Home Advisor: How to ruin your floor in 6 easy steps

By Jenna Schuster
Wait until the last minute to put on your high heels to prolong the life of your hardwood floors.

Floors get more abuse than just about any other surface in the home — and that’s just from normal wear and tear! There are many additional things that can cause them to deteriorate prematurely. Prolong the life of your floors by avoiding these six common mistakes.


Your high heels might be stylish, but they’re some of the worst offenders for ruining hardwood floors. The sharp point of the heel is known to dent wood — especially if it doesn’t have a rubber tip attached to the bottom. Instead of wearing them around the house, save your shoes for when you’re going out the door. If it’s too late and you’re already noticing damage, consult a professional about having your floors repaired.


No matter what kind of floor you have — wood, carpet or tile — be sure to clean it regularly. Grime, dirt and dust can be ground into your floor and cause damage over time. Not to mention, dirty floors are unsanitary and can reduce your indoor air quality. Be sure to mop hard surfaces regularly (without using too much water) and have a pro clean your carpet annually.


If you’re known to spill frequently, be sure to clean things up right away. Prolonged exposure to something as harmless as water can cause warped wood, mildew and rot. And acidic liquids like tomato juice can stain floors and even harm the finish! Some messes, like pet urine, will leave a lingering odor if not cleaned immediately.


As much as you love your furry friends, their nails could be causing a big issue for your flooring. Long pet nails and claws are known to scratch up floors and can wreck the finish over time. Spend a bit here and there to have their nails trimmed and avoid a large refinishing project in the future. Plus, your dogs and cats will thank you for the pedicures — nails that are too long are bad for their paws.


Your furniture is having a bigger impact on your flooring than you think! Be sure to stick pads on the bottom of your chair, table and couch legs to protect from scratches. And if you have an office chair with wheels, keep it off the hardwood flooring — place a mat underneath it instead. Also, consider rotating the location of your furniture now and then. This should change the location of heavily trafficked areas, and slow normal wear and tear.


Placing a doormat in your entryways helps to collect dirt and grime before they hit the floor. Not to mention, these mats are an attractive addition to any home! Look for some that match your decor and place them around to protect the floor. Consider investing in rugs and hallway runners as well. Play around with placement and see how much benefit these coverings can offer your floors!

Jenna Schuster is a reporter for HomeAdvisor, an online marketplace connecting homeowners with trusted service professionals to complete home projects. Visit