You love hardwood flooring. You admire its natural elegance, warmth, and beauty. You enjoy how it makes your kitchen or living room look more spacious. And you can’t help but appreciate how it increases your home’s resale value. But whether you plan to move out or move in, you want to protect your wood floors as much as possible. You know that heavy boots, furniture, and boxes can scratch, ding, and damage your hardwood. And you want to leave as little trace of the move as possible after you’ve finished. To keep your flooring in top shape, try the following tried-and-true tips and techniques.


1. Place a Welcome Mat

When you plan to move out of a house, you may think that a welcome mat seems counterintuitive, since you

won’t welcome in future guests. Or if you plan to move into your house, a welcome mat may seem premature, at

least until you’ve unpacked a few boxes.

However, a mat performs a valuable function for your home. As movers travel in and out with your boxes,

their shoes will likely pick up dirt, dust, and mud from outside. The mat’s rough surface scrapes against

incoming shoes and scrubs away the debris before the mess ever reaches your hardwood.

Keep in mind that for a mat to work thoroughly, it needs to reach longer than a typical stride. Both feet

need to scrape across the mat before you enter the house, so look for a larger mat to accommodate taller


2. Line the Floor With Rugs and Runners

Though a door mat will act as your floor’s first line of defense, some debris will cling to shoes long

after those first few steps indoors. To catch dirt as your movers go in and out, create a walkway of rugs and

runners. Cover all the high-traffic areas, such as the path between the kitchen, the living room, and the

front door.

Don’t forget that some rugs pose a tripping hazard if they bunch up or fold over. To keep everyone safe,

regularly inspect the rugs and runners for wrinkles during the move. Or opt for runners with nonslip backing

to give the material more traction.

3. Improvise With Leftover Cardboard

After you’ve packed your belongings for the move, you may have a few leftover boxes and packing materials.

Though you could bring the boxes to a recycling center or sell them online, you may enjoy more benefits if

you use the cardboard to shield your hardwood.

Simply flatten the boxes and line your flooring with the material. The cardboard will cushion and absorb

many of the bumps and steps from your move, and it will soak up any water and mud from outside.

During inclement weather, you don’t want soaked cardboard to sit for long on your flooring, as water warps

wood. So throw away wet cardboard and lay down fresh boxes as needed.

4. Wear Protective Booties

If you don’t have the funds or the resources to line every inch of your flooring in rugs or cardboard, you

may have better luck simply lining your shoes. You can purchase disposable shoe and boot covers in bulk for

less than $20 online. These shoe covers fit most sizes, and they often come with slip-resistant soles to

minimize accidents.

If you can, look for water-resistant shoe covers so any water lingering on the bottom of your boots won’t

seep through the material. And remember to check the shoe sizes before you make your purchase; you may need

to purchase larger covers for the taller members of your family or moving team.

5. Rely on Furniture Sliders

Chair, table, and sofa legs direct a lot of weight into a tiny area. Consequently, if you were to suddenly

drop your heavy furniture on the floor, you can bet that the impact will leave a large scratch in your


Though you trust your moving team to shift, lift, and reposition your furniture with care, accidents can

happen at any time. Fortunately, you can minimize risks and simplify your move via furniture sliders. These

handy gadgets slip beneath your table or sofa legs and provide a cushioned surface for your furniture to

slide on.

Although cheaper furniture sliders work well on slick hardwood floors, you’ll want to invest in thicker,

more durable sliders if you need to travel across both hardwood and carpet flooring.

6. Use Rubber-Wheeled Dollies

During a move, dollies can save you from injury and allow you to move heavy-duty boxes, books, and

furniture. But take care to choose the right dollies for the job! Though plastic and metal-wheeled dollies

offer strength and durability, they can scratch and damage your flooring if they go over a bump or dip in

your home.

For impact absorption and greater protection, choose rubber-wheeled dollies. The rubber not only

distributes the weight throughout the rest of the wheel, but it also provides better traction and grip on

your floor’s smooth surface.

Make Your Hardwood Flooring Last

When you move with care, you can ensure that your hardwood flooring looks great for years to come. But if

you need additional tips to protect your home during a move, check our blog for regular updates. We’ll keep

you posted on the best ways to simplify and organize your move.