If you own your home, then a damaged floor not only ruins the appearance of your living space but also depreciates the overall value of your home. (Renters can go ahead and take that value out of their deposit.)
So what do you do about it?
Luckily for you, floor protectors are a multi-million dollar industry so you've definitely got options when it comes to finding easy, reliable solutions for protecting your floor surface.
In this post, we’ll go over all of the different options that you have to protect your hard floor as well as our personal recommendations.
Put down the polish and walk away from the scuffs. Let's get into it.
How to keep furniture from damaging your floors
Whether it's an unruly chair leg or the sheer weight of your bookcases, furniture can unintentionally damage your floor by causing:
- Permanent markings
To protect your flooring from another gouge, follow some of the tips outlined here.
Don’t slide furniture
While cleaning or rearranging your furniture, it’s easier and faster to drag or push the furniture across the floor than to lift it. It’s also a great way to scratch up your floor.
Not only that, but sliding also causes the furniture to peel off paint and leave chips behind.
While it’s more effort to lift furniture when moving it from one spot to another, doing so will help prevent floor damage.
Use an area rug (and rug pad)
When furniture stays in one position for a long time, it leaves permanent markings on the floor. Placing an area rug on the floor underneath your furniture can help prevent such damage. But--
An area rug alone can also damage your beautiful floors. With cheap materials and poor ventilation, area rugs can stick to the hard surface, causing just as much damage to your wood floor as an unsuspecting furniture leg.
To reduce the potential damage an area rug might cause, it’s important to use a quality rug pad with it. The best part is that there are many benefits of using a rug pad besides floor protection. It'll also prevent your rug for slipping around and provide extra padding to further cushion the area rug, making it feel softer.
Rug pads for floor protection is our favorite solution listed in this article, but to be fair, we'll explore all floor protection options.
Area rugs with rug padding
We're biased, we get it. If there's ever an option between a cheap stick-on floor protector and a quality rug pad, we'll always choose the rug pad. From non-skid rug pads to memory foam padding, there's a million reasons why these bad boys will protect your flooring and make your home more comfortable.
The problem with different types of floor protectors
Various flooring types such as hardwood and marble require different protectors to suit their unique needs.
Furniture pads are fixed to the bottom of furniture legs to prevent scratches and dents. They are most commonly made of foam, plastic, felt or rubber so that your chair glides across your wood floor instead of scratching it. As such, furniture pads are mainly paired with hardwood flooring, though they can be used with laminate floors and tile floors as well.
Besides letting your furniture glide across your floor surface, they're also relatively cheap and easy to install (you literally just remove the backing and stick it to the bottom of your furniture leg).
Though they offer a great solution against scuffs in a pinch, they aren't long-lasting and can potentially leave marks on your floors as the materials start to break down and can leave a sticky residue that stains your floor.
Though many furniture pad manufacturers call these little felt pad stickers "hardwood floor protectors", they're not really good at protecting or lasting. They just let your chair glide across the floor a few dozen times before eventually devolving into a sticky clump of material that collects dirt, stray hairs, and other debris.
0/10 would not recommend.
Tap-on furniture floor protectors
Tap-on furniture pads are attached to the bottom of furniture legs using a nail or screw and are most suitable for heavy furniture that isn’t moved often.
The problem: If loosely installed or worn out, floor damage can occur as the loose or exposed nail scratches the hardwood floor during movement.
Self-adhesive chair floor protectors
Self-adhesive protectors are attached by sticking onto the bottom of the furniture legs.
The problem: Self-adhesive protectors aren’t long-term as they loosen eventually.
Slip-on furniture leg protectors
Slip-on floor protectors are pads that are slipped onto furniture legs.
Designed to fit the size and the shape of the furniture legs like socks, they don’t fall off or scratch the floor.
The problem: They don't fit with all furniture types and are typically made of low quality materials, such as synthetic plastic and adhesive coating, which can damage your floors.
Plastic chair feet protectors
Plastic protectors are better suited for vinyl floors since there’s less friction between the plastic furniture feet and the soft vinyl floors.
The problem: Plastic protectors are a bad match for hardwood floors as the hard plastic material scratches the wood.
Rubber floor protectors
For heavy furniture, rubber protector pads are the best. Rubber restricts small movements, keeping the furniture in place.
The problem: Rubber pads used on high-traffic furniture such as chairs may leave scuff marks, especially on a hardwood floor. Therefore, avoid rubber protectors for kitchen chairs.
To protect your vinyl floors from damage, rubber pads should be avoided. Whether natural or synthetic, rubber reacts with vinyl and causes staining.
Felt floor protectors
Felt protector pads are best for chairs that are moved often on hardwood floors. Their soft texture allows furniture to move smoothly and noiselessly.
Moreover, there’s no risk of scratches or discoloration.
For heavy furniture, thick felt padding prevents denting.
The problem: The soft texture on the felt pads is bound to collect grit which, if not cleaned out, may cause wear and tear to the hardwood floors.
FAQs about floor protectors
What can I put under furniture to protect my vinyl floor?
We always recommend using rugs with quality rug pads that are designed for vinyl flooring to avoid damage. Made of soybean oil-based polymer blends that won't damage vinyl flooring, our Anchor Grip rug pad is our best rug pad for vinyl floors. Avoid cheap rubber pads on vinyl as they can cause damage to the vinyl surface.
Will plastic furniture feet scratch wood floors?
Yes. Hard plastic material increases friction on the wood floors and causes scratching during movement.
What do you put under furniture on laminate flooring?
You can use furniture pads such as bought or home-made felt pads. Alternatively, you can use decorative rugs with non-slip rug padding to protect your laminate floors.
How do I keep my chair from scratching my tile floor?
Use chair pads to protect your tile floor from scratches. Also, you can place a rug with a rug pad on the floor. Finally, regularly clean the chair feet.
Are rolling chairs bad for hardwood floors?
Yes. The chair’s hard plastic wheels will scratch hardwood floors. Use a caster to prevent this from happening.
Does heavy furniture dent vinyl flooring?
No. Vinyl flooring is more durable than hardwood, so it doesn’t dent easily. That being said, it’s best to be mindful of the kinds of things you’re placing on your vinyl floors. Heavier items that are dropped suddenly can dent any kind of flooring.
Does heavy furniture damage laminate flooring?
No. Heavy furniture doesn’t damage laminate flooring, as long as it’s moved carefully and the right padding is put in place.
Do you need furniture pads for laminate flooring?
Yes. Furniture pads prevent laminate flooring from being ruined by heavy furniture.