How To Fix and Repair Dents in Hardwood Flooring

Oops! You just moved a piece of heavy furniture, accidentally dropping it abruptly onto your hardwood floor in the process. The feet of that sectional sofa or legs of that dining room table just left a giant dent in your previously pristine, supposedly scratchproof floor. What do you do?

Obviously, you can’t ignore the problem, as the dent is unsightly, in the middle of the walkway, and it’s deep enough to collect dirt, making cleaning the floor a bit tricky. You can definitely try to fix a dent, but sometimes you might need to purchase some new quality flooring instead. 

Read on to discover how. 

The Steam Iron Method

Since wood is porous and fibrous, therefore, water can have a large effect on its surface. Your first step is a simple solution: a clothes iron, specifically one that holds water and steams. As long as there aren’t any broken wood fibers within the dent, this method will bring the damaged fibers back into alignment without busting out any heavy tools.

Simply fill your iron with water, and let it heat up. Wet a piece of cloth (just the corner or any section big enough to cover the dent will do), and place it over the dent. Run the iron over the dampened part of the fabric, sending steam into the dent.

Do this several times before removing the cloth. The wood fibers will have plumped up, making the dent less obvious to the untrained eye.

Try Wax Filler Sticks

Some gouges may not need to be ironed out of existence. Instead, a wax filler stick in the same color as the hardwood floor will do the trick. Just rub the stick (in a pinch, a brown crayon will suffice) into the small dent until it’s filled up with wax and is no longer noticeable. Although this method isn’t completely permanent, it will make the floor look better for a short period of time until you decide on a more permanent solution.

Use Dent Filler

If the dent that you’re dealing with has broken wood fibers within it or is too deep for the steam iron method to work, then you’re going to have to bust out the dent filler. Get a pint of a solvent or epoxy-based filler that’s approved for hardwood floors, and follow the instructions.

This usually consists of using a small trowel to place the filler in and around the dent, ensuring that the topmost layer (the part on the undented floor) is very thin. Allow it to dry, then sand the floor smooth and follow up with a matching stain before polishing.

Making Your Dented Floor Pristine Again

While many people choose wood floors because they love the worn, reclaimed look that they get with use, they don’t like all of the dents and gouges that come with living life on those floors. Thankfully, these three methods can take care of those dents and make your gorgeous floor look smooth once again. 


The Washington Post | How to Repair a Gouged Wood Floor

Today’s Homeowner | How to Repair a Scratch or Gouge in a Hardwood Floor

How to Use Epoxy Resin Like a Pro | Family Handyman

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