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I have engineered hardwood that scratches easily (be it from furniture being slid on it, a kid playing with hard toys on it, or simply from regular wear and tear). We currently mitigate the scratching by coloring the wood with some Old English. However, we would like to treat the floor with something to keep it from scratching so easily going forward.

Unlike, this question our wood is relatively new, is not brittle and dull, and definitely does not splinter. I am also not looking for spot treatment, I am open to something that I do to the entire floor.

I read of a few possibilities, that I'll put here for discussion.

Would oil or water based polyurethane work?

Would applying non-slip wax do the trick?

What about some type of varnish?

Note, the idea would be to avoid having to sand down and refinish the floors, but if thats my only option, please say so. The wood layer is thick enough that it could be refinished if need be.

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What kind of wood is it? Some woods are just really soft and scratches are par for the course. Perhaps invest in rug. –  DA01 Jan 26 '13 at 2:57
    
Brazilian Walnut Handscraped (Sureloc G5) –  n00b Jul 9 '13 at 17:02
    
We gave up trying to keep our easily scratched laminate floor free of scratches and started covering the worst of the scratches with throw rugs - with 2 kids and a dog, we figured we'd wait until the kids grew up enough to not use the floor as a race track and to take off their shoes upon entering the house. But, we ended up moving first and put in a new laminate floor to dress up the house. We used a better grade of flooring (light commercial grade with a 50 year residential warranty), and in the 2 months we lived on it, it stayed completely scratch free with no special care. –  Johnny Oct 31 '13 at 22:28
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4 Answers

I really doubt you can sand your floors. Some engineered floors can be but this is a very small percent. And this would be a diy because pros won't want to be responsible for the thin top layer sanding through.

One of the things I have found with engineered hardwood is the clear coat varies drastically from different types. I have tested a lot and some scratch by pushing a penny across it and others I have had to stab full force with a screwdriver. I am guessing yours scratches with a penny.

So the only cost effective thing that would definitely help would be to add a couple layers of poly. You may need several layers.

http://www.clarkeus.com/clarkerental/~/media/029C45196DC6413FAC0CCF1922BD1BFA.ashx

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Get some rugs. And on chair legs some rubber bungs, and anything else that gets dragged around some stick on floor protectors. Short of polyurethaning the floor, you're stuck with scratching. –  Matt Jul 15 '13 at 23:40
    
Rugs are a good suggestion but then why have hardwoods if rugs are everywhere? Owning a house with 1000 sq ft of engineered hardwood I can say that poly is the only thing I have come up with. Yes we felt the bottoms of EVERYTHING but the kids knock stuff over and you don't want chips everywhere (I have found if you stain the chips a much darker color than your wood that not only does it look good but sometimes looks better). –  DMoore Jul 22 '13 at 3:22
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If it is the finish that is scratching, choosing a more durable finish and applying several layers would be the closest to bees knees.

But if the wood itself is getting scratched or marred, the cause of the scratching has to be eliminated.

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Could you clarify what you mean by finish? Does home improvement stores sell something called 'wood floor finish'? How does one know what type of finish the wood has or should buy? –  n00b Jul 22 '13 at 1:08
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If you refinish your engineered floor chances are you will void whatever warranty if any that came with it. I doubt that a refinishing would provide you with the look you are going for or even add much strength to the finish itself. Most engineered hardwood floors have a UV curred finish on them which allows it to be much more durable. Something you apply yourself isn't going to be as good as what you already have on the floor most likely. Treat the disease not the symptom. In other words eliminate what is scratching your floor through whatever means available. Or change it to a more durable flooring such as Bamboo. Which will scratch also but not as easily as hardwood in most cases.

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So your answer is there is nothing I can apply to my floors that would make them more scratch resistant. Is it possible to "reapply a UV finish"? What would such a product be called in a home improvement store (or is a process that consumers could even do without special equipment)? –  n00b Jul 22 '13 at 1:09
    
The finish itself isn't anything special that I am aware of, stained wood with a polyurethane coat over it. It's the actual curring of it which is done with special UV lights. I doubt a consumer could duplicate the process in a cost effective manner. Engineered hardwood isn't really made to be refinished. So yes my answer is that there is nothing to my knowledge that you can apply to your floor to make it scratch resistent. Although possible to refinish engineered hardwood, it's risky and I would avoid it. Most likely you would end up worse off if you tried. –  ValueforValue Jul 22 '13 at 3:13
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Remove flooring and put in wood plank ceramic tile, with epoxy grout.

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Although a good suggestion, this does not address the question. –  n00b Jul 22 '13 at 1:06
    
Have you guys applied epoxy grout? It has to be one of my least favorite things and can't imagine doing a large floor. –  DMoore Jul 22 '13 at 1:45
    
Yes epoxy grout takes quite a bit more labor to apply. I've always considered it overkill for residential applications. Although it does do it job very well in areas where it's needed. –  ValueforValue Jul 22 '13 at 3:16
    
Entry foyers and kitchens are the tip places. Laundry floors and shower floors are good places too. –  HerrBag Jul 22 '13 at 11:12
    
@n00b It was an answer, just not explicitly stated. "If you are scratching through a factory applied (typically in an oven) finish, what hope is there for a field applied coating?" The (too) subtle inference is that you have the wrong surface for your lifestyle. –  HerrBag Jul 22 '13 at 11:57
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