Protecting Your Floors During the Holidays

Great room with iron staircase and dark hardwood flooring

The holiday season is in full swing, which for many means hosting houseguests, dinner parties and end-of-the-year celebrations. But with the joys of entertaining comes increased foot traffic and greater risk of damage to your home’s flooring.

How can you help protect your carpet, tile and hardwoods from spills, stains, scratches and other holiday havoc? Following are some simple suggestions:

  • Stock up on mats and rugs. Place floor mats and rugs in high-traffic areas throughout your home. Be sure to steer clear of rubber and foam-backed varieties, which may discolor your flooring.
  • Make your home a no-shoe zone. Ask guests to remove their shoes at your front door. Set a boot tray or small shoe cabinet nearby for convenience.
  • Choose an artificial tree. Fresh-cut firs may look and smell wonderful, but pine needles, water spots and sap stains can damage your flooring. Instead, opt for an artificial tree and recreate the season’s signature scent with a candle or air freshener. If having a natural pine is non-negotiable, be sure to protect your floors with an absorbent Christmas tree mat or tray.
  • Pad your furniture. Having holiday guests often involves setting up folding tables and chairs and/or rearranging your furniture. Furniture pads are an easy and economical way to help protect your flooring from the scrapes and scratches that could occur in the shuffle.
  • Forget the fine china. The holidays may be a great excuse to break out your grandma’s china. But if that china drops and shatters, it could potentially damage your flooring. Instead, set out stylish yet durable dishes that resist chipping and breaking and—most importantly—pose less risk of damage to your floor if dropped. These days, there are even a variety of elegant disposable paper and plastic options available.
  • Keep an eye on pets. Having pets always involves a certain degree of vigilance where flooring is concerned. But the month of December may require additional precautions, such as keeping abrasive ornaments and holiday treats (e.g., milk for Santa) out of pets’ reach and making sure food and water bowls aren’t in the path of holiday foot traffic. It’s also wise to avoid placing gift-wrapped pet treats (e.g., cat-nip, dog bones) under the tree where furry family members can easily access them.
  • Address spills immediately. The longer you let spills and stains linger, the greater the likelihood of damage to your flooring. Mop up spills on tile and hardwoods immediately. For carpeted areas, blot the stain as soon as it occurs. Never scrub carpeting as doing so can damage the fibers and cause the liquid to soak through to the padding.

Happy entertaining! If you’re in the process of building a brand-new Richmond American home, ask our Home Gallery designers about our exceptional flooring options from notable manufacturers, like Emser Tile® and Daltile