simply use a household cleaning product to get rid of the scratches.
  3.  In other cases, you’ll need to use a wet tile saw to get rid of the scratches. 
  4. In either case, you’ll want to make sure you wear the appropriate protective gear — such as safety goggles and gloves — to avoid getting hurt.

How To Fix Scratched Vinyl Flooring? 

  • If you have vinyl flooring, there’s a good chance it has a few scratches. Vinyl flooring is a soft flooring material that’s easy to tear. 
  • Despite its seeming fragility, vinyl flooring is a very durable material that’s widely used for flooring. However, vinyl flooring does scratch easily.
  •  If your vinyl flooring is scratched, you have a few different options. One option is to simply live with the scratches. Sometimes, vinyl flooring with scratches actually looks better than pristine vinyl flooring because it has a little character. 
  • Other times, though, you’ll want to repair the scratches.
  •  Thankfully, repairing scratches on vinyl flooring isn’t hard — simply use a vinyl repair kit to fill the scratches and make them disappear.

How To Prevent Scratches On Your Wood Flooring?

Wood floors can be damaged in many different ways. While scratches are common, there are ways to prevent this from happening. 

Use rugs in high-traffic areas.

If you have part of your home that sees a lot of foot traffic, you will want to use area rugs in these spots. Rugs will catch some of the foot traffic and not leave scratches on the wood flooring. You can also use coasters to help prevent scratches from drinks being set down on the wood flooring.

Install a wooden threshold.

If you have a threshold between your wood floors and another surface like tile or concrete, you may want to consider installing a wooden threshold. A wooden threshold will prevent dirt and debris on the other surfaces from being dragged onto your wood floors. Wooden thresholds are also easy to install, making them a great choice for those who are DIY enthusiasts.

Add a layer of undercoating.

If you are concerned about scratches on your hardwood flooring, you can add a layer of undercoating. Undercoating is a liquid-based barrier that can be applied to the floor. This can help prevent scratches by stopping dirt and other particles from getting onto the flooring.


Scratches on wood floors are fairly common, so you’re not alone if you have them! Luckily, scratches on wood floors are usually easy to repair — all it takes is a little bit of patience and the right cleaning product or tool. If you have scratched wood floors, don’t fret. There are many ways you can repair them so that they look as good as new!