10 Holiday Hardwood Hazards to Be Aware of This Season

Alison Kasch
Written by Alison Kasch
Updated January 7, 2022
Family celebrating Christmas at home
Photo: Jacob Lund / Adobe Stock

Fa-la-la-la-look out for these holiday hazards to your hardwood floor

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Do you hear what I hear? Hopefully it’s not the sound of you lamenting your wood floor after the hustle and bustle of the holiday season. When you’re busy entertaining guests, it’s easy to lose track of potential hazards to your hardwood floors. Here’s a complete list of hardwood risks to keep on your radar.

1. Christmas Trees

Beautifully decorated Christmas tree
Photo: Jacob Lund / Adobe Stock

O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree, how scratchy are thy branches? Scratchier than you might think, so be extra careful when bringing a fresh tree into your home. If you can, avoid dragging the tree or, if it’s too large to lift, put down mats or blankets to protect your hardwood floor.

Don’t abandon this caution once the tree is in the house, though, as the tree stand can also scratch up the floor. Put an under-the-tree mat or a rubber mat down to protect the floor. The water in your tree stand is yet another thing that can spell disaster for hardwood floors, so test the plastic stand for leaks beforehand. When watering the tree, ensure that you don’t overfill or splash any water.

2. Shoes

Don we now our gay apparel—which may or may not be hardwood-safe. High heels and stilettos can scratch or gouge your floors, while all other shoes can track in dirt and water from outside. To avoid having to buff your hardwood floor, it’s a good idea to enforce a “no shoes” policy for guests. To keep your visitors cozy, consider placing a basket full of holiday-themed slippers or socks by the front door.

3. Kiddos

Kids bring joy and wonder to the holidays. However, they aren’t always careful, especially when they’re having fun with their siblings and relatives. Look out for markers, spills, snowballs, and any other messes the kiddos might leave behind.

4. Melted Snow

You can have fun with Frosty the Snowman before he melts away—but make sure he does it far away from your hardwood floor. To prevent water damage, keep snowy shoes, coats, gloves, and mittens off of your wooden floor. Keep plastic drip trays near the doors, beneath the coat hook, and other areas that are prone to melted snow drips.

5. Rock Salt

Most people hope for that ever-illusive “white Christmas,” but the rock salt used to melt snow can do serious damage to your hardwood. If rock salt is left on any type of wood floor, it can damage the finish, leaving your floor looking filmy and spotty. Again, the only foolproof way to avoid this hazard is by having your guests leave their shoes at the door.

6. Toys

If you’ve watched a toddler open Christmas presents, then you understand the potential disasters that can result from holiday gifts. Imagine stepping on a Lego, which is notably painful, only to discover that it also scratched your beautiful floor. Scratches are one of the most common problems with hardwood floors, so be sure the kids aren’t getting carried away with their new toys. Toys with wheels are especially hazardous, as are doll shoes and anything hard or scratchy.

7. Beverages

Holiday wassail and spiked eggnog can make your guests a little too “holly jolly,” which can lead to spills. Splashes of non-water liquids can damage your floor if they’re not addressed quickly, so try to clean up spills as soon as possible.

8. Pets

Tis the season for the whole family to gather, with furry friends included. While their paws are undeniably precious, claws and nails can easily mark up your hardwood floor. Be mindful and give the pups plenty of outdoor time to use up their energy so they’re not tromping around the house.

One more thing: Watch out for pet puddles and other accidents, as these can absorb into your floor and leave behind stains and odors. Always clean up pet messes as quickly as possible.

9. Moving Furniture

During the holidays, you may move furniture around or add seating to accommodate your guest list. Don’t forget to add pads to the feet or legs of your furniture before moving it, even if you’re in a hurry. Scratching up the floor isn’t worth the extra minute or two that you’ll save. Restoring or replacing the floor is always an option, but it’s best not to let it get to that point.

10. Debris

Gravel, tree needles, and other debris from outside can get lodged in your guests’ shoes and scratch up the floor. Did we mention enforcing a “no shoe” policy? Your floors will be so spotless and dry that surely your guests won’t mind.

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