Flooring FAQs: Why is My Hardwood Floor Wearing Unevenly?

June 29, 2010

Hardwood floors are, as we mention often enough, pretty tough and easy to maintain. This does not however mean that they are indestructible or that they do not need a minimum of basic care to keep them looking their very best.

One of the problems we are often consulted about is hardwood floor finish that is wearing unevenly. Contrary to popular belief this is rarely ever a problem with the hardwood floor and the finish itself but rather the way traffic moves through certain areas of the room in which the floors are installed.

Take for instance the example in this picture. There is an office chair with casters in this room and all the back and forth has caused the finish on the floor to wear at a faster rate than elsewhere. We also often see uneven wear at the entrance points to a room where everyone must tread so it obviously a high traffic area. Dirt and gravel tracks in on everybody’s shoes and scratches and muddies the finish, degrading the overall appearance of the hardwood floor.

This kind of damage can be easily prevented. If you use a chair with wheels on your hardwood floor put a rug or mat underneath it. Place attractive mats or area rugs at the entrances to the room, which is something that can add a nice décor element as well. Finally make sure you sweep the floors regularly to keep those high traffic areas free of potentially damaging dirt and gravel.

If the damage is already done, the floor needs to be sanded and refinished. Some people choose – often for budget reasons – to only treat the area that is damaged but doing so will leave the floor with a less than attractive uneven look. The best course of action is to have the entire hardwood floor professionally sanded and refinished, restoring it all back to its original beauty.

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