Tips to Protect Your Flooring for Holiday Parties
As soon as the leaves start changing on the trees, we know it’s that time of year – the downhill slide into holiday season! But before you get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the holidays, there are some steps you can take to make sure that the holiday foot traffic doesn’t damage your flooring! Wet leaves and mud, boots and heels, heavy boxes and dragging out the Christmas tree… there are so many ways to scratch, scuff, and discolor your floors. Make sure you’re saying “Ho, ho, ho!” instead of “No, no no!” and follow these simple floor-saving tips.
The number one potential cause of floor damage during the holidays is the grime and particles dragged in on the bottom of people’s shoes. Over time, that dirt and debris is ground into your flooring, causing scratches and discoloration that’s very difficult to reverse. This is true all year round of course, but it’s especially problematic during the winter season when the salt and chemicals used to melt icy roads are added to the mix.
Doormats are an excellent solution to this travesty. Just place one outside the front door for guests to wipe their feet, one inside the door to catch anything they missed – and don’t forget the back door! If you are trying to protect wooden floors, avoid using mats with rubber backs. If water gets trapped underneath a rubber mat, it can rot and warp the wood before you even notice the damage!
Make the House a No Shoe Zone
Already a popular cultural phenomenon in most of Asia, there are many, many benefits to instituting a “no outside shoes in the house” policy. First of all, (and especially important in the post-pandemic era) it’s much more sanitary. You’re not tracking in all the germs from the street, the grocery store, or work on the bottom of your shoes. It’s also cleaner – no shoes means no dirt and debris (which we mentioned above is the number one worry for your flooring!).
Obviously, if you are having a big, fancy (socially distanced!) party, this may not be really practical, especially if people are coming and going. In this case, you may want to consider laying down an area rug in the main party area to protect your floors. Dark colors are best to avoid dirt and slush stains from showing.
Set Up Trays for Messy Items
Set up plastic or rubber trays by the main entrances where you can keep messy rain or snow boots and drop umbrellas. If you have a wood floor, consider placing a towel or other absorbent cloth underneath to avoid water being trapped against the floor’s surface, which can cause discoloration and wood rot.
If you have a live Christmas tree, you should also make sure you’re placing a big tray underneath the water pan to prevent an unpleasant surprise when you move your tree after the holidays and discover staining underneath. This also prevents damage caused by water splashing when you water your tree.
Create Plenty of Counter Space
Providing plenty of surfaces for your guests to place their drinks and food plates or upon which to set their umbrellas and damp coats will lessen potential damage from spills and drips. Extra side tables, stools, even temporary handing racks – all with protective felt pads on their feet! – can all help keep your floor safe while impressing your guests with your thoughtfulness.
If you have any questions about how to protect your floors during the holiday season, contact the Carpet Center! We’re happy to help ensure that your floors stay clean and happy all season long!