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high heels and wood floors

Posted by noodlesportland (My Page) on
Fri, Dec 14, 12 at 4:37

We are a shoes on house except for high heels. I know 2 people and of 3 more second hand who have had their wood floors ruined by high heels. It is both the amount of weight that is put on a small area (the heel) and the fact that sometimes the surface has worn and a nail is protruding. I also checked with a floor restorer and this was confirmed.
Again, we would never ask anyone to take off their shoes (other than children if their shoes were dirty) except for high heels. So far have had to only ask once and it was very difficult as we value our guests comfort.
We are having a large (60+) party next week. We are going to put a message regarding heels off along with our map email.
I am asking for wording that sounds Ok, not if we are right or wrong.
We will put a basket of socks and a few new slippers out just in case.
Anyone have any nice way to word this?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: high heels and wood floors

I think I'd go to the local big box store and buy a bunch of runners and inexpensive area rugs. You can apologize for them by saying you expected bad weather and didn't want anyone to worry about the floors or feel like they ought to remove shoes. Either Portland, I think it's believable.


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RE: high heels and wood floors

Thanks and might work but we have just about all wood floors with few rugs. Just not possible to cover the area that is concerning. (swear when we move we will have heated concrete floors and the best fashion parties).
Just looking for wording and the caterer actually brought this up to me.


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RE: high heels and wood floors

There is no nice way of writing it. So just be honest. Just put in your note that you would prefer your guests to not wear high heels due to the fact you have wood floors. Short and sweet. NancyLouise


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RE: high heels and wood floors

Oy, is this a hot topic on this forum. Do a search and you'll be stunned at the vitriol this one prompts!

Honestly, I don't think there is a great way to word this request. No matter how careful you are, it's going to sound to some people like you value your floors more than your friends. I know you don't!! But you can't control how others feel. If you are going to entertain at home, then the public spaces just need to be people-friendly, or else you just have to absorb it and be prepared to deal with any damage -- the same as people with carpet have to clean (or live with) spills and people with tile or linoleum have to deal with stubborn scuffs. This is one reason that some people simply do their entertaining in restaurants.

I am 5'1" and all of my nice outfits require high heels (although not always the skinny heels I think you're talking about). I would NOT be thrilled to arrive at a party and have to walk around in socks and slippers with my party clothes, either looking ridiculous in a dress or having my pants drag on the floor. Whether your guests are right or wrong, being silly or not, you want them to have a good time, and remember your party for other things, right?

By the way, my house has hardwood floors, almost 100 year old, over most of the public spaces. I can't say that I've ever noticed any particular damage from high heels, or anything else (dog toenails, etc.). The only times I've ever had baskets of slippers out were a couple of nights when we had some kind of meeting -- not a party where people were dressed nicely -- and the weather was particularly hideous, so everyone's feet were covered with snow and almost everyone was wearing boots anyway. At such times, I notice that most people just take off their shoes or boots automatically anyway, so this spared them having to just be in socks.

Your best bet to avoid high heels is to specify a casual dress code. If your friends wear stilettos with their jeans, then the advice you got about rugs is your best bet. In the summer entertain outside. And at this party, if you notice someone absent-mindedly grinding her heel into the floor or something, say, "Oh, let me get you a little rug for that spot." Do NOT get into any discussions of the care of hardwood floors.

But wear and tear on our houses is a part of entertaining, unfortunately. You can't specify "no lipstick" to spare your napkins or "no overweight people in the Chippendale chair" either without it looking not quite hospitable. But honestly I think you may be worrying too much; I doubt you'll have any damage.

Sorry; I know this isn't the advice you wanted. You didn't ask if it's okay to request this or not, you just asked for a good way to word it. But I think that this is the reason that it's hard to come up with gracious wording.


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RE: high heels and wood floors

Actually, the party is over and was a great success! We did add a message to the map page (important as we are really hard to find and parking is very tricky). I asked the caterer and she gave me some very nice words. (not exact) that said that we were concerned about everyone's safety (steep steep hill to walk down) and that high heels did not work on our floors.
I did tons of research and talked to two hardwood floor people. Google high heels and hardwood floors images and it is a game changer. The folks I spoke with basically said that some floors are so damaged that they can never be repaired properly. Mainly it has to do with nail sticking out of the heel. So imagine my dismay that mt own D's heels are so worn down that a nail is sticking out. And she is my worse critic regarding the floors.
I have no regrets whatsoever about posting our request. I would have felt terrible if we had asked anyone to take off their shoes upon arriving if we had not notified them.
Once we posted our request I felt so at peace. I cannot be barefoot due to feet problems but always take in door flip flops or slippers. And apologize.
No party is worth $10,000 worth of damage and my friends would never want that to be the case.


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RE: high heels and wood floors

I was told a stiletto heel adds as much pressure as 7 times the person's weight, so you were right in asking what you did !


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RE: high heels and wood floors

Shortly after I delivered a new home, the owners had a housewarming that I attended.

A couple of days later, the owners reported damaged hardwood flooring that they figured was my responsibility. My flooring contractor came over and tracked the indentations from room to room. The homeowners and I instantly remembered it matched the movements of their next door neighbour, a curvacious five-foot hottie wearing six-inch spike heels.

Confronted, the lady of the house relented on her criticism of me and mentioned that now she knows why her sister's home had granite floors throughout the "public" areas.

 photo IMG_0434.jpg
Welcome to Worthy's Home!


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RE: high heels and wood floors

I have all hardwood floors on my first level and some on the second. I would never ask anyone to remove their heels. I have scratches and even a few gouges, but I'd rather have that than people not feeling welcome. I have just come to learn that people are more important than things.


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RE: high heels and wood floors

I have orthopedic problems. While I do walk barefooted occasionally, I do so reluctantly. I know someone else who walks on the sides of her feet when she is barefooted and without her orthotics - she also has serious orthopedic problems....some people do not like to go barefooted/shoeless because of the ick factor (sweaty feet or stepping in something that has been spilled in the kitchen), others of us do not like to go shoeless because of medical reasons.

At any rate, I very much agree with Karen - people are more important than things. I want people to feel comfortable in my home. My floors are less important than the people who walk on them.


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