How to Fix Scratches on Laminate Flooring in 4 Simple Steps

Make your floors as good as new

Mizuki Hisaka
Written by Mizuki Hisaka
Updated June 7, 2022
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Photo: Kseniya Ovchinnikova / Moment / Getty Images


No experience? No problem.

Time to complete

30 minutes


Up to $25

Keep it wallet-friendly.

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What you'll need:


  • Plastic putty knife


  • Cloth
  • Scratch remover

You love your laminate flooring, but you could live without those scratch marks and scrapes. They’re likely from people tracking in small pebbles on their shoes, or maybe you rearranged furniture without felt protector pads (oops). Fixing minor imperfections can be an easy DIY job, so put aside a half-hour this weekend to get it done.

Prepping to Fix Scratches on Laminate Flooring

The first thing you need to do when figuring out how to remove scratches and scrapes on laminate flooring is to assess how bad the damage is. Is it a light, superficial scratch? Or is it deeper? This will help you figure out which scratch removal product you’ll need to buy at the store. 

Use pencils, markers, and crayons for light scratches, putty for deeper scratches, and wax for the worst damage.

Once you’ve decided on the type of product you need, you have to figure out the color of your flooring. This is easy if you wrote down the manufacturer and model information. If not, you might have a sample piece to take to the store. Otherwise, you can take a photo of the flooring and do your best. 

In some cases, you won’t need to know the shade of your flooring. For example, universal kits come with products in a wide range of hues. And if you opt for a wax kit, you’ll need to mix colors to get the right match for your flooring.

4 Steps to Fix Scratches on Laminate Flooring

There are many flooring choices for your home, and laminate is a good option because it resists scratches better than wood. However, unlike hardwood, you cannot refinish laminate, so you’ll need to tackle the scratches using these methods below.

  1. Clean the Floor

    Clean the floor well with a broom, mop, or vacuum. Then, use a cloth to wipe down the affected area one more time to get rid of any trace of dirt or dust.

  2. Apply the Scratch Removal Product

    A man fixing laminate floor
    Photo: Fukume / Adobe Stock
    • Touch-up pencils, markers, crayons ($5–$10): These products work best for temporarily fixing light, superficial scratches and scuff marks. Color in the scratch with light strokes until the scratch is gone. Make sure you don’t overdo it because the affected area gets darker with every layer.

    • Burn-in sticks ($20–$25): Burn-in sticks are hard resins. Heat up the stick with an electric knife, and fill the scratch with the melted resin (be careful when handling the knife, it’s extremely hot). Remove any excess with a plastic card. Let it dry completely. Often, fixing the scratch with burn-in sticks is highly effective and you won’t be able to tell there was any damage at all.

    • Floor putty ($5–$10): The putty is good for fixing deep scratches. Use a putty knife at a 45-degree angle and work it in from all sides until you fill the groove to the top. Then, use the edge of the knife and scrape it to remove any excess. Let dry for a full day. This is a permanent repair.

    • Wax ($15–$40): Wax scratch removal products are sold in all-in-one kits. Heat the wax with the heating pen, and use the applicator to fill in the scratch. Wait 5 to 7 seconds for the wax to cool, and remove any excess with a planer. 

  3. Buff the Scratch and Wipe Clean

    Use a cloth to buff the scratch, and wipe it down with a soft cloth.

    If necessary, use fine-grit sandpaper to smooth the surface. If you sand the floor, wipe with a damp cloth and let dry.

  4. Apply Varnish

    Open your windows for good ventilation before completing this step. If your kit came with varnish, apply it with a brush. Then, sand the floor again.

DIY Fix Scratches on Laminate Flooring vs. Hiring a Pro

If you have the time and basic DIY skills, you can fix most light scratches for $5 to $40. If you’d prefer to hand the job over to a pro, hire a local flooring installer and they’ll charge $100 to $300 to fix gouges. It’ll cost $300 or more to replace planks. Although this can be costly, it’s easier on the wallet than the costs of fixing water-damaged laminate flooring.

Need professional help with your project?
Get quotes from top-rated pros.