Whether you’re welcoming family for a holiday dinner or you’re inviting friends over for a big party to ring in the new year, you’ll want to make sure your home is ready for company. You’ve already cleaned up the house and put up the holiday decor. But what about the floors? Get five quick tips for protecting your floors this holiday season.
Invest in a Shoe Rack
Soft-soled footwear might not damage your floors, but high heels and shoes with hard soles can easily impact delicate surfaces in your home. Rather than dealing with damage later, make a proactive plan to protect your hardwood, laminate, and vinyl floors.
To encourage everyone to go shoe-free in your home, make the process as easy as possible. You could just ask friends and family to throw their shoes into a snowy, muddy pile. However, giving guests a place to keep their footwear clean and organized is likely to result in a much higher success rate.
Invest in a stylish shoe rack — one that’s large enough to hold a pair for everyone on your guest list — and then strategically place it as close to your home’s main entrance as possible. Consider investing in two or more shoe racks if guests also frequently enter through the garage area, the back door, or other entrances.
Before your guests arrive, think about placing a chair near the shoe rack as well. After all, removing heels or slip-on shoes only takes a second, but unlacing sneakers or boots may require some guests to have a seat. Add a few smaller stools if you’re expecting a lot of guests, as having more than one place to sit can help avoid creating a traffic jam near the main entrance.
If your home features one of the most comfortable flooring types, such as carpet or cork, you won’t have to worry about friends and family staying cozy without their shoes. If you have tile, vinyl, or hardwood floors, however, have some extra pairs of new socks or fluffy slippers at the ready to help guests’ feet stay warm.
Put Extra Trash Cans in High-Traffic Areas
No matter how much you love entertaining friends and family over the holidays, no one enjoys cleaning up afterward. You might not be worried about tidying up leftover ribbons and wrapping paper or loading the dishwasher with used plates and glasses. However, not every holiday party mess is quite so easy to clean up. Spilled drinks and overflowing trash bags can easily cause liquids to pool on your flooring, causing stains or water damage.
To protect your floors from spills and messes, place extra trash cans in high-traffic areas throughout your home. Ask the kids or a helpful guest to check and empty trash cans as necessary throughout the party to keep your home looking great during and after the holidays.
Add Felt Pads and Rugs Under the Furniture
Whether you’re hosting a sit-down dinner or you’re getting ready for a holiday open house, your friends and family will need somewhere to sit down and get comfortable. Your chairs and tables might not move around much throughout the year. During the holidays, however, guests may want to shift furniture around so they can create smaller conversation circles or place drinks and hors d’oeuvres within arm’s reach.
Without a protective barrier between your furniture and your floors, moving tables and chairs can seriously damage hardwood and vinyl. Before guests arrive, add felt pads to the underside of every chair and table leg. These pads make moving furniture much easier, and they also protect your flooring from scratches and impacts.
Place Mats in the Entryways
No matter how thoroughly you clean your home before friends and family arrive or how neat your guests are when they visit, foot traffic can wreak havoc on your floors. Guests can easily track dirt or sand into your home, which can scratch or dent wood and laminate floors. Even if they’re careful, friends and family can also bring melted snow or rainwater inside. If you don’t catch it quickly, excess water can pool on the hardwood, seep between planks, and cause damage.
To maintain damage-free floors during the holidays, place mats in your home’s entryway. As you’re greeting guests, hanging up coats, and taking hostess gifts off their hands, you can let the mats do the dirty work, soaking up the snow and mud before it makes its way through your home.
If you anticipate groups of guests gathering in other popular spots in the house, consider placing more mats or washable throw rugs throughout to protect the floors. Opt for colorful rugs with holiday themes to keep floors safe while adding to the festive atmosphere.
Encourage Your Guests to Wipe Their Shoes
It might be cozy inside your home, but the weather tends to be frightful during the holiday season. Whether your area often gets snowy and icy during the holidays or winter in your neck of the woods usually means rainy or slushy weather, this time of year tends to be wet. You might not be able to convince everyone on your guest list to take off their shoes when they arrive. However, that doesn’t mean you have to let guests track snow, slush, or mud inside your home.
Instead, encourage friends and family to wipe their shoes when they arrive. After placing doormats in the entryways, it’s so much easier to ask guests to keep their shoes clean. Try hanging a homemade sign near the door to make your request, or look for doormats that will do the asking for you. Consider adding extra mats at the entrance to the most popular rooms of your home, such as the kitchen, the family room, and the media room to make sure everyone gets the message.
No matter what you’re planning over the holidays, don’t let the festivities lead to damaged floors. From eliminating snowy and muddy footprints to avoiding furniture-related scratches, these simple tips can help protect your beautiful floors during the holidays and beyond.