Low-Cost Fixes to Floors When They're All Scratched Up

By Lisa Kaplan Gordon

In every floor's life, a little mug will fall or chair will drag, scratching or denting its surface. But don't despair; creativity and a trip to a drugstore or home center will cheer up your unhappy floor.


A fast application of a hardwood cleaner will add a quick shine to dull flooring. Of course, it won't look as good as a floor refinish, but at $15 per gallon, it won't break your budget.

• A box of crayons will fix minor scratches on wood floors. Pick a matching crayon and color it in -- be sure to stay in the lines. Buff to a shine. A matching permanent marker can camouflage deeper, ugly scratches.

• Grind the meat of a walnut or pecan into scratches. The nut oil will provide a shine that blends with a polyurethane or water-based surface finish.

Ceramic Tile

Always keep spare tiles to replace those that are irreparably damaged. For smaller fixes, try these tips.

• Reattach chipped tile (if you have the chip) with a little Crazy Glue.

• Use nail polish to fill tile scratches. Select a shade closest to your tile color, and apply to scratches.


It's hard to wreck resilient vinyl. But if you do ...

• To cover small burns on vinyl sheeting, sand a spare piece of vinyl; mix the vinyl "powder" with clear nail polish, and dab over the burn. Warning: wear a dust mask when sanding.

• To reattach peeling edges of bathroom vinyl tile, cover the tile with aluminum foil and an old towel, then press down with a medium hot iron. This should melt the underlying adhesive and let it re-bond the loose edges. Weigh down with heavy books for 24 hours.


Laminate flooring is tough, but it isn't invulnerable. Most laminate floor manufacturers offer color-matched floor fillers ($6-$12) for repairing nicks and scratches; ask your retailer. Or, try these tips:

• Nail polish remover will remove furniture scuffs from laminate floors. Pour a little on a clean rag and wipe scuffs. Erase more stubborn scuffs with a pencil eraser (not the stand-alone pink ones, which can stain).

• Rub a color-matched putty stick on nicks and gouges.

This article was originally published on HouseLogic.

See more on HouseLogic:
The Kitchen of the Not-Too-Distant-Future
Another Happy Family Living in a Tiny House
If You Live in 1 of 5 States, You Face Higher Costs for Mortgages Next Year

Fast Fixes For Under $50
See Gallery
Low-Cost Fixes to Floors When They're All Scratched Up
Whether you want a room that is energetic, relaxing or anything in between -- you can achieve that look on the cheap with decor. To help fuel your creativity, here are easy design ideas that you can do for less than fifty dollars, straight from '50 Design Ideas Under $50,' Chapter 9 of AOL's Home Improvement Editor Tom Kraeutler and his radio co-host Leslie Segrete's new book "My Home, My Money Pit: Your Guide to Every Home Improvement Adventure."
+ Buy the Book at AOL Shopping
Download a Free Chapter of the Book:
+ 50 Fast Fixes For Under $50
+ How to Avoid Freezing, Sneezing, Frying and Fizzling ... and Freaking Out over Utility Costs
Changing the color of your room is one of the simplest changes that yield big impact. Go for a linen technique using a mixture of glaze and your color choice. Roll the paint on the wall in sections and pull a wallpaper brush through the paint vertically and horizontally to create a woven look.
+ Buy Painting Supplies
Need Help With Your Next Project:
Use logo sections of wood wine crates cut to a uniform size and use them to create an imaginative backsplash. If you love the experience of cooking and eating, you most likely enjoy wine, then this is the backsplash for you!
+ Browse Wood Carving Tools
Need Help With Your Next Project:
For a bright colorful detail that can capture everything from modern to traditional style, create an illuminated design detail using the blank space from above your kitchen cabinets to the ceiling line.
+ Look for Wall Tiles
Need Help With Your Next Project:
Create instant interest to a plain lampshade by attaching decorative ribbon or trimming to the bottom edge of your lampshade using fabric or hot glue. Multiple layers of trimming can also add depth and texture.
+ Buy a Hot Glue Gun
Need Help With Your Next Project:
Add visual interest to plain walls by creating paneling using decorative molding. Add a chair rail, crown or base molding, wainscoting, or even use flat molding to add a frame to the wall. Use the frames to add detail to a formerly plain space by highlighting artwork or pieces of patterned wallpaper.
Need Help With Your Next Project:
If you love the look of wood-paneled wainscoting but hate the work and the expense, create that same richly paneled look using paneled doors made of either wood or composite. Turn the door sideways and attach to the lower portion of your wall to create instant wood wainscoting.
Need Help With Your Next Project:
Whether you have an existing piece of furniture or a great salvage store find, this trick can help you can instantly give it new life. Choose a table, desk, or sideboard that has very classical styling and paint it a very unexpected color, like bright pink, turquoise, or deep purple. You’ll find that the mix of color and shape will play together in a fun and surprising way.
Need Help With Your Next Project:
Hang a mirror in your room to make it instantly seem larger. By hanging your mirror opposite a window, the reflection will not only help to make the room feel bigger, it is also going to add lots of extra light to the space.
Need Help With Your Next Project:
Give any room in your home a fresh and seasonal vibe by changing the accessories. Items like throw pillows, candle votives, and other decorative items can set the tone for the warmer and cooler times of the year. Choose colors and fabrics that evoke the feeling of the season.
Need Help With Your Next Project:
Add depth and texture to your room with inexpensive natural blinds. When paired with luscious draperies they help to add an earthy balance to create a nicely dressed up window.
Need Help With Your Next Project:
Breathe instant life to any room with fresh flowers. Group flowers together of assorted sizes in various tones of the same color. Choose a vase that works well with the scale of your flowers and add florist’s tape in a grid at the top to help keep an arrangement in place.
Need Help With Your Next Project:
Turn any inexpensive glass vase into an ultra stylish piece of mercury glass using Krylon® LookingGlass® mirror spray paint. Painted glass vases or trays can add instant drama and design to any room.
Need Help With Your Next Project:
Add visual appeal to an otherwise blank slate by painting a decorative pattern on a wood floor any where in your home. By using readily available floor stencils or simply getting creative with masking tape, diamond patterns or decorative rugs can easily be achieved in a few steps and with the right colors can look absolutely charming. To finish off your work of art, be sure to add a clear topcoat to help your work last a long time.
Need Help With Your Next Project:
When the warm evening beckons dining al fresco add some romantic light to set the mood. A candle chandelier hung above your dining table will help create the perfect setting.
Need Help With Your Next Project:
If your outdoor retreat contains a pergola you can creatively block the sun and the heat. Here's how: Cut and sew panels of outdoor fabric the same size as the openings overhead.
Need Help With Your Next Project:
Simple single color pillow are an inexpensive addition to any sofa or chair. But cheap doesn't mean it can't be chic. Let your inner designer go free and dress up plain pillows by attaching buttons, ribbons, or cording in scrolled patterns using fabric glue.
Need Help With Your Next Project:
If your room is short on architectural detail and you're short on skills with moldings and miter saws, you can paint on detailing, using a deep tone, a mid-tone of the same color and a pure white to create the perception of depth. Choose colors that can act as a neutral within your room whether it is chocolate brown or bright blue, and build from there.
Need Help With Your Next Project:
Traditional table lamps are not a side table's only option. Have electricity moved to the ceiling above the table and hang a pendant lamp, oversized shade light or chandelier at lampshade height for an illuminating effect.
Need Help With Your Next Project:
Accessory storage can be tricky especially when in comes to all of those trends in stylish neckwear. Solve this problem by attaching several decorative knobs directly to your wall or to a piece of painted MDF. Stagger them in a pattern so long necklaces don't get all twisted up.
Need Help With Your Next Project:
There is valuable kitchen real estate under those upper cabinets. Hang pots out of the way. Add pull out natural woven and metal bins on easy to operate tracks to pick up some storage space where there was none before. This is the perfect place for onions, potatoes, dishtowels or craft supplies.
Need Help With Your Next Project:
Get a free download of "50 Decorating Ideas for Under 50 Bucks," Chapter 9 from AOL Home Improvement Editor Tom Kraeutler and Leslie Segrete's new book My Home, My Money Pit: Your Guide to Every Home Improvement Adventure. The entire chapter is available free by clicking here.
Get your chance to win $5,000 for your home improvement project. Play the Home Improvement Adventure Game & Sweepstakes.

More on AOL Real Estate:
Find out how to
calculate mortgage payments.
homes for sale in your area.
foreclosures in your area.
Find homes for rent in your area.

Follow us on Twitter at @AOLRealEstate or connect with AOL Real Estate on Facebook.

Read Full Story

Find a home

Powered by Zillow