Dents in wood flooring

Wood flooring inspectors have problems with their wood floors too!

I’m a Certified Wood Flooring Inspector- my wood floor has dents. I know they’re not manufacturing related or warranted and I am just as annoyed about this problem as those whose floors I inspect for dents.

My wood flooring is just a little over 1-year old. I’m noticing dents in random areas. Most of the dents are located behind chairs and all of the chairs have felt pads (hmmm?).  Two of the worst areas are in my living room/dining room where the grandchildren decided to ride around on my rolling ottoman, the second is behind a desk chair in the guest room. All dents are caused by grandchildren- should I ban them from the house?  🙂

After thinking about how to repair the dents, or whether I should just live with them, I decided to give steaming a try.

As recommended all over the internet: I dampened (wettish-damp) a bath towel, filled the iron with water and set it on “Steam”. I steamed the dents for less than 30 seconds because I started seeing a lot of steam on the surface of the floor coming out from around the edges of the towel- it looked like a lot of moisture but turns out it wasn’t. The results- NADA!

I certainly don’t want to have all these boards replaced, so I’ll have to do some more experimenting. I suspect steaming would easily repair dents in unfinished wood, because steam (moisture) fills the wood fibers causing them to swell. However, on wood flooring that’s factory stained and finished (as in my case) – steaming was unsuccessful. The factory applied finish on my floor is like most, urethane with aluminum oxide in the finish. Aluminum oxide is the product that makes the finish hard, but also make scratches, dents, checks and splits more visible. Fortunately, my finish didn’t crack when it dented. Then again, a cracked finish may have expedited moisture gain while steaming-then I’d have no dents with fractured finish. I prefer the dents- thank you!

I’ll practice steaming on some extra (uninstalled) boards. I’ll time the process to see how long I can steam before 1) damaging the finish- assuming the steam does damage it. 2) the dents raise. 3) I run out of steam (or patience) and nothing happens.

For now, I’ll just live with the dents and smile as I think about the little devils who caused them.

The Fix:

Self Stick Felt pads installed on wheels