How To Keep Deck Furniture from Scratching Any Deck

If there is a deck in our garden, the last thing we want is ugly scratches all over it. Decking is an enormous investment and provides an outdoor sanctuary for the whole family. So, we must protect it and keep it looking good. One of the main culprits for deck damage is furniture, so how do you keep it from scratching the deck?

The best way to keep the furniture from scratching a deck is with furniture pads or glides. Furniture pads are usually made from rubber, hard plastic, wood, or felt. Furniture pads can be put on the bottom of furniture to prevent furniture from scratching the floor.

Each deck is different – some types are more scratch resistant than others, but no deck is entirely scratch-proof. So, if you want to know exactly how to keep deck furniture from scratching a deck, look at this vital information below.

An image of Beige garden furniture with striped pillows on a wooden terrace with pink flowers and poufs.

How do I Keep My Outdoor Furniture From Scratching My Deck?

The best way to stop outdoor furniture from scratching a deck is with furniture pads or gliders. We can also use mats or rugs to create a protective layer or choose light, plastic furniture, which is less likely to cause damage.

Sweep the deck regularly to prevent scratches from stones. Stones caught under a chair or in a shoe can cause deep scratches. Luckily, there are several steps we can take to help prevent scratches on our decks, and we’ll take a closer look at them below.

Here are the best ways to protect a deck from scratches:

Step #1 – Use furniture pads or gliders

One of the best ways to prevent furniture scratching a deck is by using furniture pads and gliders. Outdoor furniture gliders are usually rubber, PVC, or vinyl, and we can attach them to the feet of furniture. They help the furniture glide smoothly over surfaces without leaving scratches.

Lots of modern furniture comes with built-in gliders, but if the furniture doesn’t have them, we must add them to prevent scratches on the deck, especially with heavy furniture. Check the gliders regularly because sometimes, we have to replace them.

We’ll tell you more about pads and gliders later in the article.

Step #2 – Keep your deck clean

Even if the furniture has protective pads, stones can easily get caught under chair legs and cause a deep scratch on the deck surface. The best way to prevent this is by sweeping the deck regularly to ensure there is no debris on the surface.

We can also put a door mat at the entrance to prevent stones and debris from people’s shoes from getting on the deck.

Step #3 – Cover it with a protective sealant

Another excellent way to keep deck scratches to a minimum is with a protective sealant. A sealant will create a protective layer over the deck and prevent scuffing, but it won’t protect against deep scratches.

Sealant is ideal for wood and concrete decks but may not be suitable for composite decking, so always check with the manufacturers before using a sealant on composite decks.

Step #4 – Use protective mats or carpets

Another efficient way to protect a deck from scratches is with mats or carpets. The fantastic thing about rugs is they are super protective and are an excellent way to bring color to an outdoor area. Protective mats will also help to protect the deck from stains.

Step #5 – Don’t drag the furniture

If we drag furniture across a deck, especially heavy items without glides, it will undoubtedly leave a scratch. Always lift tables and chairs when moving them around and ask the family and visitors to do the same.

Tips to Prevent Deck Damage (by deck type)

In addition to the following steps, here is further information about preventing scratches on wood, composite, and concrete decking.

Wood Deck tip – Use sealant.

A fantastic way to protect a wooden floor from scratches is with sealant. A sealant will make the surface more scratch-resistant and will prolong the deck’s life because it’s usually UV and mold-resistant too.

Sealant is different from wood stain because it absorbs into the wood and creates a protective layer on its surface. People choose wood decking because it looks attractive, so to preserve the natural color and grain of the wood, choose a clear sealant for the deck.

This is hands-down the best way to prevent scratches on wood decking.

Before applying sealant, thoroughly clean the deck and sand down rough areas. It’s usually sprayed or painted onto the wood, following the manufacturer’s instructions. Treat the deck with sealant annually and use an oil-based product for the best results.

When it comes to wood decking, hardwood such as Ipe is much more durable and scratch resistant than softwood such as Pine or Cedar. For softwood decking, it’s better to avoid using heavy-iron furniture.

Composite deck tip – get the capped option!

Composite decking is made from a mix of wood and synthetic materials, such as PVC, and has a reputation for being durable, hard-wearing, and low maintenance. There are generally two types of composite decking – capped and uncapped.

Capped composite decking has a plastic or PVC coating, making it more durable than uncapped decking.

While composite decking is highly scratch resistant, it’s still a good idea to take steps to prevent deep scratches from the furniture. Use furniture caps, carpets, or mats to protect composite decks, but don’t use rubber or silicone ones because this can stain composite decking.

Composite decking is a mix of wood and plastic materials, so in most cases, there is no need to cover it with sealant to make it more scratch-resistant. Check with the manufacturer before using sealant on composite decking because it could damage and void the warranty.

Concrete decks – use stamped concrete (and a sealer).

The concrete deck is one of the most durable and affordable types of decking, and it can last for decades. Concrete is solid but can still fall victim to scuffs and scratches from the furniture.

To reduce the chances of scratches, choose stamped concrete. It’s more expensive than non-stamped, but the surface is much more resistant.

To make the surface of concrete more scratch-resistant, treat it with a concrete sealant. Use wax or polish for extra protection. Be careful what the products are to clean concrete decking because some corrode the sealant and make the surface more vulnerable to scratches.

To prevent this, avoid products that contain ammonium nitrates and sulfates on concrete decks.

An image of Empty chair decorations outdoor patio for relaxation and taking a break.

How Do You Protect a Composite Deck From Patio Furniture?

The best way to protect a composite deck from patio furniture is to make sure the furniture has pads or gliders. Use light furniture such as wood or plastic instead of iron, and put mats or carpets on the floor.

Composite decking is hard-wearing and low maintenance and often has a lengthy warranty. That said, no decking is scratch-proof, and there are several ways to protect composite deck furniture.

Here’s a recap of the best ways to protect composite decking from furniture scratches:

  • First, keep it clean and debris-free.
  • Then, use furniture pads or gliders.
  • Use protective mats but avoid rubber and latex because they can stain composite decking.
  • Use lightweight furniture.
  • Only use sealant if the manufacturer recommends it.

Can You Put Patio Furniture On A Deck?

There is no reason we cannot put patio furniture on a deck, but some types are more likely to scratch a deck than others. Patio furniture is usually heavy because it is designed for hard surfaces and durability against the elements. 

Protect the deck from patio furniture – especially if it’s heavy furniture. To better understand the different types of patio furniture and their scratch potential, we’ve listed them below:

Iron Furniture 

This is the most durable and attractive garden furniture and is most suited to concrete decking or patios. The problem with iron furniture is that it can potentially cause the most damage to a deck.

You need heavy-duty gliders or mats to protect your deck from scratches from iron furniture, especially if you have a wood or composite deck.

Wood Furniture

Wooden furniture isn’t as heavy or durable as iron furniture, but it will cause less damage to a deck. Furniture made from hardwood will cause more scratches than softwood furniture.

So, if it’s a softwood deck, avoid furniture made from hardwood.

Plastic Furniture

Plastic is the lightest type of furniture, so it will cause the least damage and is ideal for all kinds of decks. In addition to being the safest furniture for a deck, plastic patio furniture is economical, durable, and easy to maintain.

An image of wooden table and chairs for relaxation in a garden deck.

How Do I Stop My Trex Deck From Scratching?

Trex is composite decking, and to keep it from scratching, clean it regularly, use gliders on furniture or cover it with protective mats. Do not use PVC, silicone mats, or gliders on Trex decking because they will stain it.

Trex is a pioneer in composite decking, producing the most scratch-resistant deck on the market. Their decking is super durable, low maintenance, and comes with a 25-year guarantee.

To keep Trax scratch free – use a soft-bristled brush to sweep it. Don’t use stain or sealant on a Trex deck because it will void the warranty. Trex decking has a protective, scratch-resistant surface, so don’t use acetone or solvents for cleaning because they will damage it.

Can You Use Furniture Pads To Protect Your Deck From Furniture?

Furniture pads are one of the most effective ways to protect a deck from furniture scratches. There are many pads and gliders, so choose them according to the deck and furniture type.  

Outdoor furniture pads come in all kinds of materials, including wood, rubber, PVC, silicone, and hard plastic, which are durable and waterproof. Attach them with screws, adhesives, or nails, depending on the design and furniture type.

The world of furniture glides can be confusing because they go by many different names. So, to help find the best ones for our needs, we’ll take a look at the most common ones below:

  1. Caps – Caps are also known as inserts and are suitable for furniture with hollow legs. They have a protruding part that inserts into the hole to keep it in place while the base acts as an extension of the leg.
  2. Cups – Cups are also known as insert cups – they are hollow and slide over the outside of the furniture leg. Cups are ideal for iron furniture with solid legs.
  3. Studs – Studs are also known as stem bumpers and are super durable because they screw or nail into the bottom of furniture. If the furniture has solid legs, drill holes in them to add studs. Studs are ideal for wooden furniture.
  4. Saddle Glides or Runners -These are perfect for chaise lounges and furniture with bars or tubes rather than feet. Runners are long and cover the whole length of metallic tubes – while saddle glides are short, like mini legs, which raise furniture off the ground.
An image of an outdoor sofa on a garden patio.

Best Products To Keep Deck Furniture From Scratching Your Deck

Keeping your deck scratch-free is much easier when you’ve got the right gear.

Best Sealant Options

  • Concrete, tile, and stone sealant – you’ll want a reputable concrete, tile, and stone sealer like this option on Amazon. Please remember that if your deck is a particular type of stone, you’ll want to ensure it’s the right kind of sealant for that stone type.
  • Composite deck sealant – if your deck is made of composite wood material and using a sealant on it won’t void a warranty, then this clear-coat sealant (on Amazon) can be a great option.
  • Wood deck sealant – this is a good option (click here to see sale pricing at Amazon) if you’ve got a wood deck. Don’t be afraid to shop at local stores, though, as you may find a better price locally.

Best furniture pads (gliders, pads, chair covers, etc)

These things have all sorts of names. So don’t be afraid of weird names, including the oddly apropos “chair-leg condoms.”

  • Silicone chair leg protectors – they’re chair-leg condoms, but they work well as long as you get the right size for your chairs. They will fall off if they’re the wrong size. This is what we ordered off of Amazon for our dining room set (which is not on our deck, but still!).
  • Carpet sliders – if you’ve got a rug on your deck, you may still want to use these kinds of furniture sliders to make moving furniture on the deck easier.
  • Stainless steel screw-in leveler/slider comboThese are a great option if your furniture needs to be leveled and have sliders, too. They’ll only work if your furniture comes with pre-drilled holes (of the right size) or if it’s wood furniture.
  • Iron furniture caps – if your furniture is iron (or wrought iron), these caps should make them easier to slide about while protecting your decking. Always measure to make sure they’ll fit before you order, though!

Best rugs and mats

Okay, so obviously, your sense of style may be different than mine. That’s what’s wonderful about Amazon. I’ll get you started with some mats and rugs I’ve seen and liked. Then, you can find what fits your style, size needs, and decor type.

  • Outdoor rugs – I like this blue geometric reversible rug, with various size options. It even comes in not-blue colors if you don’t like this particular shade of teal.
  • Don’t forget the door mats! They’re a great way to keep people from tracking dirt around. This gray mat is pretty standard (click here to see the sale price on Amazon), but not every door mat has to be amazing. Sometimes, classic gray is great.

Key Takeaways and Next Steps

Invest in some high-quality furniture glides or protectors to protect a deck from furniture – these offer the most protection from scratches. Carpets and mats are also a fantastic way to reduce damage – they bring color to outdoor spaces and protect against stains.

Coat a wooden or concrete deck with a sealant each year, but never use sealant on a composite deck unless the manufacturer recommends it. Finally, sweep the deck regularly to remove stones and other sharp debris, and encourage people to be gentle with the deck furniture – lift, don’t drag it.

Resources

Learning from your own experience is important, but learning from others is also smart. These sources were used in this article and our research to be more informed as we DIY and decorate our homestead.

  • A, Henry. “Can You Put a Sealer on Composite Decking?” Ultra Decking, 27 July 2022, ultradecking.co.uk/can-you-put-a-sealer-on-composite-decking.
  • Care and Cleaning. www.trex.com/customer-support/trex-owners/care-and-cleaning. Accessed 10 Sept. 2022.
  • “Composite Decking: Types and Benefits.” The Constructor, 24 Apr. 2022, theconstructor.org/building/composite-decking-types-and-benefits/563521.
  • Frequently Asked Questions. www.trex.com/why-trex/faq. Accessed 10 Sept. 2022.
  • Keeping Your Deck Scratch Free | NA Deck and Patio. www.nadeck.com/keeping-your-deck-scratch-free/. Accessed 10 Sept. 2022.
  • Fantastic Gardeners. “Hardwood Vs. Softwood Decking – Advantages and Disadvantages.” Fantastic Gardeners Blog, 19 Nov. 2019, blog.fantasticgardeners.co.uk/hardwood-vs-softwood-decking-advantages-disadvantages.


Homestead Style Guide uses ads and participates in select affiliate advertising programs, including the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. If you click a link and make a purchase, we earn a commission at no additional cost to you.

Connect with Me