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Protecting your wood floors during renovations and redecorating

When decorating or renovating a room, it’s vital to protect your wood floors. There are several ways in which a wood floor can be damaged during decorating or renovation work, even if no alterations are being made to the floor itself.

What can cause damage?

Workmen’s boots

Renovation work often involves several workers walking in and out of the home wearing dirty boots. You could ask workers to wear soft overshoes, although taking the overshoes off and on each time they enter or leave the room from the outside will likely slow work down.

Paint and other substances

Paint, turpentine, wallpaper paste and other substances used in decorating a room could harm the floor. Dust and sawdust from sanding is another potential hazard.


Workers use heavy and sharp tools such as drills and saws, which can cause damage to wood flooring if dropped. Even a paintbrush can scratch the floor if it falls from a height, and a tool left on the floor can cause damage if stepped on


Major room renovations create large amounts of debris including plaster, Artex and brickwork. Lights and other fittings may have to be removed. Even the most careful of workers will find it difficult to prevent all debris and objects from hitting the floor and damaging it.

What are the protection methods?

Removing the wood floor and replacing it after the work has finished is one way to protect the floor, but this is not very practical. When decorating, many people simply lay down dust sheets to protect the floor, but this is not the best solution for wood flooring either.

Alternatively, you can create a layer of cardboard or protective film over the wood flooring. The film is easy to apply – simply lay it over the floor and use painter’s tape to secure it. Cardboard floor protectors are sold in rolls to offer temporary floor protection.

A cardboard or film layer does not provide 100% protection and can easily tear, so consider a protection board made from polypropylene, which is stronger than film or cardboard. This comes in sheets that can be attached to each other with tape.

Whatever protection system you use, it won’t be completely failsafe, so it is important to regularly check for tears and damage.

If despite having a protection layer, the floor is scratched, it can be sanded to restore the wood. When installing a new wood floor, buy a few extra planks that can be used to repair areas of the floor if seriously damaged.

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