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Sunday, December 27, 2009

Will My Hardwood Floor Scratch?

Ok… I have decided to start posting articles on some of the questions that people ask that just seem to defy common sense. I’m not sure what it is about spending large amounts of money that seems to employ a thought process in people’s minds that the more expensive, the more extraordinary a product performs.

I was out on an estimate last week in an upscale neighborhood in our area for an installation and refinish. The home owner was a very nice young lady with a lot of questions. Questions are good… Don’t get me wrong… But there is a measure of common sense that applies to everything… This includes hardwood flooring.

After speaking with her and giving my usual run down of what to expect, I always ask, “do you have any questions of me about this project?” Green Light! I was amazed at what was to come next. The first thing she said was, “since we are spending so much money on this floor, it’s not going to scratch, right?” How do you really answer this question? Of course a floor is going to scratch! Unless, of course, you tell me that no one and nothing is going to be on the floor. Hardwood floors scratch… It’s just the nature of what they are… Normal traffic and a variety of environmental conditions will see to it. If there were a finish out there that did not scratch, I would be all over it, and however, that’s wishful thinking.

After explaining to her that yes, the floor will scratch over time and giving her precautionary things that they can do as homeowners to minimize scratching, she said to me; “Well, if we are spending all of this money, it seems like we should not have to be as careful and the floor should take care of itself.” I guess I understand… When I buy a Mercedes, I suppose I expect it to drive me around with no effort from me! Come on folks… Really?

Two days after my visit and 3 estimates later, this same home owner called us back to book the job. Unfortunately, we respectfully declined the job. The red flags had already gone up on that one and there is a lot of truth in; “Sometimes the best jobs are the ones turned away.” Think about it like that Mercedes… You spend a lot of money on that car… You are proud of it… Show it off… BUT… YOU have to wash it… YOU have to put fuel in it… YOU change the oil… YOU take care of it!

Is an expensive hardwood floor any different?


  1. Well, I am not sure why that question should have even been asked. If it is wood, it is going to get a scratch here or there. Just learn how to take care of it and do some preventive maintenance upfront.
    By the way, even that new Mercedes, is going to get a scratch. OUCH!!!

  2. Very well written article with a smattering of humor. Yes the floor will scratch but you have years of enjoyment before you get to that point.

  3. How can people be so dumb or probably its the cost that's making them look so. Every product is subject to abrasions. But being a costly product its a usual expectation one gets about the product.

  4. Not too long ago my dentist decided to remodel his office. He was able to put in some really nice hardwood flooring. He told me the hardwood floor came from Costa Rica and it looks really nice.


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