High heels will dent hardwood. Believe it! Flooring Blog

High heels will dent hardwood. Believe it! Flooring Blog

High heels will dent hardwood. Believe it!

Sent: Thursday, March 15, 2007 9:45 AM

Subject: Mannington Floor Magellan Oak


I am wondering if you have had any experience with Mannington Magellan Oak “engineered” floors – 7-ply.

I had same installed in my house about 7-8 months ago. I recently had a guest over who wore spiked heels and left lots of “divots”.

I filed a claim and the flooring company that we bought the floor from sent out an inspector, and then denied the claim. They attached a “hardwood” floor Warranty that excludes coverage for such damage, to their letter. However, I am not convinced that this 7-ply “engineered” floor is truly “hardwood”, or simply a laminate. Their laminate warranty is silent on spiked heel marks.

Interestingly, the floor that we chose was being used on the store’s own floor, and it certainly stood to wear and tear very nicely. I can’t imagine that they would put down a floor that would not stand to spiked heels in a commercial setting. This makes me think that the floor they showed was either a different grade than the one we bought, or there is a product defect in my floor.

To complicate things, I was never given a warranty at the time of purchase, or installation, but I guess that’s another issue.

The whole job cost about $3K, including installation.

Any comments, suggestions, leads, etc. would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you,


Well to be honest, all hardwood will likely dent when subjected to high heels (especially spiked stiletto type heels). Laminate is less likely to dent, but spiked heels are not great on any floor. I don’t think you have laminate – I think you have engineered wood. Anybody who tells you it wont dent needs to have their head examined, in other words, when you bought the hardwood it is something that any good flooring person should know this as a fact.

The 7 ply floor is ok overall, but oak is oak and will compress (aka dent) under about 1200-1300 pounds of pressure per square inch. I don’t have my engineering hat on at the moment, but the quick and dirty math on a 125 pound woman (or man I guess) wearing 5-6” stiletto heels exerts about 2000 pounds of pressure on that tip of the heel which is more than enough to dent 90% of wood floors. That spiked heel is generally about 1/20 of a square inch causing massive compounding of the weight into a very small area. (just as a fun comparison typically a full grown elephant with its nice big feet only exerts about 25-30 pounds of pressure per inch, therefore an elephant would not dent your floor, but your friend in the heels will.)

I have seen this in many museums that have lots of wood installed. Tons of heel marks everywhere, but after awhile it all starts to blend together as just part of the look. I have seen this in many places actually so you’re situation is not that unique, although I can understand your frustration.

The moral of the story is that nature made the floor and it can’t stand up to man made spiked heels under almost any plausible condition.

I do think it is a shame that they wasted all of your time getting your hopes up about a claim when there was 0% chance it would be approved. No wooden floor in the world will warrant against denting or scratching.

Good luck, I still think it is a nice floor. Maybe it’s time for a rug?

Leave a Reply