Whether you have just installed new floors in your home or are looking to preserve a vintage revival, it is never too early to consider ways to cut down on wear and tear. When it comes to scratches and dents you might think the biggest danger come from outside visitors. But don’t forget that furniture can also play a big role in creating lasting damage. Here are our favorite ways to protect your home and ensure your floors stay shiny and bright for years to come.

Pet Prevention

While wood is generally resistant to pet paws, remember to keep your dogs nails trimmed and give your cats a designated place to scratch. Check toes and fur for gravel or stones that could be trapped in longer haired breeds and avoid roughhousing with animals inside. Avoid any games that cause “digging in” and sliding over long surfaces. Clean up pet messes as quickly as possible to avoid moisture damage and place absorbent mats under food and water areas.

Heavy Furniture

Check the legs and feet of your heaviest pieces for rough spots or worn edges. Metal accents can also dig or dent delicate planks. Make sure that heavy pieces have felt foot protectors attached to the bottom or gently sand to remove pointy spots or other debris. Tap on nails are great for big pieces, like dining tables and sofas while slip on pads or peel and stick versions work well for chairs and coffee tables.

Shield from Shoes

While shoes might not seem like such a big deal, they can still scratch the surface of your floors. Consider asking family members and visitors to remove shoes while in the home, especially during wet winter weather. Stiletto heels and cleated boots can be especially damaging as heel caps can become loose and grit, sand a rocks and be lodged in shoes with heavy treads. Provide house slippers or at least a place to wipe shoes before guests enter. Vacuum and mop regularly to remove grit and reduce the chance of long-term damage.

Invest in Rugs

Area rugs offer an eye catching and cozy option for protecting your floors. Extend the life of your floors by having your heaviest furniture rest on a rug complete with rug pad. You can easily find one that matches your taste and style and change it out depending on the seasons or need for upgrades.

Move Mindfully

When the time comes for a little rearrangement be mindful of how you move your pieces. Avoid dragging or pulling heavy items across the floor without proper padding. Use plastic sliders, wheels or lifts to avoid scraping or damaging wood planks. Choose furniture with non-marking soft rubber or ball wheels and be careful of stylized industrial pieces with steel casters. Felt or quilted moving blankets can also be utilized as a cushion for sliding heavy items around when lifting is out of the question.

Quality and Care

Above all else be sure to care for your floors regularly. Keep them clean and wipe with a damp cloth or fabric mop every few days. Moisturize real wood with natural oil based cleaner or have them professionally waxed.  Also, spring for a protective topcoat in water or oil based polyurethane. Investing on the front end in a high-quality product and caring for it through the years will ensure your floors stay looking their best for decades to come.