No one likes to move heavy objects like furniture and refrigerators, but sometimes, it just has to be done. Unfortunately, many times moving heavy items results in terrible scratches on hardwood floors. At SVB Wood Floors, we get hardwood floor repair calls all the time when homeowners scratch their floors while moving furniture. Next time you’re in a pinch and need to move something heavy, use these tips:
1. Clean It Up
One of the most common mistakes homeowners make is moving furniture before cleaning their floors. Sure it’s a pain, but it will save you some grief later. Small pieces of gravel and even general dust buildup under your furniture can wreak havoc if caught between a heavy piece of furniture and the floor. Always sweep your floors and make sure there is no grit especially in the pathway you will be using.
2. Move Furniture Slowly
It may sound silly, but don’t be in a hurry when moving heavy objects. If it slides off of its padding, damage can happen fast. It’s best to keep a close eye on the part that is on the floor to avoid damage. If something feels or sounds off, you can stop easily and reduce any scratches that may have started.
3. Never Drag Furniture
First things first, if you can avoid dragging furniture, do. If it can be lifted and moved, it is always safer for your hardwood floor. But sometimes you don’t have the luxury of a burly friend or the time to find additional help. If lifting is out of the question, be very careful when dragging or sliding. Always make sure there is a cushion of some sort between the furniture and the floor.
4. 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 or the books and knickknacks from your bookshelves.
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, but it will also prevent them from sliding out and hurting your hardwood floors and toes.
5. Soften the Surface When Sliding
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.
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. Also, avoid using cardboard as it can be abrasive and leave dull spots.
Related Read: How to Protect Wood Floors from Paws, Claws, and In-Laws
6. 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.
Distributing the weight over a larger area will reduce 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.)
7. Get Some Gliders
If you haven’t used these yet, you’re gonna love ‘em. These special pads, called gliders, fit under your furniture and make moving heavy objects a breeze. 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 if you’ve been known to do a little feng shui rearranging from time to time.
8. Refrigerator Trick
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.
9. Don’t Trust the Wheels
Always be careful of wheels. They tend to give us a bit too much confidence. Just because a piece is on wheels, doesn’t mean that those wheels won’t scratch or dent your wood floors. Wheels can also get stuck in a sideways position and not roll at all, but rather scrape the floor. Place a piece of 1/4” thick hardboard on your floor and roll the wheels over it.
10. Don’t Use Dollies with Hard Rubber Wheels
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.