Protecting your wood and laminate floors

Laminates and wood floors have a lot going for them. They look good, they’re easy to keep clean and they don’t harbor dust mites or odours.

Laminates and wood floors have a lot going for them.

They look good, they’re easy to keep clean and they don’t harbor dust mites or odours.

But even the toughest versions call for protection from scratches caused by chair legs, tables and home office furniture (especially home office furniture). Even some products made specifically for protecting wood-type floors don’t actually work as well as they’re supposed to.

Self adhesive felt pads are the first thing that comes to mind for floor protection and these do work well as long as you remember two things.

First, you need to renew the pads every year or two, because they get compressed and hard. Also, you need to watch out for grit trapped in the felt, scratching the floor as furniture is moved about.

Rub your finger over the felt to clean it every now and then, to keep it working properly. This isn’t essential on couches and coffee tables and other pieces of furniture that don’t move much, but it’s pretty important on dining chairs and other items that are constantly sliding back and forth.

It’s not unusual for new chairs and coffee tables and couches to have domed plastic glides fastened to the bottom of their legs at the factory.

And while these might be fine on carpet or ceramic tiles, they sure do a number on wood and laminate floors. You’ve got to take them off.

Glides fasten like a great big thumbtack. Use a screwdriver to pry off the glide.

You’ll find a smooth, flat wood surface underneath — ideal for sticky felt pads. Just wipe the bottom of the leg clean to remove any dust, then peel the backing off the felt and put it on.

You’re faced with an entirely different challenge when it comes to rolling desk chairs on wood floors. Actually, quite a daunting challenge.

Felt isn’t an option because of the wheels, and I’ve learned the hard way that those thick, flexible, clear plastic pads they sell for office chairs to roll on carpet don’t protect wood or laminate either. Even with a little bit of grit under there, these plastic pads act as one gigantic sanding block when used over hard surface floors.

They won’t ruin your floor right away, and they do protect the surface from wheel damage, but even with diligent vacuuming underneath, plastic pads cause trouble in a few years.

One alternative is a wooden home office chair with runners on the bottom instead of wheels.

I’ve been using one of these since March and it works great. I bought mine from Crate Designs (www.cratedesigns.ca; 800-563-1458), and with strips of felt fastened along the entire length of the runners there’s been absolutely no damage to the laminate floors in my office.

These chairs are also easy to slide around and they’re even designed to tip backwards without suffering damage when you want to kick back.

The best solution I’ve found so far for protecting a wooden floor from a rolling office chair is a folding bamboo floor protector with felt fastened across the entire bottom surface. These aren’t very common, but I got mine from Select Rugs Canada (www.selectrugscanada.ca; 888-685-1735).

The bamboo comes factory finished (either dark or light), and it’s quite hard. Rolling desk chairs do cause minor damage to the surface of the bamboo, but the unit I’ve been using for more than twelve months has been holding up surprisingly well.

Despite their need to be pampered, I’ll always have wood floors in my house. The trick is knowing how to protect them, and committing to the little bit of extra effort required to keep them looking good.

Steve Maxwell is Canada’s award-winning home improvement expert, and technical editor of Canadian Home Workshop magazine. Sign up for his free homeowner newsletter at www.stevemaxwell.ca

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A GoFundMe campaign to support a Stettler couple following a fire has raised more than $3,000. (Contributed photo)
Family pet dies in Stettler fire

GoFundMe page has raised more than $3K so far

Canada's Alexis Lafreniere celebrates after defeating Russia 4-3 in the gold medal game at the World Junior Hockey Championships, Sunday, January 5, 2020 in Ostrava, Czech Republic. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
As Alberta’s COVID-19 cases rise, so does tension over world junior championship

Alberta’s spike in COVID-19 infections and the virus’s infiltration of Canada’s team… Continue reading

Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, said growing COVID-19 case numbers continue to be a concern in the province. (Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
Alberta announces 1,077 new COVID-19 cases Thursday

There are currently 14,052 active cases in the province

Carolina De La Torre, right, owner of Arepas Ranch in Calgary, poses for a photo with her husband in this undated handout photo. The Venezuelan woman who believes she was used as part of Jason Kenney's argument not to lockdown restaurants in the province remembers her encounter with the premier as a lot less dramatic than he suggested. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Carolina De La Torre *MANDATORY CREDIT*
‘No crying’: Venezuelan refugee Kenney cited says interaction was less dramatic

EDMONTON — The Venezuelan woman who believes she was used as part… Continue reading

In this photo released by the official website of the office of the Iranian Presidency, President Hassan Rouhani waves to the crowd in a public gathering at the city of Yazd, some 410 miles (680 kilometers) southeast of the capital Tehran, Iran, Sunday, Nov. 10, 2019. Iran has discovered a new oil field in the country’s south with over 50 billion barrels of crude oil, Rouhani said Sunday, a find that could boost the country’s proven reserves by a third as it struggles to sell energy abroad over U.S. sanctions. (Office of the Iranian Presidency via AP)
Iran nuclear scientist assassinated

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — An Iranian scientist that… Continue reading

skip2
Rimbey Christian School students experience the joy of giving

Grades three and four students raised $2,000 for Somalian children

kkk
Opinion: We’re weary of the wait for COVID vaccine

It’s official: vaccines are the new toilet paper. Justin Trudeau appears to… Continue reading

Actor Johnny Flynn portrays David Bowie in the film "Stardust" in this undated handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Elevation Pictures *MANDATORY CREDIT*
‘Stardust’ is a Bowie pic without his music but that was always the plan: director

TORONTO — Gabriel Range’s controversial David Bowie drama “Stardust” has angered fans… Continue reading

Canadian figure skating champions Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir come to Penticton Oct. 6 with the Rock the Rink tour. This will be the pair’s last tour as they have announced they are retiring from the world of competitive figure skating. (Contributed)
Ice-dancers Moir and Virtue among 114 Order of Canada inductees

OTTAWA — Champion ice-dancers Scott Moir and Tessa Virtue are among 114… Continue reading

Mahomes vs. Brady spices up Thanksgiving holiday week

Mahomes vs. Brady spices up Thanksgiving holiday week

Cowboys miss chance for NFC East lead with another home loss

Cowboys miss chance for NFC East lead with another home loss

Arsenal, Leicester, Hoffenheim advance in Europa League

Arsenal, Leicester, Hoffenheim advance in Europa League

Keegan Messing performs during the Men's Short program at the 2020 Canadian Tire National Skating Championships in Mississauga, Ont., Friday, Jan. 17, 2020. If the world figure skating championships do go ahead in a bubble in March in Sweden, there is a good chance Canada won't be there. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Canada might not compete at world figure skating championships – if they happen

Canada might not compete at world figure skating championships - if they happen

Most Read