There are a number of factors that add to the allure of installing a hardwood floor in your home. For one they are perhaps the most stylish and luxurious addition to any room, adding versatility to a kitchen, dining room, living room, or bedroom. Hardwood floors are also very neutral meaning they fit in with almost any design décor. Wood floors are easy to maintain and finally are very durable. In regards to durability though, even though the hardwoods will stand up to a number of nicks and scratches, there are times when they do become dented from supporting a heavy bookcase or just everyday damage. Luckily you can restore the return on your investment with these easy ways to repair dents in hardwood floors.
What is a Dent?
It's important to differentiate between a dent and a scratch when finding your repair solution. A dent is actually an impression into the wood floor that is causing material to be removed usually caused by something heavy like a piano setting on it for a long period of time. A scratch is just an imperfection on the surface of the floor that can usually be removed with a solid buffing or polishing.
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Filling a Gouge with Wood Putty
Wood putty is a handy material that can be used to fill in gouges in a hardwood floor. The putty should be available from any local hardware store but in a variety of colors for different wood types and stains. Ideally you'll have a scrap piece of flooring that you could bring with you but the final looks will depend on how closely you can match to the existing color.
Using the wood putty is rather simple once you've found the correct color. Simply use your finger to apply it and pack it into the dent. After this some people choose to let the putty set overnight to pack in or just wipe the excess away with a damp rag. Depending on the size of the indentation the putty can be left as is or sanded, stained over, and covered with protection such as polyurethane.
Removing a Dent With Steam
In most cases the wood putty will be noticeable if you're looking for it. You can choose to restore the wood to its original glory by pulling the dent out with steam. This is very much a hit or miss process that involves first sanding the surrounding area down to remove the polyurethane coating. Next use clean white cotton pieces about the size of the dent and place them in the gouge. Take an iron on the highest setting and place it on the cotton for about 5 minutes. Check and see if the dent is gone or has improved and then repeat the process until it disappears. What happens when you apply water and then steam is that the fibers of the wood first soak up moisture and then expand to their original shape with the heat. The reason you have to keep continuing the process is because the wood needs to soak up more moisture to have 'fuel' to expand. After the dent is returned to flush it's then best to let the floor dry for awhile before sanding with a fine grit and then applying a protective coat of wax.
Hopefully the processes will help remove the dent without having to remove any of the floor boards.
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