All posts by Pierre

What if your hardwood floor is already scratched?

So you didn’t get felt floor protectors quickly enough or you didn’t think you needed them. Well as you can see it takes very little to scratch a beautiful hardwood floor. It’s no use lecturing anyone now. Let’s see what we can do to fix the damage or at the very least dissimulate it.

The first step would be to ascertain the level of damage. If it’s gauge deep over a large area, unless you’re an experienced floor refinisher I wouldn’t do it on my own. Get a local flooring expert to refinish the hardwood floor and this time protect it carefully using high quality wool felt floor protectors.

Now if it was just a minor scratch then you can use a few tricks to fix or hide the scratch. The first trick is to use a wax crayon. Make sure you use a color that matches you flooring color. You just fill in the scratch gap and then polish it with a soft cotton cloth.

If the scratch is deeper you’ll have to use a wood filler that is appropriate for your type of floor, make sure buy the repair kit from an experienced flooring retailer so they can guide you with your selection. Follow the steps and don’t try to speed through the process as you will have a mess that looks worse than the scratches to deal with afterwards.

Finally I can never over state this, protect your flooring with high quality wool felt floor protectors that are properly sized to reduce friction.

New Youtube Videos

We have created a new YouTube video to sensitize clients to the real deal behind using tennis balls for classrooms. You can see our first video here No More Tennis Balls in the Classrooms video. This is the first of a series of videos that we will be making to either give you tips and tricks about the Flexi-Felt or to show the side that not many think about when they buy tennis balls for the chairs in the classroom.

Wool felt pad hardwood floor protectors, the ultimate adhesive felt protection

Now we have a chair leg cover that lasts for years that covers about 80% of the furniture, well what about the rest of the 20%? Our floor protectors cover everything from 5/8” to 1-5/8”. For larger odd shaped furniture we went with an adhesive felt pad. However, we didn’t want to use the same cheap double face tape everyone else was using. After years of engineering we came out with a new type of adhesive that is heat activated. It’s unlike anything else out there as the more porous the surface the better the adhesion.

Our felt pads are made with the same high quality wool felt as the rest of our product line, you can cut it to any shape or size like other felt pads. However, nothing lasts as long or holds on as well onto your furniture Flexi-Felt Pads

Inventing a felt hardwood floor protector part 2

With this feedback we created a true floor saver that would answer all those requirements. We didn’t make something and tell the clients what they want like many other manufacturers do. We asked our clients what THEY wanted and created it for them. So in essence you all contributed to the creation of the worlds best chair leg cover and floor protector. As you can imagine I’m the instigator of the inventive process but there is an entire team of designers and engineers working with me when we create new product lines like this. It’s never a singular task. That will be a great subject for discussion later but for now let’s go step by step on how we did this.

Durability and softness

We needed to drastically increase the life span of the floor protector because the currently used synthetic polyester pads weren’t cutting it. Our clients told us that in a high traffic area they were changing their sticky felts on average once every 4 to 6 weeks! To go from lasting a month to lasting a year, we had to do a major change. We started looking at different felts available and to make a very, very long story short decided to use wool felt. It is a natural fiber that is very well known but is not used to the benefit of the much cheaper polyester fiber. From our tests simulating 400 lb people we noticed that wool is simply unsurpassed with regards to durability and softness. In many cases our high density wool felt pads would outlast sticky pads 20 times to one under heavy weight trials and clients have told us “it’s like my chairs have soft wool slippers on them”.

Stay onto furniture
I mentioned before that no stick-on felt pad on the market would stay onto a ½” bar stool leg right? Well that assumption was no different for us. So if no adhesive would resist maybe we needed to create a sleeve like our beige commercial product line. First we thought we would make a black and white model like the competitive products out there but then, we thought, why not make it clear so it will blend well with any décor, flooring and furniture type or color. Now we knew we wanted a clear sleeve this still didn’t resolve the holding onto the furniture leg part. Making the sleeve out of hard plastic would mean we needed to create dozens maybe hundreds of models to accommodate all the types of furniture on the market. Instead we decided on creating a flexible elastic sleeve that would mold to many shapes and sizes of chair legs as well to grip onto the furniture. With just 4 models we cover 80% of the furniture market. As an added benefit our chair leg cover not only protects the flooring very well, the transparent sleeve also protects the furniture from impacts, dings and scratches.

Easy to install and washable
We now have something that will hold on quite welll onto the ½” bar stool leg without any screws or adhesives. Simply roll them on. See our spokesperson Katy explain that to you www.flexifeltclear.com . Finally we made sure the components we used were washable so even if your kids spill juice on your floor you can clean them.

How do you invent a great floor protector? … You listen.

Now that you have a really good idea of all the various types of chair leg covers or furniture glides out there, allow me to bring you into the invention process I went through to create my Flexi-Felt Clear product line. As you may know we have been selling a commercial beige chair glide to schools (to replace tennis balls), restaurants, bingo halls, retirements home and hospitals for years now, if you haven’t seen this already feel free to visit the website www.FlexiFelt.com . Throughout the years we kept getting a lot of customer feedback telling us that they loved our commercial models for the schools and businesses. They wanted something similar for home because they were sick and tired of the little sticky felts that didn’t hold on. However, they told us beige is great for the beige commercial VCT flooring but not so nice for hardwood floors at home. Getting more and more of those comments from our clients we set out to create the best residential chair leg cover on the market.
How would we know it’s the best floor protection? Well simply because we would ask. We asked our clients what they wanted, what properties would they expect from the best floor protector. Here are some answers we got back:
The best floor protector would
– be very durable last more than a year
– be very soft on floors
– would not fall off
– would be discrete in appearance
– require no damaging hardware
– easy to maintain (washable)

Screws, drills and felts not a great mix

The next main category of felt floor protectors are those without adhesive, the first kind requires hardware for installation. Most stick-on felt manufacturers realized that the adhesive felts don’t do so good on porous uneven surfaces so they created plastic cups that you screw under your furniture footing to which you can now apply an adhesive felt floor protector to. Instead of improving the sticking felt they tried to work around it. The problem is that you still have the really poor quality felts. Now you also have to drill a hole in your furniture to make them last a bit longer. Be very careful when drilling and screwing into thin hardwood furniture legs you can easily crack the legs and ruin your furniture. What do you do if you have a plastic or metal chair glide already nailed into your legs?

There is another less invasive type of felt chair leg cover that has a rigid plastic sleeve that goes over the furniture leg. These would be pretty good if they didn’t have the cheap polyester felt. Nonetheless at least they stay on the chair leg longer. The issue is they only come in round and in 2 colours: white and black. So if you have a rectangular wooden chair leg it’s no good.

Sticky felts, why they rarely work

Let’s start with the tape backing felt furniture glides, or more commonly known as “sticky felts”. The main reason why sticky felts are so popular is that they fit right under the furniture footing and are relatively well dissimulated. The problem is that very few adhesive felt pads actually stay onto the furniture leg to protect your floors. The issue is that most of them use very low quality double face tape as an adhesive. As many of you know, when a single sticky felt falls off it will either leave adhesive streaks on your ceramic tiles or leave big gauges in your hardwood floors. The fact is that if a felt falls off you now have 33% more weight being applied to that feltless leg because the chair is now lopsided due to the missing felt.

Another downside is that essentially all felt pad floor protector products out there (until now) have used either low density polyester or some other type of synthetic fiber. Now why should you care about that? Well other than the fact that they are not very environmentally friendly, the fluffy low density polyester felts pad down very quickly to a paper thin disk. Within a few weeks you no longer have a felt floor protector but a plastic glide under your chairs (if they are still on). Do you remember what plastic glides do to your floors?

It may seem like I’m saying self-stick felt pads are bad, I’m not, I’m just saying you can’t use them on everything. The double face tape performs very poorly on porous materials such as wooden legs. They also perform poorly on uneven surfaces. Here is a bit of physics for you. Do you remember this “the smaller the surface contact area the higher the shear force”? Needless to say the double face tapes don’t resist to well to shear forces and fall off easily.

So to make a long story short no adhesive felt pad on the market will stay on a ½” diameter bar stool leg very long. However, common sticky felts would do fine on a large 3” diameter sofa leg that never moves. The other important fact to note about felt floor protection, as with anything else “you get what you pay for”. It doesn’t make sense to get the cheap dollar store felts to protect a 25,000$ hardwood you just put in. I will discuss later the differences between my adhesive felts and the rest of the sticky felts currently available in retail.

All You Need to Know about Felt Based Floor Protectors

Finally time to discuss the felt based floor protectors. There are 2 major types of felt floor protectors, actually there are a lot more than that, but for the purpose of this categorisation, we will agree that are two main categories of felt floor protectors and I will further break these categories into sub categories.

The first category is the adhesive type felt protectors (the classic sticky felt that everyone knows) and the non-adhesive type. In the non-adhesive type we have 2 sub categories, the ones which are installed using hardware and the one that do not.

Which is better and what should you use for which application. As you already know I invented a new felt floor protector product line called Flexi-Felt and Flexi-Felt Clear. Now that is not to say that everything else out there is no good. There are a lot of really disappointing products out there, but some are pretty good. As I said before you just need to know what to buy for which type of furniture and flooring you have. I will navigate through the pros and cons of each type of felt floor protector. I will also walk you through the though process that got me to invent the Flexi-Felt, as you will see there is nothing else like it in its category.

Rubber floor protectors, when sliding is not an option

Let’s discuss the rubber floor protectors. These types of floor protectors as you may have guessed are not used to help slide your furniture. In fact they do quite the opposite. They are very effective in keeping furniture from moving on slick surfaces. They are used for cane tips or crutches to prevent catastrophes on hard marble flooring. You may have a coffee table that you wish would stay in its place, or folding chairs that easily slides from under you. Along with their anti-slip properties, rubber floor protectors are also used in environments where vibrations might be an issue.

You would see these under an air compressor, table saw, etc. Remember that you want to get a floor protector that is proportional to the size and especially weigh of the object it is supporting. You might also need to consider vibration or type of vibration to get the proper footing. A low density rubber will dampen vibrations quite well however it will not be as durable as a high density rubber.

Of course aesthetics is not a major concern in an industrial application however for home use it might be an issue since rubber chair leg covers are rarely in a color that matches your furniture. They are typically found in beige or black color.

Metal Glides, the Good, the Bad and the Ugly

I have seen some people buying metal glides wanting to get something more durable than the plastic glides. The plastic glides are softer than metal glides and as such wear down much more quickly. Before you chose to buy metal glides make sure you have considered all the variables. There is a much smaller selection of metal glide so it is more difficult to get the right size for the right furniture. You cannot use metal glides on all kinds of carpeting. On low pile commercial carpeting metal glides are great, they glide better than cheap plastic glides and they are much more durable. HOWEVER, there are a few caveats before you decide on getting metal glides. Most of them are steel glides and will rust very quickly if the carpet gets wet or if they are in a high humidity environment. That being said, metal glides should not be used in a restaurant unless the carpet is rust colored. You can get some that are made of stainless steel but they are much more expensive and typically not available at a local hardware store. NEVER ever use metal glides for any other surface even ceramic as they will mark and scratch your floors with the very first slide. The other issue with metal glides is that they are notoriously prone to rip through carpeting once they use through the thin metal base. To make sure this doesn’t happen to you inspect the glides in high traffic areas regularly and replace them if they are no longer perfectly smooth.