How to Treat Scratches on Floating Engineered Hardwood

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  • 2-5 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 60-150
What You'll Need
Painters tape
Wash cloth
Cotton swab
Rubbing alcohol
Very fine grit sandpaper
Tack cloth or paper towels
Floor repair wax kit
Floor repair stick
Wood stain
Paint brush
Crayon and lighter (optional)

Floating engineered wood floors have the advantage of being easy to install and adapting well to changing weather and humidity patterns. However, one downside is that they are made up of layers of plywood with a wooden veneer on top which means they can’t be sanded down with every little scratch that occurs. There are fortunately a few other methods you can use if your floor does incur some minor damage. Read below and learn about your options!

Step 1 - Prepare the Area

If you’re going to repair a number of scratches in your floating engineered wood floors, you might want to mark each with painters tape so you know where each one is located. Once you have a map of your work area, move any furniture out of it if necessary. Then, sweep the floor to keep dust and debris from getting in the way, and use a wash cloth or cotton swab with some rubbing alcohol to clean the scratches.

Step 2 - Buff Surface Scratches

Although you can't sand too deeply, you can use a very fine grit sandpaper to buff out surface scratches on these types of floors. Remember that most floating engineered wood floors have a wood veneer that is between 1/16 and 1/8 inches thick, so keep the pressure light so you don't do permanent damage. Clear away any dust after sanding with a tack cloth.

Step 3 - Fix Heavier Damage

If you have deeper scratches, purchase a floor repair wax kit or repair stick that matches the wood of your floor. Don't worry if you can't find one exact match; wax kits can come with different coloring options you can mix to create the color your need. Follow the directions on your floor repair kit to fill the scratch, and then buff the top with your fine-grit sandpaper.

Step 4 - Refinish the Scratches

Once you’re done filling your scratches, you should consider applying a coat of stain to the area that was damaged. If you have leftover stain from a previous project on the same floor, you can use that so it will closely match the rest of the wood. Also, if you couldn't find a repair kit that matched exactly, a wood stain can be a good way to even out the tones for a natural look.

Step 5 - Try Other Alternatives

One thrifty method for filling the scratches on your floating engineered wood floors is to use a crayon that closely matches your floor color. If the scratch is minor you can rub the crayon gently over the scratch, or for deeper scratches, melt the crayon down a little bit and use it to fill the crevice.