Need Floor Protectors? Read This Before Damaging Your Floors.

Need Floor Protectors? Read This Before Damaging Your Floors.

We've all been there.

One minute you're enjoying yourself peacefully in your own home and the next minute your chair leg is etching a scratch in your beautiful floors.

Or maybe it's your bookcases or the couches in your living room or literally anything else with furniture feet...

...all making their scuffs on your floor surface.

And 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?

Find yourself some reliable and easy floor protection.

Luckily for you, floor protectors are a multi-million dollar industry so you've definitely got options when it comes to 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.

So put down the polish and walk away from the scuffs. Let's get into it.

How to Keep Furniture From Damaging Your Floors

best furniture floor protectors

Whether it's an unruly chair leg or the sheer weight of your bookcases, furniture can unintentionally damage your floor by causing:

  1. Discoloration
  2. Scratches
  3. Permanent markings
  4. Dents

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.

The problem?

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.

So obviously rug pads for floor protection is our favorite solution listed in this article, but to be fair, we'll explore all floor protection options.

Use Furniture Pads

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 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).

They offer a great solution against scuffs in a pinch, but aren't long-lasting and can potentially leave marks on your floors as the materials start to break down.

They're also really annoying when they move around the end of the furniture foot, only partially covering the tip and leaving the rest of it covered in 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.

Different Types of Floor Protectors

Various flooring types such as hardwood and marble require different protectors to suit their unique needs.

Tap-On Furniture Floor Protectors

Tap-on furniture pads are attached to the bottom of furniture legs using a nail or screw.

If loosely installed or worn out, floor damage can occur as the loose or exposed nail scratches the hardwood floor during movement.

Tap-on protectors are suitable for heavy furniture that isn’t moved often.

Price: Medium
Application Difficulty: Difficult
Level of Protection: High, until the padding wears down

Self-Adhesive Chair Floor Protectors

furniture pads for hardwood floors

Self-adhesive protectors are attached by sticking onto the bottom of the furniture legs.

However, self-adhesive protectors aren’t long-term as they loosen eventually.

But since they’re very cheap, you can replace them as frequently as needed.

Price: Low
Application Difficulty: Low Difficulty
Level of Protection: Medium

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.

Price: High
Application Difficulty: Low Difficulty
Level of Protection: High

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.

However, plastic protectors are a bad match for hardwood floors as the hard plastic material scratches the wood.

Price: Medium
Application Difficulty: Medium Difficulty
Level of Protection: Medium

Rubber Floor Protectors

For heavy furniture, rubber protector pads are the best. Rubber restricts small movements, keeping the furniture in place.

However, 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.

Price: Medium
Application Difficulty: Difficult
Level of Protection: High

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.

However, 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.

Price: Medium
Application Difficulty: Low Difficulty
Level of Protection: High

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.

Price: Medium
Application Difficulty: Easy
Level of Protection: High

Things to Consider When Selecting Furniture Pads

Purchasing furniture pads to protect your floors is far less expensive than replacing the flooring.

To select the best-suited furniture pads for your floors, pay attention to:

Size of the Pads

The lifespan of the pads is determined by their size in relation to the furniture legs.

Oversized slip-on pads will continuously fall off when fitted on small chair legs. And large self-adhesive pads stick out at the bottom, giving an untidy look.


If the furniture legs are squared-shaped, select square-shaped furniture pads.

Tap-on and self-adhesive pads are more effective and longer-lasting if they fit the shape of the furniture exactly. Plus, they’ll give a tidier appearance.

Nail Vs. Adhesive

If the furniture is heavy and rarely moved, nail tap-on pads are suitable.

However, avoid using tap-on pads with nails on furniture that’s moved frequently. The tap-on pads wear out, eventually exposing the nail, which scratches the hardwood floor.

For high-traffic furniture, adhesive felt pads are the best. The soft padding guarantees no scratches on the hardwood.

Grip Vs. Plain

Grip furniture pads are essential for heavy furniture as they restrict movement during use.

For furniture that’s moved frequently, plain furniture pads are suitable. They facilitate easy movement and minimize wear and tear.


The ideal thickness of your furniture pads depends on the flooring and type of material used.

Felt pads with thick padding should be used for heavy furniture on hardwood floors.

However, adding multiple layers of felt padding causes the pad to fall off during movement.


Another differentiator among floor protectors is the material they’re made of. Not every material is suitable for every floor type. For example, hardwood floors are sensitive, especially to plastic materials.

What to Do About Floor Protectors That Won’t Stay in Place

Felt floor protectors are super popular because of their ease-of-use and low risk of damage. But they often come off of the furniture feet and pick up a lot of grit and debris over time.

To avoid this, keep a clean floor and lift your chair legs slightly off of the ground when sliding them in and out of place. Replace your felt floor protectors when they start to slide out of position as the leftover residue will collect dust, dirt, and stray hairs that have fallen to the ground.

To avoid problems with felt floor protectors altogether, open for an area rug with your choice of rug padding. It will be the best solution for protecting your floors for the long-term and will look good too.

FAQs About Floor Protectors

What Can I Put Under Furniture to Protect My Vinyl Floor?

You can use rugs and rug pads. Alternatively, you can use chair pads such as felt and plastic pads. However, avoid 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.