How To Fix Hardwood Floor Scratches | Expert Guide

How To Fix Hardwood Floor Scratches
How To Fix Hardwood Floor Scratches

Hardwood floors are not only beautiful but also add a touch of elegance to any home. However, they are not impervious to wear and tear.

One of the most common issues hardwood floor owners face is scratches. Whether caused by rambunctious pets, moving furniture, or the hustle and bustle of daily life, these scratches can be an eyesore.

So the question is, “How do I have the scratches on my hardwood floor fixed?”

Fortunately, there are several methods for fixing scratches on hardwood floors that are easy and affordable.

Before attempting to repair a scratch in a hardwood floor, there are a few questions that must be addressed.

  • What Type Of Hardwood Scratch Are You Dealing With
  • What Type Of Hardwood Was Used For The Wood Floor
  • How Can A Hardwood Scratch Be Fixed
  • Things To Avoid When Using A Hardwood Floor To Avoid Scratches From Reoccurring 
  • Equipment and Materials Needed For The Repair Of HardWoodFloor Scratch

Thus, In this article, we will provide you with a step-by-step guide on how to fix hardwood floor scratches and restore the natural beauty of your floors.

ALSO READ: 15 Easy Fix For A Wooden Floor Scratch|Expert Guide

How To Fix Hardwood Floor Scratches

One of the most common methods for fixing scratches on hardwood floors is to use a wood staining marker. This method is best for shallow scratches that have not penetrated the wood and For deeper scratches, another method is to use a wax or acrylic floor polish. This method is best for scratches that have penetrated the wood but are not too deep.

Understanding Hardwood Floor Scratches (Assessing the Damage)

Before fixing scratches on hardwood floors, it’s important to assess the damage. Identifying and assessing damage is critical in deciding how to repair a scratch. There are various levels of damage, and each requires different repair methods.

Types of Scratches and Their Causes

  1. Surface Scratches: These are the most common type of damage otherwise called superficial wood floor scratches. They only affect the floor’s finish and don’t penetrate the wood. They’re often caused by pets, high heels, or furniture being dragged across the floor. Surface scratches can be easily fixed with DIY solutions.
  2. Deeper scratches: This is a Minor Wood Floor Scratch, they are more severe and penetrate the wood. They’re often caused by heavy furniture being moved or dropped onto the floor. Deeper scratches require more attention and may need professional repair.
  3. Gouges: are the most severe type of damage. These are deep, wide scratches that penetrate the wood. They’re often caused by heavy objects being dropped onto the floor or by pets digging into the wood. Gouges require professional repair and may need to be replaced entirely.

Assessing the damage is important because it helps determine the best course of action. DIY solutions may work for surface scratches, but deeper scratches and gouges may require professional attention. It’s important to be realistic about the damage and not attempt to fix it yourself if it’s beyond your skill level.

In summary, assessing the damage is the first step in fixing scratches on hardwood floors. Surface scratches can be easily fixed with DIY solutions, while deeper scratches and gouges may require professional repair. It’s important to be realistic about the damage and seek professional help if necessary.

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Factors That Contribute to Scratch Formation

Now that we know the types of scratches, let’s explore some common factors that contribute to their formation. This understanding will help us take preventive measures to avoid future scratches.

  1. Pets: Our furry friends bring us immeasurable joy, but they can also be the culprits behind those unsightly scratches. Pet nails, especially if not regularly trimmed, can leave marks on your beautiful hardwood floors.
  2. Furniture: Moving furniture around can be a daunting task, and sometimes accidents happen. Even small movements can lead to scratches if the furniture is not properly lifted or if protective pads are not used.
  3. Foot Traffic: Daily foot traffic can gradually wear down the protective layer of your hardwood floors, making them more susceptible to scratches. It’s important to minimize wear and tear by using rugs and mats in high-traffic areas.

Now that we have a good understanding of hardwood floor scratches and their causes, let’s move on to the steps you can take to fix them!

Step-by-Step Guide to Fixing Hardwood Floor Scratches

To successfully repair hardwood floor scratches, it’s essential to follow a systematic approach. We’ll walk you through the process step by step, ensuring that your floors regain their former glory.

1. Preparing the Affected Area

Before you begin the actual repair work, it’s crucial to prepare the affected area properly. Taking the time to set the stage will help you achieve better results in the end.

  • Cleaning the Floor: Start by thoroughly cleaning the area around the scratches. Use a gentle hardwood floor cleaner and a microfiber cloth to remove any dirt, dust, or grime. Cleaning the floor will ensure that no debris interferes with the repair process.
  • Clearing the Area of Furniture: If possible, clear the area of furniture to have ample space to work. It will also prevent any accidental damage to your belongings while you’re fixing the scratches. Plus, moving furniture can be a great workout!

2. How To Fix Superficial or Surface Hardwood Floor Scratches

How To Fix Hardwood Floor Scratches

Surface scratches are generally easier to fix compared to deep scratches. Here’s how you can tackle those pesky marks on the surface of your hardwood floor:

  • Using a Microfiber Cloth to Remove Debris: Start by gently wiping the scratched area with a soft, lint-free microfiber cloth. This will help remove any loose debris and prepare the surface for further repair.
  • Applying a Wood Stain or Finish to Conceal the Scratch: Once the surface is clean, you can apply a wood stain or finish that closely matches the color of your floor. Using a small brush or a cotton swab, carefully apply the stain or finish along the scratch, following the direction of the wood grain. This will help camouflage the scratch and make it less noticeable. Voilà! The scratch is magically gone!

3. Dealing with Deep Scratches

Fixing deep scratches in hardwood flooring

Deep scratches require a bit more effort to repair. However, with patience and the right materials, you can restore your hardwood floor to its former glory. Let’s dive into the steps:

  • Sanding the Scratched Area: Begin by sanding the scratched area to remove any rough edges and prepare the surface for repair. Use fine-grit sandpaper and sand gently along the direction of the wood grain. Remember, gentle strokes are key here!
  • Applying Wood Filler and Smoothing It Out: After sanding, it’s time to apply wood filler to the scratch. Choose a wood filler that matches the color of your floor. Apply the filler generously to the scratch, making sure to fill it completely. Use a putty knife or a plastic scraper to smooth out the excess filler and level it with the surrounding floor.
  • Sanding and Refinishing the Repaired Area: Once the wood filler is dry, sand the repaired area gently to make it smooth and even with the rest of the floor. Start with coarser grit sandpaper and gradually move to finer grits for a polished finish. After sanding, apply a wood stain or finish to match the rest of the floor, following the manufacturer’s instructions. This will ensure a seamless blend between the repaired area and the surrounding floor.

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4. Touching Up Minor Scratches

In addition to surface and deep scratches, your hardwood floor may also have minor blemishes or smaller scratches. Here are some quick solutions to touch up those imperfections:

  • Using Wood Putty or Touch-Up Markers for Smaller Blemishes: For minor scratches, you can use wood putty or touch-up markers. Wood putty is perfect for filling in tiny cracks and imperfections, while touch-up markers work wonders for concealing small scratches. Simply apply the putty or marker to the affected area and blend it in with the surrounding wood. Your floors will thank you for the TLC!

5. Replacing the Plank (Only for Extreme damage)

Restoring scratched hardwood floors

When it comes to deep scratches on hardwood floors, the damage may be too severe for simple DIY repairs. In these cases, replacing the plank may be necessary. Here are the steps to replace a damaged plank:

  1. Identify the damaged plank: First, locate the damaged plank and determine its size. Measure the length, width, and thickness of the plank to ensure that you purchase a replacement that matches the original.
  2. Remove the damaged plank: Use a circular saw to cut along the length of the plank, stopping at the ends. Then, use a chisel to remove the center section of the plank. Be careful not to damage the surrounding planks.
  3. Prepare the replacement plank: Cut the replacement plank to the same size as the damaged plank. Sand the edges of the plank to ensure a snug fit.
  4. Install the replacement plank: Apply wood glue to the edges of the replacement plank and slide it into place. Use a rubber mallet to tap the plank into place. Wipe away any excess glue with a damp cloth.
  5. Sand and finish: Once the replacement plank is in place, sand the area to smooth out any rough edges. Then, apply a finish that matches the surrounding planks.

While replacing a plank may be more time-consuming and costly than other repair methods, it can be the best solution for deep scratches that cannot be fixed with other techniques.

Now that you’ve learned the step-by-step process of fixing hardwood floor scratches, let’s explore some preventive measures to keep your floors looking fabulous for years to come.

Preventive Measures for Future Scratches

Taking proactive steps to protect your hardwood floors can go a long way in preventing scratches and maintaining their pristine appearance. Here are some preventive measures you can implement:

  • Placing Protective Pads Under Furniture: Whenever you’re moving furniture, ensure you place protective pads or felt glides under the legs. These pads create a buffer between the furniture and the floor, reducing the risk of scratches.
  • Using Rugs and Mats in High-Traffic Areas: High-traffic areas, such as entryways or hallways, are more prone to scratches. Placing rugs and mats in these areas helps minimize direct contact between shoes and the hardwood floor, reducing the chances of scratches. Plus, it adds a touch of style to your home decor!
  • Trimming Pet Nails Regularly: We love our pets, but their nails can leave lasting impressions on our hardwood floors. Regularly trimming their nails will not only protect your floors but also keep your furry friends comfortable and happy.
  • Regular Cleaning and Maintenance: Implementing a regular cleaning and maintenance routine is essential for preserving the beauty of your hardwood floors. Use a gentle hardwood floor cleaner and a microfiber mop to remove dirt and dust regularly. Avoid using harsh cleaning agents that can damage the finish of the floor. Remember, a clean floor is a happy floor!

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Things To Avoid When Using A Hardwood Floor To Avoid Scratches 

  • Avoid using shoes to walk on the hardwood floor; always take off your shoes to avoid scratches 
  • Put mats on the front door to help keep sand and debris out.
  • To protect the wood floor, use a felt pad with the furniture.
  • To prevent it from scratching the hardwood floor, avoid using chairs with wheels.
  • Regularly clean the floor 
  • Avoid damaging the wood floor by not wearing heels and stilettos inside the house.
  • If you plan to use roller chairs, be sure to place a rug below it to safeguard the wood floor.

Equipment And Materials Needed To Repair A Hardwood Floor Scratch


When it comes to fixing hardwood floor scratches, there are a few materials that are essential. These materials include:

  • Wood filler: This is used to fill in larger scratches or gouges in the wood.
  • Sandpaper: Used to sand down the wood filler and smooth out the surface of the floor.
  • Stain: Used to match the color of the repaired area to the rest of the floor.
  • Finish: Used to protect the repaired area and the rest of the floor.


In addition to materials, there are a few tools that are necessary for fixing hardwood floor scratches. These tools include:

  • Putty knife: Used to apply the wood filler to the scratch or gouge.
  • Sanding block: Used to sand down the wood filler and smooth out the surface of the floor.
  • Paintbrush: Used to apply the stain to the repaired area.
  • Clean cloth: Used to wipe away excess stains and finish.
  • Floor buffer: Used to buff the entire floor after the repair has been completed.

It is important to note that the specific materials and tools needed may vary depending on the size and severity of the scratch or gouge. It is recommended to consult with a professional or do thorough research before beginning any repairs.

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The Best Wood Filler Brands In The Market

When it comes to choosing the best wood filler brands for repairing hardwood floor scratches, several options stand out. Here are some reputable brands known for their quality wood fillers that I can recommend:

  1. Minwax: Minwax offers a range of wood fillers that are widely trusted and used by both professionals and DIY enthusiasts. Their wood fillers are known for their easy application, durability, and ability to seamlessly blend with various wood finishes.
  2. DAP: DAP is a well-known brand in the construction and home improvement industry. They offer a variety of wood fillers designed specifically for repairing and filling gaps in wood surfaces. DAP wood fillers are known for their strong adhesion, quick drying time, and excellent sanding properties.
  3. Elmer’s: Elmer’s is a trusted name in adhesive and filler products. They offer wood fillers that are suitable for repairing scratches, gouges, and small imperfections in hardwood floors. Elmer’s wood fillers are known for their ease of use, versatility, and ability to create a smooth, even surface.
  4. J-B Weld: J-B Weld is known for its strong and durable epoxy products, including wood fillers. Their wood fillers are formulated to provide long-lasting repairs for hardwood floor scratches. J-B Weld wood fillers are known for their high strength, water resistance, and compatibility with various wood species.
  5. FamoWood: FamoWood offers a range of wood fillers that are popular among professionals and DIYers alike. Their wood fillers are available in different colors to match various wood tones and finishes. FamoWood wood fillers are known for their easy sanding, fast drying time, and excellent adhesion.
  6. Bondo: Bondo is a trusted brand known for its automotive body fillers, but they also offer wood fillers that are suitable for repairing hardwood floor scratches. Bondo wood fillers are known for their exceptional strength, versatility, and ability to provide a smooth finish.
  7. Mohawk: Mohawk is a reputable brand in the wood repair industry, offering a wide range of products including wood fillers. Mohawk wood fillers are known for their high-quality formulations, excellent color-matching options, and compatibility with different wood species.

It’s important to consider the specific needs of your hardwood floor repair project and choose a wood filler brand that best suits your requirements. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions for proper application and ensure compatibility with your specific hardwood floor type and finish.

Hardwood Floor Finishes

Important to realize is the finishing of the floor; the finishing used for a hardwood floor can also prevent wood floor scratches. Finishes that help protect the hardwood against scratches include:

  • The most popular type of finishing, oil-based finishing, is widely employed in public spaces and buildings. The finishing, which is intended to last for a very long time, takes around ten days to dry after being applied to a timber floor. It might be challenging to learn how to maintain hardwood flooring. Your task is made simpler, nevertheless, by oil finishing. It is strong and has excellent scratch resistance. When freshly completed, the odor may be very potent, and as time passes, the color turns yellow.
  • Water-based Finishing: This has a gentler odor than oil-based finishing, and it dries faster. Although the color also intensifies over time, it is a very durable alternative. Finally, the finish is pricey.
  • Penetrating oil: This kind of oil finishing penetrates the wood’s pores. By doing this, a sturdy, solid wood structure is produced. Additionally, this floor finish is more scratch-resistant. It makes it simple to figure out how to fix scratches in hardwood flooring. Other floor finishes with different scratch resistance include varnish, Shellac, and UltraViolet floor finishes, finish with acrylic infusion, and others.

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Now that you have the knowledge and tools to fix and prevent hardwood floor scratches, you’re well on your way to maintaining stunning floors that will impress everyone who steps foot in your home.


Hardwood floor scratches can be disheartening, but with the right techniques and a little elbow grease, you can restore the beauty of your floors. By understanding the types of scratches, assessing their severity, and following our step-by-step guide, you’ll be able to fix both surface and deep scratches effectively. Additionally, implementing preventive measures will help you avoid future scratches and keep your hardwood floors looking flawless for years to come.

Remember, taking care of your hardwood floors is an investment in your home’s aesthetics and value. So, roll up your sleeves, put on some upbeat music, and give your hardwood floors the love they deserve!

Frequently Asked Questions About On How To Fix Hardwood Floor Scratches 

Can I fix hardwood floor scratches myself, or should I hire a professional?

Fixing hardwood floor scratches is a task that you can tackle yourself, even if you’re not a professional. With the right tools and techniques, you can achieve great results. However, if you’re uncertain or have deep scratches that require extensive repair, it’s always a good idea to consult a professional for their expertise.

How Much Does It Cost To Fix A Hardwood Floor Scratch

Scratches on hardwood may usually be removed for a very low cost. You would generally spend between $225 and $2620 on it. It’s critical to learn how to prevent scratches on hardwood flooring because the cost of repairs makes it imperative. In addition to the severity of the scratch, the cost of labor and the cost of materials are important factors in determining the overall cost.

Can I use any wood filler to repair deep scratches on my hardwood floor?

It’s important to choose a wood filler specifically designed for hardwood floors. These fillers are formulated to match the color and texture of hardwood, providing a seamless repair. Avoid using generic wood fillers that may not blend well with your floor’s appearance.

Can DIY Methods Be Use To Fix A Hardwood Floor Scratch 

Yes they can, especially for minor scratches but if the scratch is deep seek the help of a professional

Can a wooden floor scratch be fixed without the help of a professional

Yes, it is feasible, but it is difficult without the use of a touch-up kit, which means that if the scratch is severe, you must engage a contractor to refinish the wood.

Can a scrape on a wooden floor render the floor unsalvageable?

No, it doesn’t; you just need to correct it right away to prevent further damage or an escalation.

How Long Does It Take To Fix A Hardwood Floor Scratch 

The Scratch determines how this works. While Deep Scratches can occasionally take longer since a professional is needed to refinish the hardwood floor, Superfluous Scratches can be repaired in as little as 2 to 3 days.

Which Procedure Is The Most Suitable For Fixing Hardwood Floor 

The procedure is dependent on the type of wood and scratch this will enable you to know and understand how to fix the scratch

Can I prevent scratches by applying a protective coating to my hardwood floors?

Applying a protective coating, such as a polyurethane finish, to your hardwood floors can provide an additional layer of protection against scratches. However, it’s important to note that the protective coating itself can also get scratched over time. Regular maintenance and preventive measures are still necessary to minimize the risk of scratches.

Are there any temporary solutions to hide scratches until I can repair them properly?

Yes, there are temporary solutions to hide scratches until you can repair them permanently. One option is to use a wax-based scratch repair product specifically designed for hardwood floors. These products help fill in the scratches temporarily, making them less noticeable. However, keep in mind that these solutions are not long-lasting and should be used as a temporary fix until you can properly repair the scratches.

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