Here at SVB, we get hardwood floor repair calls all the time when homeowners scratch their wood floors, many of which are caused while moving heavy objects or furniture.
Obviously, it’s better to lift your furniture than to slide it, but sometimes you don’t have the luxury of a burly friend or the time to find additional help. This is when homeowners revert to less than ideal moving techniques. Next time you’re in a pinch and moving something heavy, here are some tips that could save you from major damage to your hardwood floors.
Related Read: 8 Ways You’re Destroying Your Hardwood Floors
1. Lighten the Load
First things first: shed the weight. If you have a heavy object, you’ll want to make it as light as possible before making the move. For instance, remove the drawers from dressers or the contents from your refrigerator.
Additionally, if you have a piece with a mirror attached, take the time to unscrew a few screws and set the mirror aside to avoid potential damage and some seriously bad luck. Not only will removing drawers and other objects make the piece lighter, it will also prevent them from sliding out and hurting your hardwood floors and toes.
2. Keep It Clean
If you’re rearranging the place, you might as well give it a thorough cleaning while you’re at it! Why bother? You may be surprised, but small pieces of gravel and even general dust/debris buildup under your furniture can wreak havoc if caught between the heavy piece and the floor. We suggest sweeping your floors and cleaning them thoroughly before making any moves.
3. Soften the Surface
Once again, this should be a no-brainer, but always put something soft between the floor and the object.
Choose something that will easily move across the floor like folded towels, thick moving blankets, small area rugs or carpet remnants with the fuzzy side toward the wood floor, or these handy moving sliders available on Amazon! One thing to remember, if you do choose to use rugs or carpet leftovers, make sure to shake them out to avoid any grit or debris.
Related Read: How to Protect Wood Floors from Paws, Claws, and In-Laws
4. Try It on Its Side
If it’s not too big or heavy, consider laying the object on its side or back to slide it. Make sure it is on something soft and easily slidable, but extra thick and durable for the added surface area that’s needing to be covered. This can help by distributing the weight over a larger area, thus, reducing the chance of scratching. This will also put less stress on the object’s legs if it has them. Just be careful to watch the corners and legs when you lift it back up to its upright position. (We suggest having help for this option.)
5. Get Some Gliders
You can buy special pads called gliders that fit under your furniture for moving heavy objects with ease. There are tons of nifty options online that come in different sizes and variety packs, and all at great prices! These are reusable and super convenient for homeowners who are known to do a little Feng Shui rearranging from time to time.
6. Refrigerator Tip
Refrigerators are notorious for scratching hardwood floors. When installing a refrigerator, we suggest laying two pieces of hardboard just in front of where the back wheels will be when it is in its final position, slide it back into place on the boards, and then carefully lean it backward to remove the boards. This will keep it in place and leave less room underneath for dirt and debris buildup.
7. Watch for Wheels
Always be careful of wheels. Just because a piece is on wheels, doesn’t mean that those wheels won’t scratch or dent your wood floors. Place a piece of 1/4” thick hardboard on your floor and roll the wheels over it.
8. Dolly Do’s & Don’ts
Dollies are great for moving heavy objects, but certain kinds can be a nightmare for your hardwood floors. If you use a dolly, make sure it has inflatable rubber wheels, not hard rubber. Hard rubber wheels, plus the weight of the object, can create the perfect storm for dents and damage.
Has the damage already been done? We do repairs!