Many homeowners favor laminate flooring over hardwood flooring for its cost-effectiveness and durability. But, like hardwood, laminate is not impervious to scratches and other damage.
When you find scratches on laminate flooring, you have several options for replacement and repair. We’ll teach you how to prevent and fix laminate scratches with different methods depending on the severity of the scratch.
Scratched laminate floors are no fun to deal with, regardless of the extent of the damage. Here are some ways you can protect your laminate flooring from future scratches and scrapes:
- Be sure to keep your pets’ nails trimmed. Pet nails can dig deep into the hard plastic layer of laminate. Keeping their paws clear of debris and nails trimmed properly can help prevent scratches.
- Use felt pads for furniture pads under furniture such as desks, tables, couches, and chairs.
- When moving furniture, don’t drag or push it. Instead, lift and carry it.
- Use floor mats and rugs for high-traffic areas of your home, like hallways and entryways.
- Ask guests to remove their shoes at the door, and be sure to clean your pets’ paws when they come in from outside.
- Clean floors regularly by sweeping or vacuuming and mopping spaces with dirt build-up.
Taking the appropriate steps to prevent laminate scratches can save you time, money, and the headache of repair. Plus, proper care and maintenance will extend the life of your flooring, no matter what type you choose.
Sometimes, you can fix laminate scratches with relatively little effort and investment, depending on the width and depth of the scratch. Laminate markers, pencils, and crayons can often repair shallow scratches with laminate markers, pencils, and crayons.
It can be helpful to head to the hardware store with a plank of the flooring you’re hoping to color-match; otherwise, you run the risk of filling in the scratch with a color that doesn’t match well. If you can’t bring an extra plank from your flooring project, take a photo of the floor and ensure no filters or blue-light adjustments are applied to your phone, tablet, or camera screen. You can compare this image with the repair kit colors.
If you can’t find a good color match, choose one shade darker than your flooring. Then, do a color match test when you get home, selecting a discreet section of the floor to test. If the color matches well, use the laminate marker, crayon, or pencil to fill in the scratch. Before filling in the scratch, be sure the floor is clean and dry. Once filled, buff the area with a dry cloth.
Deeper scratches require a little more handy work to repair. There are a couple of options for laminate flooring scratch repair when scratches are more profound than the plastic surface layer of your flooring.
First, you can use a putty repair kit and a putty knife to fill it in. Again, make sure the floor is clean and dry before you begin.
Many flooring companies sell scratch repair kits for laminate flooring. Be sure to check with your flooring manufacturer to see if they offer exact-match repair kits, especially when dealing with a deep scratch. These repair kits ensure your putty will match the flooring color without having to guess.
You can also buy a putty repair kit and use the color-matching method mentioned in the previous section. If the putty doesn’t match the floor color, be sure to tint the putty before applying it to the scratch. Use a putty knife to apply the putty, then use a credit card to smooth the surface, sliding the edge of the card along the length of the scratch. Once finished, buff the area with a dry cloth and allow it to harden.
Another option is to use wax filler sticks to fill in the scratch. However, these require the use of heat, which requires a steady hand and some knowledge of flooring tools. You will need a burn-in electric knife to heat the wax. If you do not have a burn-in electric knife, you could use a butane lighter and a putty knife or painting tool. This method costs about $25 and can be very effective. You can find directions for this method here, here, or on the product packaging.
If you’re looking for a quick and easy fix for a deep scratch, you can also find a wax crayon in your child’s toy box that matches the color of the floor and use it to fill in the scratch. Shave off some pieces of the crayon, and heat it in the microwave or oven until softened. Then, use a putty knife to mold and fill the wax into the scratch.
It goes without saying, but please use caution if you choose any of the methods mentioned above that require heat. No matter the depth of the scratch, it’s not worth injuring yourself.
Fixing a scratch on laminate flooring becomes tricky when the scratch is wide, too deep, or scrapes across the floor's surface. When the surface is shredded or scraped, it often cannot be repaired by the methods mentioned above. If the scrape isn’t severe, you can fix it using this suggested method.
In these cases, you’ll likely need to replace some parts of the laminate. The good news is that your flooring manufacturer can often offer the exact plank types you used, and many laminate floors are easy to repair.
If you’re not in the mood to fix scratches on laminate floors, our experts can help. We have the tools and experience to replace flooring planks and sections of the floor, so you don’t have to. If you’re ready to hand the task off to us, get in touch today for your free repair estimate.