How to protect wood floors during construction

mitri89March 19, 2010

We are nearing the end of our house build. The wood floors are being stained today. There are still a few things that need to be done in the house, final plumbing, cabinet hardware, minor paint touch-up, and carpet. I'm wondering what is the best way for us to protect the wood floors from the people that will be coming and going? I figure we'll put down some cardboard runners in the main pathways, but would it also be a good idea to get some of those shoe covers and set at the exterior doors with a sign asking people to please put them on before entering? Or would that be overkill? I should say too, that most of our downstairs is wood so it's not just a small area. Thanks!

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For those tasks you could just roll out some red rosin paper (keeps the floor clean, at least), topped with cardboard for high traffic and work areas.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2010 at 6:33PM
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Red rosin paper will leach color onto your floor if it gets wet. It can stain your new floor. It is better to cover the entire floor with kraft paper so as not to show color change from ultra violet light where not covered. Be careful of tapping to the finish. Uncured finish will peel from tape left on for any length of time, even easy release tapes left on for over a week.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2010 at 6:55PM
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Yes, you need to use a clean kraft paper and then something, such as cardboard, on top of that. Cardboard by itself is abrasive and will leave minor scratches in the finish. However, you said that the floor is being stained, so I assume that the floors will be given a finish sometime after all the work is complete, is that right?

Professionals use protection products made specifically for them. I get mine at my flooring products distributor.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2010 at 10:37PM
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Thank you all. We bought some of the paper and some cardboard to put down. What tape would be the safest to use? Our floors were stained today and then a poly coat was put on, so they are completely done. Will the easy release blue painters tape be safe if they've been poly coated?

    Bookmark   March 20, 2010 at 12:41AM
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No. Do not use tape at all. You can tape the paper or cardboard together, but no tape whatsoever on the floor.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2010 at 10:35AM
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Thanks so much! We did just as you said and kept the tape off the wood and only taped the paper and cardboard together. We laid down heavy duty construction paper that we found on a big, wide roll in the paint department and then clean cardboard on top of that. Seems like it will protect it nicely over the next week or two as the work is finished and while we move in. Thanks again for your input.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2010 at 8:59PM
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I was wondering if it would be ok to cover pre finished hardwood floors with roofing felt paper because it is thicker than craft paper or will it discolor the floor

    Bookmark   December 15, 2010 at 10:42PM
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Although the finishes on prefinished hardwood flooring usually is stain resistant, the high tar content of roofing felt would concern me.

    Bookmark   December 16, 2010 at 11:40AM
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For future reference, our construction guys put down clean paper, then tarps, then cardboard on our wood floors while they were working. They had ladders and scaffolding and lots of heavy things, so the multiple layers really helped cushion some of that too.

    Bookmark   December 16, 2010 at 12:35PM
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We just went through a major home remodel. We had some of those foam squares, the kind that fit together like a puzzle and are meant for kids play areas. We pretty much covered our living room hardwood with those so that the guys didn't have to worry about walking on the hardwood with their shoes. It worked very well for us, and was cheap. ($25 a pack at Sam's Club) We moved them around as needed to other areas and they kept the floors clean and undamaged.


    Bookmark   December 17, 2010 at 1:26PM
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I posted on a similar topic about this. Woodfloorpro is rosin can stain if it gets wet and it is too thin to protect the floors from any impact. For my construction projects, we use something a lot stronger called Ram Board. I'll put a link to their site below. Hope that helps...

Here is a link that might be useful: hardwood floor protection

    Bookmark   August 8, 2013 at 4:17PM
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