Blog / Protective Solutions: How to Protect Hardwood, Concrete and More

March 5, 2024

When undertaking any construction, remodeling or restoration project, it’s critical to protect finished surfaces from damage. Whether you’re a general contractor overseeing a jobsite or a homeowner tackling a DIY project, understanding how to protect different flooring materials can help prevent costly repairs and make your job easier in the long run.

The Importance of Protecting Floors

temporary floor protection rolls laid flat on a floor with a man working
There are a lot of reasons why protecting floors is a crucial step of any job.

Protect Your Investment:

Materials like travertine, marble, and high-end hardwoods are expensive and protecting these surfaces ensures you don’t have any additional costs associated with repairing or replacing them.

Prevent Damage to Floors:

Floors are susceptible to damage from dropped tools, spills and heavy foot traffic. Proper floor protection products act as a barrier, shielding floors from scratches, stains and dents.

Minimize Delays:

Chances are, your project has a timeline. Damage to floors can cause setbacks that ultimately cost you time and money. Surface protection can prevent these costly delays.

Customer Satisfaction:

If you’re a contractor, taking the time to safeguard floors can create customer trust and satisfaction. Clients will appreciate the effort taken to keep their floors clean and damage-free.

Types of Flooring and How to Protect Them

Different types of floors require unique protection solutions. What is best for hardwood floors may not be the same as what you need for tile or polished concrete. These floor coverings can also differ based on the job being performed.

  • Hardwood Floors: High-end hardwood floors can be extremely costly to repair or replace. It’s important to protect them from scratches, impacts and moisture. Figuring out what the job will entail – painting, equipment, heavy foot traffic, etc. – can help you decide what type of surface protection to use.
  • Concrete/Polished Concrete: Concrete and polished concrete floors have been gaining popularity in commercial real estate for the last several years. One important thing to consider when protecting concrete floors is whether the concrete is finished curing. It’s important for moisture from the concrete to be able to evaporate during the curing process, so you’ll want a breathable surface protector that allows vapors to escape.
  • Tile: Tile flooring can be chipped or cracked by dropping tools, and grout can be stained if spills are absorbed. Choosing a floor protector that is both impact and liquid resistant can save you from facing the choice of replacing the damaged area or trying to cover it up with a well-placed area rug.
  • Carpet: Carpeted floors present a unique challenge when it comes to temporary surface protection. Not only are carpets easily stained by paint spills and jobsite traffic, but they also face the risk of being ripped while equipment is moved on and off the jobsite. If not properly protected, fine particles like drywall dust can settle into the fibers of the carpet and cause damage long after the job is complete.

Type of Floor Protection

floor protection board
Floor Protection Paper: Builder’s paper and red rosin are an industry staple when lightweight protection is needed. They have some resistance to minor spills if cleaned up quickly before the liquid can absorb. This is a great solution for short term projects on hardwood and tile floors.

Trimaco product tip: X-Paper is thicker than red rosin and builder’s paper which means it resists tearing and doesn’t need replaced as frequently, saving you time and money.

Floor protection board: Paperboard is much thicker than red rosin or builder’s paper, which helps it withstand traffic from heavy equipment. It is also designed with liquid-resistant properties, providing better liquid holdout. Paperboard is breathable, which allows surfaces like concrete to continue to cure while you work.

Trimaco product tip: X-Board is ideal for residential and commercial paint projects. FloorShell is thicker and withstands heavy equipment and traffic on jobsites.

Dropcloths: Dropcloths are a great way to protect hard surfaces as well as carpet during a painting or staining project. Traditional canvas drops are absorbent and can protect against minor spills and overspray.

Trimaco product tip: The Eliminator is a heavy-duty dropcloth that features two layers. The thin layer of canvas on the top absorbs minor spills to avoid tracking while the PVC foam backing provides slip resistance and stops leaks in their tracks.

Man walking down hardwood stairs covered in padded surface protection
Impact Resistant Floor Protectors: While paperboard provides some impact resistance, you may need some additional impact protection to safeguard delicate floors beneath. For surfaces like hardwood, tile and marble, an impact-resistant floor protector can prevent dents, gouges and cracks, which could lead to costly repairs.

Trimaco product tip: Stay Put is a padded surface protector that is breathable and liquid resistant. It can be used on tile, marble and hardwood floors and stairs. Due to its residue-free tacky backing, Stay Put doesn’t slip on smooth surfaces and can be repositioned throughout the jobsite.

Carpet Film: An easy way to protect carpets from damage is to cover them with a carpet protection film. It comes in an easy-to-apply roll and can protect carpets from stains, dirt, debris and other wear and tear during a construction or remodeling job.

Trimaco product tip: Easy Mask protective carpet film comes in multiple sizes to meet the needs of your job. It is resistant to tearing and protects synthetic carpets from damage for up to 30 days without leaving residue.

Total Jobsite Protection from Trimaco

Protecting floors during any construction, remodeling and restoration job is essential to preserving their condition and avoiding costly repairs. By choosing the right temporary surface protection product based on the type of floor, contractors and homeowners can make sure floors remain pristine and damage-free.

Need help choosing the right surface protector for your job? Use our product selector tool, or contact us for assistance.

Trimaco offers more than just floor protection. Explore our catalog for dust containment, PPE, masking tape and other paint sundries.

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