Many homeowners prefer hardwood flooring for its classic, warm appearance, and low-maintenance cleaning requirements. Hardwood flooring resists stains, scratches, and other forms of damage, but it’s not invincible. Explore the common causes of hardwood flooring issues and tips for preventing or treating them.

Cupped vs. Crowning Edges

Cupped and crowning edges are both common causes of hardwood flooring issues and products of moisture, though they look different from one another. Cupped hardwood edges describe corners of the board that turns upward. Crowning edges lift the center of the board higher than its edges. Both require sanding to fix the issue.

Photosensitive Wood

Natural home lighting is a huge perk for many homeowners, but be mindful of how much light you let it in. Some hardwood types are more sensitive to sun exposure than others, causing their color to fade more quickly.

Most finishes can prevent photosensitive wood from fading fast, so be sure to get a high-grade varnish if your hardwood type is susceptible.

Damage From Pets

With the sheer joy of a household, pet comes some unfortunate potential hardwood flooring damage. Paws and claws can scratch up the floor worse than some furniture, making it imperative to keep up on pet maintenance.

When potty training, you must consider any pet urine stains. These can penetrate hardwood varnish and seep into the fibers, causing an unsightly stain.

Be sure to invest in ways to protect hardwood flooring from pets, so you can appreciate the presence of a pup without worrying about compromising your flooring’s quality.


Though a high-quality protective finish can delay the appearance of wear and tear, flooring isn’t impervious to this issue. Scratches, scuffs, and other worn spots reveal themselves after a few years of foot traffic.

To improve the appearance and lifespan of your hardwood floors, take a few preventative measures. Add felt padding, or a different safeguard material, to the bottom of all your furniture and remove shoes before entering the home to reduce the amount of wear and tear on your flooring.