Hardwood floors are easily scratched by chairs being pushed in and out from a dining room table. Whether the floor is laminate or hardwood, you need to protect the floor's surface against damage from the bottoms of the chair legs, which can have metal casters, wood bottoms or plastic caps.
Metal casters, plastic caps or bare wood chair legs may not be the direct cause of a scratch in the hardwood floor — in many cases, it is the dirt buildup on the floor that aids in scratching its surface. The dirt is gritty, and when you move the chair, the dirt under the chair leg will move across the floor and can cause light to medium scratches in the flooring.
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Felt material cut to the size of the bottom of the chair leg is the best thing to use on chair legs that will sit directly on wood floors. The felt is soft and will glide along the floor instead of causing friction, which will put small scratches in the flooring. You can make your own felt pads and apply the felt to the chair leg using strong glue.
If you don't want to make your own felt tips for chair legs, you can purchase felt glides. There are two types of felt glides. One is a tap-on version, which means it has a hole or cylinder that fits over the chair leg. Use a hammer to tap it until it is securely on the leg. The other type of felt glide is a nail-on glide. A nail sticks out of one side of the glide, and you use a hammer to nail the felt glide to the bottom of the chair leg.
Don't use rubber or hard plastic leg glides on chairs that sit on hardwood floors. Even if the floor underneath the chair leg is completely free of dirt buildup, these hard glides can cause scratches in the floor or leave a dull mark on the finish if they're moved across the floor while someone is sitting in the chair and moving it in or out from a table.