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What protective layer can I use on hardwood floors?

Room with bare hardwood floor, tan dog standing on hind legs and looking out the window.

(Photo: Flickr/Mitch Barrie)

What protective layer can I use on hardwood floors?

May 02, 2013

Q: I'm planning to turn my house into a rental. I have original hardwood floors that I'm worried that the renters might ruin. Is there a way to protect these floors? How about a sealer or adding another layer of laminate on top? Do people do that?

A: There is no way to completely protect hardwoods from scratches with a sealer. I would suggest some inexpensive laminate flooring that either floats or snaps into a floating track system. Very easy to install and pulls right up in the event you want your hardwood floors back.

Any major outlet like Home Depot or Lowes will have many varieties of this type of flooring. I would suggest a vinyl, with a base track system. It can be installed with a tape measure and utility knife easily.

Typically to make it look nice you should pull the molding and reinstall it when the new floor is in. Or you can install some 1/4 round strips over the new floor and not pull the molding, but this will put holes in your hardwood.

-- Answer from Jared P., an engineer on JustAnswer.

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