How Christmas Trees Can Do Damage
When you bring a Christmas tree into your home, your wood floors can sustain damage from several directions. Some of the most common issues:
Scratched floors. There are multiple ways to scratch, hauling the tree in and out of your home to stepping on fallen pine needles, to the legs of your Christmas tree stand etching the floor under the weight of the tree.
Tree sap. Live cut trees tend to ooze sap, and it’s quite common for the sap to drip from the branches onto the floor—a nightmare to clean, and often leaving lingering damage and discoloration.
Water damage. Watering your tree presents a real threat to your wood floors if you’re not careful. Water splashing over from the stand lingers on the wood, often causing cupping, crowning, or darkening the panels.
How to Protect Your Floors
Here’s the good news: You can have a beautiful Christmas tree and still have a decent hardwood floor when 2021 rolls around. You just need to take some steps to protect your floors. Here’s how.
Use extreme caution when moving the tree.
Many scratches happen just from hauling the tree in and out. Recruit two or three people to help carefully carry the tree in and out. For best results, place runners on the floor for the foot path to keep from grinding fallen needles underfoot.
Use a large enough tree stand.
Christmas trees are top-heavy, and an inadequate stand increases the risk that the tree will topple—an accident that is quite likely to cause damage. Use a stand appropriate to the size of the tree, and make sure the tree is securely fastened and balanced inside it.
Place the tree on a (large) waterproof mat.
You’re not just trying to protect the floor from the legs of the tree stand; you’re also protecting it from spilling water and dripping sap. Using blankets or towels is not a good idea because these can absorb water and hold it against the floor, increasing the risk of water damage. Instead, use a waterproof mat that’s large enough to extend past the widest part of the tree. The mat protects the floor from scratches, water and sap.
Vacuum needles regularly. DON’T sweep them.
Christmas trees shed needles—it’s a fact of life. If you let them lay around on the floor, they can cause scratching when people step on them. Use a vacuum cleaner (one without a brush beater) to vacuum up the needles regularly. Do NOT use a broom on the floor as the combination of bristles and needles is more likely to leave scratches.