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How to Fix a Dent in Engineered Hardwood Floor: 9 Steps to Follow

how to fix a dent in engineered hardwood floor

Last Updated on July 27, 2023

Engineered hardwood floors are a popular choice for their durability and aesthetic appeal. But accidents happen, and sometimes dents can occur, detracting from the flawless look of your floor.

Fixing the dent in an engineered hardwood floor involves a straightforward process that can restore the floor’s appearance and prevent further damage.

Whether it’s a small dent or a more noticeable one, addressing the issue promptly can help maintain the integrity and beauty of your flooring.

To repair the dent in engineered hardwood floors, you’ll need wood putty or filler, as well as some other tools.

We will take you through the step-by-step process of repairing a dent in your engineered hardwood floor, ensuring you have all the necessary information to tackle this task effectively.

How to Fix a Dent in Engineered Hardwood Floor: Steps to Follow

Fix a Dent in Engineered Hardwood Floor

If you’ve got a dent in your engineered hardwood floor, follow these steps:

  • Step #1: Assess the damage and Prepare the area
  • Step #2: Gather the necessary materials
  • Step #3: Sand the dent
  • Step #4: Apply wood putty
  • Step #5: Flatten the putty
  • Step #6: Let the putty dry
  • Step #7: Re-sand the surface
  • Step #8: Apply polyurethane gloss
  • Step #9: Let it dry

Let’s go over the steps.

Step #1: Assess the Damage and Prepare the Area

To begin with, take a close look at the dent in your engineered hardwood floor and determine its severity.

If the dent is minor and hasn’t broken through the wood veneer, then you can proceed with repairing it.

However, if the dent is more severe and has penetrated through the veneer, then you may need to consider replacing the damaged board altogether.

Once you’ve assessed the damage, prepare the area by thoroughly cleaning the dent and its surroundings.

Use a soft cloth or a vacuum with a soft brush attachment to remove any dirt or debris from the area. This’ll ensure a clean surface and help the repair material adhere properly.

Be sure also to remove any wax or finish on the floor around the dent, as this can prevent the repair material from bonding to the wood.

Step #2: Gather the Necessary Materials

To repair the damage, you’ll need to gather some wood putty or filler, sandpaper, a putty knife or scraper, polyurethane gloss or a matching finish, a soft cloth or sponge, protective gloves, and a dust mask if sanding. Here’s a breakdown of each item and its purpose:

  • Wood putty or filler: This will fill the dent in your engineered hardwood floor. Choose a color that matches your floor to ensure a seamless repair.
  • Sandpaper: You’ll need both medium and fine grit sandpaper to sand down the wood putty once it’s dry.
  •  Putty knife or scraper: Use this to apply the wood putty or filler into the dent and smooth it out.
  • Polyurethane gloss or matching finish: This will be used to seal and protect the repaired area. Make sure to choose a gloss or finish that matches your floor.
  • Soft cloth or sponge: Use this to wipe away any excess putty or gloss.
  • Protective gloves: Wear gloves to protect your hands from any chemicals or dust.
  • Dust mask (if sanding): Protect your lungs from any dust created by sanding.

Step #3: Sand the Dent

Now it’s time to embrace your inner carpenter and smooth out that pesky dent in your engineered hardwood floor. To do this, you’ll need medium-grit sandpaper and a gentle touch.

The goal is to create a smooth surface for the wood putty to adhere to without sanding beyond the damaged area or into the base of the flooring.

Begin by gently sanding the inside of the dent with medium-grit sandpaper. Make sure to apply even pressure and sand in the direction of the wood grain. Use small circular motions to avoid sanding beyond the damaged area.

Keep checking the dent as you go to ensure you’re not sanding too much. Once you’ve sanded the area smoothly, wipe away any dust or debris with a clean cloth before moving on to the next step.

Step #4: Apply Wood Putty

It is now necessary to fill up the dent with wood putty. Take a small amount of wood putty or filler that matches the color of your floor.

Apply the putty to the sanded dent and use a putty knife or scraper to press it into the dent, filling it completely.  Ensure the putty is slightly raised above the surface of the floor to allow for sanding.

Let the putty dry completely before sanding it down to match the surrounding area. Remember to use caution when sanding the putty down to avoid damaging the surrounding area.

Step #5: Flatten the Putty

Once you’ve applied the wood putty to the dent in your engineered hardwood floor, use the putty knife or scraper to level it out. Ensure the putty is flush with the surrounding floor surface, and remove any excess putty around the dent.

Take your time to ensure that the putty is evenly spread and level, as any bumps or unevenness will be noticeable once it dries. Use smooth, even strokes to flatten the putty, and check periodically to make sure that it is level with the surrounding floor.

Step #6: Let the Putty Dry

Wait for the putty to dry. This step is crucial in ensuring that the putty is hardened enough to be properly sanded and leveled. Depending on the size of the dent, the drying time can range from several hours to overnight.

During this waiting period, it’s important to avoid any kind of movement or disturbance in the area.

Step #7: Re-Sand the Surface

Now that the putty has dried, it’s time to smooth out the repaired area by sanding in the direction of the wood grain.

This step is crucial to blend the repaired spot with the surrounding floor. Use fine-grit sandpaper and begin sanding gently. To ensure a smooth and flush surface, follow these three steps:

  • Sand the wood grain way.
  • Sand gently until the repaired area is smooth.
  • Continue sanding until the putty is flush with the floor surface.

Step #8: Apply Polyurethane Gloss

After sanding the repaired area, it’s time to add a protective layer by applying polyurethane gloss following the manufacturer’s instructions.

The gloss will not only protect the repaired spot but also blend it with the rest of the floor, making it look seamless. Polyurethane gloss is a great finish option because it is durable, easy to apply, and available in different sheens.

Before applying the polyurethane gloss, ensure the repaired area is clean and dust-free. Use a soft cloth or sponge to apply a thin layer of gloss to the repaired area. 

Step #9: Let It Dry

Once the polyurethane gloss has been applied, letting it dry completely before using the area is important. This means avoiding walking on the repaired section until it’s fully dry, which may take a few hours or even longer, depending on the product used. Rushing this step could result in a subpar finish or even damage to the repair work, so it’s best to exercise patience and wait for the gloss to fully set.

To ensure the best results, here are some tips to keep in mind while waiting for the polyurethane gloss to dry:

  • Keep the room well-ventilated to speed up the drying process.
  • Avoid touching the repaired area or placing any objects on top of it until it’s completely dry.
  • If possible, avoid using the room altogether until the gloss has set.
  • Check the manufacturer’s instructions to see if they recommend any specific drying times or conditions.

Once the gloss is fully dry, you can enjoy your good-as-new engineered hardwood floor.

What Causes Dents in Engineered Hardwood Floors?

What Causes Dents in Engineered Hardwood Floors

You may be wondering what causes dents in your engineered hardwood floors. Well, there are a few culprits to consider.

1. Heavy Furniture and Appliances

Don’t let heavy furniture or appliances scare you away from choosing engineered hardwood floors. You can easily prevent dents by taking proper precautions.

Start by putting furniture pads under the legs to distribute the weight more evenly across the floor. This will help prevent any one spot from bearing too much weight and causing a dent.

When moving heavy objects, lift them instead of dragging them across the floor. This will reduce the amount of pressure on the flooring and prevent any accidental scratches or dents.

2. Dropped Objects

Accidental drops of heavy items can cause significant damage to the surface of your beautiful new flooring, leaving you with unsightly indentations that may be difficult to repair. Some common examples of dropped objects include:

  1. Pots and Pans: In a kitchen setting, pots and pans are frequently handled and sometimes dropped accidentally while cooking or cleaning. These objects are typically made of metal or stainless steel and can cause substantial damage to engineered hardwood floors upon impact.
  2. Tools: Tools such as hammers, wrenches, screwdrivers, or drills are commonly used in workshops or during DIY projects. Accidentally dropping these heavy metal objects on the floor can leave noticeable dents or scratches on engineered hardwood surfaces.
  3. Children’s Toys: Children’s toys, especially those made of hard materials like plastic or metal, can cause dents when dropped on the floor. Examples include toy cars, action figures, building blocks, or any other heavy toys that are accidentally released or thrown.
  4. Glassware: Dropped glassware, such as drinking glasses, wine bottles, or vases, can not only cause dents but also pose a risk of breakage and injury. The impact of glass objects hitting the floor can lead to visible damage on engineered hardwood surfaces.
  5. Electronics: Accidentally dropping electronic devices like laptops, tablets, or smartphones can cause dents in engineered hardwood floors. The weight and hardness of these devices, combined with their potentially sharp edges, can leave significant marks upon impact.

3. High Heels and Shoes

Wearing high heels or shoes with pointed edges can cause concentrated pressure on small areas of your beautiful new flooring, leading to unsightly marks that require repair. 

To prevent this damage, it is best to avoid wearing these types of shoes on your hardwood floors altogether. However, if you must wear them, there are a few steps you can take to minimize the risk of damage.

Firstly, consider using protective caps on your heels. These caps are designed to distribute weight more evenly, reducing the pressure on your floors. Additionally, try to avoid walking on your floors with shoes that have pointed edges, as these tend to concentrate pressure in one area.

4. Pet Claws

Pets with long nails can unintentionally cause dents and scratches on your engineered hardwood floors. And while regular activities like running and playing can cause damage, it’s important to note that even just walking can cause harm if your pet’s nails aren’t trimmed regularly.

To fix the dents caused by pet claws, you’ll need to follow a similar process as with high heels and shoes. First, clean the affected area and make sure it’s free of any debris.

Then, use a damp cloth to soften the wood fibers around the dent. Take a steam iron and place a damp cloth over the dent, then place the iron on top of the cloth and let it sit for a few minutes. This will help lift the wood fibers back to their original position.

If the dent is still visible, you can use a wood filler to fill in the dent and sand it down to match the surrounding area.

5. Improper Maintenance

If you don’t keep up with regular cleaning and maintenance, you’ll find that your protective layers are weakened, leaving your floors more susceptible to damage.

When dirt and debris accumulate on the floor’s surface, they can scratch and wear away the finish, exposing the wood to potential dents. Additionally, using harsh cleaning products can strip away the protective layers and cause the wood to become more vulnerable to damage.

To prevent this from happening, it’s important to establish a regular cleaning routine that includes sweeping or vacuuming the floors daily. You should also use a damp mop and a mild cleaning solution specifically designed for hardwood floors to gently remove any dirt or grime that has built up on the surface.

How to Prevent Dents in Engineered Hardwood Floors?

How to Prevent Dents in Engineered Hardwood Floors

There are a few key steps to follow to prevent dents in your engineered hardwood floors.

1. Use Furniture Pads or Sliders

Protect your engineered hardwood floors from future damage by using furniture pads or sliders under the legs of your furniture and appliances. These protective accessories are designed to distribute weight evenly and reduce the pressure on specific areas of the floor.

This is especially important for heavy furniture pieces, such as sofas, beds, and dining tables, that can cause deep dents and scratches on your hardwood floors.

When choosing furniture pads or sliders, make sure to opt for high-quality products made of durable materials that can withstand the weight and movement of your furniture.

Look for options that are specifically designed for hardwood floors and provide a non-slip grip to prevent your furniture from sliding around.

Additionally, remember to regularly check and replace your furniture pads or sliders as needed to ensure that they still provide adequate protection to your floors.

2. Rugs and Mats

Place rugs and mats strategically throughout your home to add an extra layer of protection for your flooring, such as in high-traffic areas like the hallway where your kids like to play tag or under your dining table where your family gathers for meals.

Not only do they absorb impact and reduce the risk of dents, but they also add a cozy touch to your space. When selecting the right rug or mat, choose ones with non-slip backings to prevent slipping or shifting.

3. Trim Pet’s Nails

Don’t let your furry friends wreak havoc on your beautiful floors. Keep their nails trimmed regularly to prevent scratches and damage. Sharp claws can leave unsightly marks on your hardwood floors during everyday activities like running or playing.

Moreover, these scratches can accumulate over time, resulting in costly repairs and replacements. Trick your pet’s nails regularly using a specialized pet nail clipper to prevent damage.

Avoid cutting too close to the quick, which can cause pain and bleeding. Also, if your pet has dark nails, it may be harder to see the quickly, so take extra caution.

5. Lift Furniture and Appliances

When moving heavy furniture or appliances, it’s important to lift them with care and use proper techniques to avoid causing sudden impact and damaging your beautiful floors.

Dragging a piece of furniture across the floor can cause scratches, dents, and other types of damage to your engineered hardwood floor. This is why it’s important to lift furniture and appliances, as opposed to dragging them.

When lifting heavy items, it’s important to use proper techniques to avoid injuring yourself.

Start by bending your knees and using your legs to lift the object, rather than your back. Keep the item close to your body and take small steps to avoid losing your balance.

If an item is too heavy to lift on your own, enlist the help of others to make the process easier and safer.

Can you replace one piece of engineered hardwood?

Can you replace one piece of engineered hardwood

It is possible to replace one piece of engineered hardwood flooring. This type of flooring is designed with individual planks that can be easily removed and replaced if necessary.

The process involves carefully disconnecting the damaged plank from the surrounding planks and removing any adhesive or nails.

The replacement plank should match the color and finish of the existing flooring as closely as possible for a seamless appearance.

Is it necessary to acclimate the replacement hardwood plank before installation?

It is highly recommended to acclimate a replacement hardwood plank before installation. This will allow the plank to adjust to the room’s temperature and humidity, ensuring a proper fit and reducing the risk of future issues.

Acclimation typically takes a minimum of 24 to 48 hours, and it is important to keep the replacement plank in a controlled environment with similar conditions to where it will be installed.

Failure to acclimate the plank could result in warping, buckling, or gaps between the boards. Taking the time to acclimate the replacement plank properly is a small step that can help ensure the longevity and beauty of your hardwood flooring.

Preserve the Beauty of Your Engineered Hardwood Floors

Fixing a hardwood floor dent is a manageable task that can be done with a few simple steps.

By assessing the damage, preparing the area, applying wood putty, sanding, and finishing the repaired spot, you can restore the floor’s appearance.

To prevent dents in the first place, take preventive measures such as using furniture pads, rugs, and mats, avoiding high heels and sharp shoes, trimming pets’ nails, and practicing proper maintenance.

Remember, if a single plank needs replacement, it can be done by carefully removing and replacing it. Follow these guidelines to make sure your engineered hardwood floors stay beautiful and long-lasting.

How to Fix a Dent in Engineered Hardwood Floor: 9 Steps to Follow

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