How to Safeguard Any Surface in Your Home
From hardwood floors to walls, ensure every surface in your home goes scuff and damage-free with these tips.
You love your freshly painted porch floor and your outdoor furniture—or you did until your favorite rocking chair began scuffing up its glossy finish. It might feel like the two can't get along, but they can with the right buffer. In fact, the best surface defenders, from felt pads to rubber cups, are multipurpose. In addition to protecting surfaces from scratches, scuffs, and dings, they also dampen noise and can make furniture easy to move or stay put. And they're easy to install: Simply slip them under or stick solidly to clean, dry surfaces for major protection. Best of all, they'll help your home and its beloved contents wear well-together. From tabletop accessories to your pet's water bowl, find out how to safeguard any surface in your home with these helpful tips.
Pads made from either felt or synthetic olefin will stick easily to the bottom of your appliances, make it easy to slide them around your space, and also help buffer sound. Choose from precut squares or circles, or buy sheets and cut to fit the shape of the appliance. The pads' super sticky backs will adhere to virtually any clean object, making them ideal for appliances.
Velour disks are available in adhesive-backed squares or circles, and because they're slimmer than felt pads, they're a discreet choice for smaller items like pottery. They'll prevent your wares from scratching and denting finished wood, metal, glass, or tile. However, they are not recommended for use on unfinished wood.
Shelf and drawer liners will protect your cabinets' paint or lacquer. Sold in rolls, they're available in an array of colors and patterns. We recommend using the nonskid, non-adhesive kind for the best results. Installing them couldn't be easier: Just cut the liners to size and set in place. Use them in pantry cupboards to cushion and protect your dishes and glassware.
Soft dot adhesive-backed disks made from foam, felt, or cork are a good choice for the interior corners of kitchen cabinet doors, where they'll dampen sound and prevent glass inserts from rattling. These disks are more durable than felt pads and best used as bumpers.
Felt, cut to size, is a custom fix for odd-shaped and heavy metal objects destined to slide across fine linens. Trace your object onto a sheet of felt, and then cut just inside the sketched line. Use an acid-free glue, such as Yes Paste ($16.40, amazon.com), to attach the felt to valuable items.
Stick cork pads, which are harvested from the bark of oak trees and backed with adhesive, onto lamp bases, vases, or plant pots to protect tabletops from scratches. They also provide often-used items, such as desk accessories, with gentle traction on smooth surfaces.
Table pads are a worthwhile investment for valuable dining room tables. Have one made to measure, using solid core board and insulating fiberboard for strength and heat protection. Placed under a tablecloth, they're virtually undetectable. After a party, fold them away neatly.
Rubber bumpers are like a second set of hands in the kitchen. Place them under a heavy board and they'll keep it from moving while you roll out your flakiest dough. They also keep a chilled board cool by offering a buffer between it and your room-temperature countertop.
Vinyl and Wood Floors
Plastic sliders are designed to help chairs, ottomans, and other mobile furniture glide over bathroom and kitchen floors. And unlike felt, they'll still work on wet surfaces. Attach them to furniture legs using peel-off adhesive or screws. They skim over linoleum, tile, and vinyl flooring with ease.
Nonskid dots keep movable objects, such as your thirsty dog's water bowl, in place. Stick slightly textured, dense foam or vinyl dots to the clean, dry bottom of the bowl and your floor will remain scrape free. Best of all, gentle friction means it won't move until you lift it.
A little masking tape will protect your floor from spatters, saving you hours of cleanup time. Measure and cut kraft paper to cover a hardwood floor (use a canvas drop cloth for carpeting), and then tape it down below your baseboards with low-tack painters' tape.
Heavy-duty felt pads let you smoothly glide your chairs, tables, and floor lamps over hardwood floors and tile. Strips cover the elongated footprints of tubular furniture and rocking chairs. Pro tip: Stick a couple of disks together to level the height of wobbly tables and chairs.
Rubber, glass, or wooden cups are like shoes for wayward furniture legs. Whether square or round, they provide solid footing to protect soft floors from the dents of metal casters or heavy loads. They prevent skidding on floors that slope and don't leave carpet indentations.
Carpets and Rugs
The rubbery weaves of carpet and rug pads prevent rugs from sliding as you walk on them. Pads also protect delicate floors from rough rug backings that can scratch. Vacuum under both regularly; machine-wash and air-dry pads to refresh their grip.
Furniture on Carpets
Plastic cups are great for heavy furnishings that live on carpets and rugs. Often made of clear or dark plastic with spiked undersides, they won't detract from shapely wooden legs. And they prevent marks by dispersing the weight of your sofa-and the weight of the people on it.
Ceramic and Tile Floors
Rubber tips fit snugly over furniture legs to prevent skidding and scratching. They're especially helpful for metal-legged pieces and eliminate the nerve-fraying sound of chairs scraping across tile. Check them periodically to be sure that the metal isn't wearing through.
Adhesive picture-hanging strips and hooks secure lightweight objects to walls without nail holes—and leave no trace of tackiness should you decide to remove them. Placing vinyl cubes on the backs of frames eliminates tilting and safeguards against scratches on your walls.
Rubber tips save your walls from the scuffs left by handy but unwieldy tools. (Slide them onto your mop, broom, and long-handled duster.) They provide enough traction to keep your gear leaning exactly where you left them, which means you'll never return to find your broom on the floor.
As advertised, they keep doors from slamming into walls behind them or baseboards below them. Countless configurations fit any décor; choose from wooden finials and solid posts, spring and hinge-mounted varieties. All have rubber bumpers to absorb shock.
Corner and surface guards protect the protruding corners of your most heavily trafficked intersections from bumps and dents. Nail or screw on wooden trim pieces. It's much simpler to touch them up with paint than to repair and repaint chipped plaster.