What Is Scratching Your Hardwood Floor?

Scratches in hardwood floors are very difficult to get out. If you haven’t figured out what is scratching them, you could find yourself spinning in circles. You sand and refinish a scratched section, only to find a new section is scratched up. You have to diagnose the source of the scratching before you can put an end to it. Here are some of the common culprits.

High Heel Shoes

If you have to wear them for work or if you are inviting guests over for a party, high heel shoes could be scratching your floor. That’s especially true if the heels are stilettos and if they’re damaged. High heels place a lot of pressure on your floor, but typically, not enough to dent or scratch the floor. That’s because the heels typically have a rubber cap over the point of contact. However, that rubber cap will wear down over time. So, if the heel has exposed the hard material underneath, it can easily scratch the floor.

High heels, especially damaged ones, can be very slippery on a hardwood floor as well. You’re probably better off just carrying them and putting them on in the car or leaving them by the door. Your floor and your ankles will thank you.

Pet Claws

Pet claws can be harder than most hardwoods. If they’re left untrimmed, they can scrape and gouge the hardwood flooring. In fact, untrimmed claws can scratch past the protective finish and scratch the wood. If you keep the nails trimmed, they’re less likely to scratch all the way down to the wood; however, they will still affect the hardwood. Your best options for pet claws are to keep them trimmed and to put down some runners for your pet. They’ll prefer the better traction of a rug anyway.


If you have dinner chairs, they could be scratching your carpet. As someone slides them out and scoots up to the table, they could be leaving tiny scratches in the wood. Some chairs are made of woods that are harder than flooring wood. Others have nails or screws that could protrude from the wood. The best option is rubber caps that go over the chair legs. The rubber caps will keep the chair from scratching up your hardwood. It will also keep the chairs from sliding around.

These are common culprits but definitely not the only ones. Furniture, dirt, and household chemicals could be scratching your floor as well.