How to Protect Floors When Moving: 8 Helpful Tips
When moving house, it’s easy to get sucked into the broader aspects of the move that you overlook some of the finer details.
Most of us are preoccupied with stuff like finding a good mover and doing the packing, often neglecting the smaller but key aspects of the relocation, such as switching utilities providers if moving out of state or how to protect floors when moving, the latter of which forms the basis of this post.
Hardwood flooring in particular, while quite durable, is susceptible to damage. Since moving involves a lot of lifting and foot traffic, moving floor protection is something that should be on the agenda as moving day draws near.
After all, besides the aesthetics (and element of comfort), a hardwood floor adds to the actual value of your home, so you don’t want your flooring getting dents or scratches during the chaos of moving day.
Sure, some damages can be fixed, but nobody really wants to be incurring additional expenses when they already have a moving bill to contend with, especially if those expenses can be avoided. What’s that phrase about prevention and cure again? Aah, better safe than sorry.
The Most Common Types of Floor Covering
The best way to protect floors when moving is to cover them, especially the hallways and entryways where most of the traffic will be trickling through.
Drop cloths, rugs, and old blankets are convenient floor covers for moving. However, people can trip on these easily, rendering them not only dangerous, but also the losses that could stem from valuable items getting damaged in the process could be too much to bear.
As such, you might want to consider products specifically designed as floor covering for moving to protect floors when moving. Most come for cheap and can be easily sourced from your local hardware store.
Some good floor coverings are listed below.
For hardwood floors. Hardwood floor protection is important if you want your wooden floors to remain pristine. Usually, you’ll have a couple of options when choosing moving floor protection for your hardwood.
For instance, red rosin paper protects against wear and tear and is easy on the pocket. On the downside, it’s not the best protection for either pre-finished wood or job-finished wood.
In the case of the former, a more appropriate moving floor protection would be a product known as Floor Shield which is thicker than red rosin paper, is slip-resistant, and easy to lay down since it’s self-adhering. If you have job-finished wood, builder’s paper or X-board would be an excellent floor covering for moving. These can serve as good cover for the delicate finish.
For vinyl floors. Red rosin paper makes for good moving floor protection when you want to protect the finish on your vinyl. However, cardboard is the best bet for protecting against scuffs and tears (the main worries) if you’re going to be moving furniture or other appliances. Just make sure to tape the paper down with blue painter’s tape in the case of red rosin paper.
For tiled floors. The biggest concern when moving items on tiled flooring is breaking or cracking the tiles. As such, you should opt for a sturdy floor cover for moving. An X-board will work great for hallways and a Ram Board for pathways. This is the most expensive floor cover for moving, but the upside is that it can accommodate even the heaviest of items being rolled on your tiled floors, including a loaded moving dolly.
For carpeted floors. You can use carpet film to protect carpeted floors. Not only will it prevent damage and hold off stains, but it also doesn’t leave a residue on your carpets when used for a short time.
Stairs. Since some of the materials we’ve recommended here for protecting floors when moving are not practical for areas like the stairs, you might need a floor cover for moving that’s easy to custom-fit. Red rosin paper is a flexible candidate that can be used on all the floor types we’ve mentioned, but use carpet film on carpeted stairs. Don’t forget to tape the cover down to prevent tripping.
8 Tips That Can Help Protect Your Floors From Damage
- Use floor coverings – think rugs, runners, and doormats. This is for protecting floors while moving against scrapes, scratches, and dents. Hardwood floors in particular are vulnerable.
- Use furniture sliders – furniture sliders are quite handy when it comes to protecting floors when moving, especially when moving heavy and unwieldy items like sofas, chests, and armoires. All you need to do is lift one corner of the item you’re moving and slip the slider underneath. Do this until all areas touching the floor have a cover on them. From there, simply slide your furniture pieces where you need them.
- Don’t drag furniture – while you might think you’re making work easier, in a real sense, you’re actually doing your flooring a disservice. You could hire a moving company to do the heavy lifting for you, or schedule floor repair into your list of what to do after moving. Try lifting instead of dragging.
- Measure your furniture and doorways beforehand – this allows you to plan for large furniture pieces which can help avoid costly mistakes that could result in damaged floors, not to mention broken furniture.
- Place a cardboard or sheet of floor covering before moving household appliances – this ties into the gist of this article. The whole idea is to protect floors when moving in order to – again – avoid costly mistakes.
- Create a plan before you start putting things out – not only will a good plan make the process efficient for you, but it also helps you know what to anticipate and how to work around potential challenges as there are always a few.
- Seek help from professionals – as we’ve alluded to in an earlier point, hiring professionals from a moving company is the best way to move. These are experts familiar with moving best practices such as moving floor protection, among other things. If you prefer a DIY for whatever reason, consider enlisting some muscle, whether that be friends or other help.
- Clean the floor beforehand – it doesn’t necessarily have to be a deep clean, unless you’re in the mood for it and have got the time. A clean floor is all about clearing any debris and materials that could trip, slip, or cause a fall. That includes drying wet surfaces. Fall injuries are not only dangerous, but they are the leading cause of preventable deaths in elderly people in the US.
Moving floor protection is an important aspect of moving that can help protect your beautiful floors on moving day.
As you can see, not only is it a potential cost saver, but when you protect floors when moving, you also reduce the risk of bad injuries happening on moving day.