How to remove scratches from laminate flooring

How to remove scratches from laminate flooring

Laminate flooring is beautiful, low-maintenance, and can last for decades. So, it can be incredibly frustrating when you spot scratches spoiling the look of your beautiful flooring. But don’t panic - there are ways to fix these little imperfections.

Despite laminate flooring's durability, dents, scrapes, and other damage can still occur. Because laminate can’t be sanded down or refinished (you can find more on why this is in our ‘What is laminate flooring?’ guide), your best bet is always to prevent scratches from appearing in the first place. When they do happen, we’ve got some crafty tips to get rid of small imperfections without breaking the bank. 

Causes of scratches on laminate flooring

Scratches and marks on your flooring are inevitable when you live your life in a room – the only way you could keep a floor completely pristine would be to never use it! You can find guidance for looking after your laminate flooring in our laminate flooring care guide. In the meantime, here are some risk factors to look out for:

WEARING SHOES INDOORS

Heavy shoes or shoes with heels can mark your gorgeous laminate or wooden flooring. The scrapes and dents left by shoes don’t tend to dig too deep into the protective layers of the laminate, but they can leave cosmetic scratches. Practice taking your shoes off at the front door and only walking around in bare feet, socks, or soft slippers to avoid marking your flooring. Entrance matting can also help remove some of the abrasive debris that comes in on your shoes.

DROPPING HEAVY OBJECTS

We all know that accidents happen – after all, we’re only human! Dropping heavy objects, like suitcases down the stairs or dumping the shopping down every week can begin to cause marking that is quite hard to cover up or remove. A large rug over your laminate flooring is a great way to ensure that your flooring doesn’t take the impact of heavy objects, and it will look trendy too.

PET PAWS

Your fluffy friends can be another cause of marks and scratches on laminate flooring, with their sharp little claws. Cats in particular can scratches on the flooring, while dogs can often leave scuff marks when they race around during zoomie time. It is not advisable to try to put a sealant on top of laminate flooring to protect it further from your pet’s paws, but you can try keeping your pet’s nails well-clipped. You can also get slip-resistant laminate flooring which should help stop little feet sliding around and digging into the flooring.

FURNITURE SCRAPES

Dragging or frequently moving heavy furniture around a room, for instance during cleaning or hoovering, can result in scratch marks on your laminate flooring – however, there’s an easy fix for this! You can purchase protective pads that sit underneath your heavy furniture to keep your floors protected – and some even have the bonus of making your furniture easier to move with small tabs and smooth undersides.

How to cover scratches on laminate flooring

Now that you know some of the causes of laminate flooring scratches, it’s time to look at how you can fix those scratches if and when they do occur.

Method 1 – Touch-up marker pens

You can use these specialist markers to repair minor scratches. Make sure that the marker you’re using matches the colour of your floor before you begin. Prepare the area you want to fix by wiping it with a damp, soft cloth. Once it has dried, apply the marker to the scuffed area. Remove any excess stain with a damp cloth and voila! You should notice an immediate difference.

Method 2 – Wax filler sticks

Wax filler sticks are a step up from wax markers when you have a deeper scratch to deal with.

As before, clean your floor, then gently warm the wax to make it pliant and then apply it to the damaged area. Using a knife, you can remove any excess wax after it has solidified a little and clean it again when it’s dry. The wax can be a little tricky to handle, but the results are well worth it!

Method 3 - Burn-in sticks

Burn-in sticks are a special type of filling created from hard resins which are melted with an electric hot knife. Laminate floor repair kits often include everything you’ll need for this method. Clean and prepare the damaged area, melt a little of the burn-in stick and then apply a couple of drops of the resin to the scratches. Carefully smooth the area with the hot knife and spread a fine layer of lubricant over the repair. Make sure the resin is completely dry before walking over it or putting anything on it.

Tapi Top Tip: When using a hot knife to apply burn-in stick fillings, you should closely follow the safety instructions to avoid burning yourself or scorching your flooring or other surfaces.

Method 4 – Crayon

Now we move into the less conventional, but still effective, methods of removing scratches on laminate flooring. Using a crayon to fix scratches might sound silly, but it's very similar to using a wax filler stick.

Find the hue that matches best with your flooring, place it in a bowl and, using a low-heat setting, melt it down in the microwave, then smooth it over your flooring scratches. As with the wax filler, wait for it to dry before scraping away any remnants and buffing. This is a great way to make a quick fix if you’ve got guests coming over and don’t have time to run to the local hardware shop.

Method 5 - New plank

When purchasing your laminate flooring, it’s a great idea to pick an extra pack of laminate boards for occasions like this. If a board is seriously damaged, then it’s simply a case of using the tools provided with your set to take up the old board and replace it – you may need to move some boards around to make the new look work. You can find a step-by-step guide on how to lay the new plank/s in our ‘how to lay laminate flooring' guide. 

Laminate scratch repair FAQs

We’ve covered some of the basic ways you can fix scratches on your laminate flooring, but you’ll likely have some more questions and ponderings that, as renowned flooring experts, we have the knowledge to answer for you!

What is the best laminate floor scratch remover?

Objectively, the best laminate floor scratch remover is just popping in a fresh new board, but we know that’s not always the easiest approach, so we would recommend purchasing a laminate repair kit which should include an option for scratches of varying levels of severity.

Can I sand away scratches on laminate flooring?

Don’t even think about it! Laminate boards are not the same as hardwood flooring – they are made of different layers, with only the top layer having the colour of the board. If you try to sand or buff laminate flooring, it will only remove more of the colour and make your flooring look much worse.

Can I apply a sealant to protect against future damage?

You can apply specific sealants to laminate flooring if you want to make sure it doesn’t take too much damage in the future – we recommend using a laminate-specific coating if this is a step you want to take. However, laminate flooring is already very durable on its own, and you run the risk of ruining your floor’s aesthetic by covering it with another sealant. 

How to protect your flooring from scratches in the future

Do your best to stop scratches from happening in the first place. Because while your new floor is scratch-resistant, it isn’t scratchproof. So, try not to let dirt build up over time as dust and grit can cause scratches when disturbed by footfall. Using a doormat will help to limit the amount of abrasive dirt that enters your home. Luckily, smooth flooring is really easy to keep clean and maintain. For a daily clean, use a soft brush or vacuum cleaner (with a soft parquet brush attachment) to pick up dirt and dust.

For more information on how to look after different flooring types, why not check out our care guides, like our carpet care guide and our vinyl care guide. You can also find some amazing style inspiration in our ideas hub for different ways you can style your laminate flooring to create fun and colourful spaces.

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