How to Fill in Damage Done by Old Carpet to Hardwood Floors

If you have removed the old carpet from your hardwood floors you may have received an unwanted surprise. Many times wood floors that are covered in carpet have some damage. This can usually be repaired by the homeowner with a little work and a few materials that are easy to obtain.

You Will Need

  • Bucket
  • Mop
  • Cleaner for wood
  • Rags
  • Tung oil or wood restorer
  • Wood putty
  • Putty Knife
  • Varnish
  • Broom and dustpan
  • Vacuum
  • Floor buffer
  • Wax

Step 1: Clean the Floor

As soon as you have removed all of the old carpeting, padding and tack down strips the next step is to clean the floor. Either sweep it or use a all purpose vacuum cleaner to get everything off the floor so you can assess the damages. After this step, fill your bucket with warm water with wood cleaner added and mop thoroughly then rinse at least once. A floor that has been covered in carpeting will most likely be dirty. You can't really see most damage until the floor is totally clean.

Step 2: Repair Small Scratches

If you have a lot of small scratches on your floor these can easily be fixed. Put a bit of wood restorer on a rag and rub into the scratch. Most scratches will virtually disappear before your eyes. You will also notice that the wood around the scratch looks like new when you buff it. You may want to consider doing your entire floor with wood restorer. It's a time consuming but very worthwhile job for the outcome you will get. Wood restorer is sold at all good hardware stores and paint stores under many brand names.

Step 3: Large Scratches

If you have large scratches forgo the wood restorer and try putting on a good coat of wax made for wood floors. This type of wax comes in both liquid and paste types. Liquid is easier to work with and some have a built-in shine feature that won't require you to buff with an electric buffer which is very hard work and time consuming. If you must buff the floor, try renting a floor buffer/polisher from a local rental store instead of investing in one.

Lay on a good coat of wax per manufacturer's instructions and allow for the appropriate drying time. Once dry, buff with the electric buffer. If the scratches are deep this may require repeating for the desired results to be obtained.

Step 4: Gouges and Holes

Many times you will find gouges in the wood or holes. These can be filled with wood putty. Wood putty can be purchased in colors that will closely match the finish on your floor. Wood putty is easier to work with if it is at room temperature. Pick up a bit with the putty knife then force into the hole, much like filling a hole in a wall with drywall compound or plaster. Scrape away excess and allow to dry.

If you are going to wax your floor or if you determine that the entire floor may need re-sanding, fill holes before doing either one of these procedures.