Kids, pets, furniture and everyday wear 'n' tear can take its toll on hardwood flooring.
And even the most laid-back homeowner will see red at the sight of a deep gash.
So we asked the experts: How can I protect my hardwood flooring from dings and scratches?
"There are a lot of things homeowners can and should do," says Alberta Hardwood Flooring general manager Calvin Onyszchuk.
"Finish types and types of hardwood can make a difference. A natural oak, for example, will show less scratches than a dark, stained maple even though the maple is the harder species."
When it comes to choosing hardwood, lifestyle is the most important factor, says Onyszchuk.
"A lot of floors are chosen for colour, but they don't match the lifestyle. Homeowners have to understand what they're getting into."
A family with children and large pets might consider a harder wood such as Brazilian Cherry or Tigerwood, says Onyszchuk.
"They hide everyday mishaps better than other floors."
Exotic woods may have a hefty price tag attached, though, so for homeowners on a budget, there are tips and tricks to consider.
"Most of the domestic species -- oak, maple, birch, ash -- are still fairly reasonably priced. Narrower material is typically less expensive than wider and it's more conducive to our climate."