Your pets can ruin one of your most expensive investments – the hardwood floor. Its nails can scratch the hard surface, it can chew it, or vomit or urinate on it. All of this may lead to unseemly damage . So, what are the best hardwood floors for dogs?
Should you choose a flooring type based on your dog’s habits? Is it possible to avoid the damage done, by your pet, to your hardwood floor? Fortunately, there are certain kinds of hardwood flooring that allow you to be proud of your house while also keeping a clean and hygienic home.
Damage dogs can cause to your hardwood floors
We know that you love your dog, but dogs can harm your hardwood flooring. Dogs can damage any kind of flooring, by just tearing, scratching, or urinating on it. They stain the floor with urine, which smells. Pets tend to shed a lot of hair and dander, which in turn makes the floor dirty. If, for some reason, you forget to mop up the accidental messes left by your pet, they can deeply stain the floor. These stains can be very hard to remove later. Dogs get dirty when they run outdoors, such as in the garden. They carry all that dirt and grime into the house, and this in turn, ruins the hardwood floor.
Why choose hardwood flooring in your home with pets?
You should choose hardwood over soft wood for many important reasons, such as:
- Hardwood is extremely hard, as revealed by the Janka Hardness Scale. Softer species of wood like pine, fir, ash, aspen or mahogany would not be as effective in a house with pet dogs as it would not be scratch- and dent-proof. However, these days, oak, hickory and bamboo are the choices of wood that people with pets are making.
- Hardwood has many more advantages over soft wood, such as being harvested in forests using specialized processes and in well-defined patterns that spell long-term sustainability.
- It protects you from allergens, and promotes good air quality and hygiene levels.
- If you use engineered hardwood, you’ll find it is very durable and solid, just right for a home with pets.
- You can choose from a large spectrum of options under the hardwood flooring umbrella. Colors, stains and textures are as wide in range as they are difficult to choose.
- Hardwood floors do not hold within them dog hair, odor, dust or allergens.
- Despite the fact that moisture from pet urine can damage hardwood floors, yet hardwood floors can be fully restored to look like their former selves.
- Dog scratches and any other kind of damage can be sanded and refinished for generations.
Disadvantages with hardwood flooring
- Since hardwood flooring is susceptible to moisture problems like cupping, warping, cracking and buckling, dog owners should ensure that their pet dogs do not urinate on the floor, especially when left alone at home.
- The pet’s food and drink bowls should be placed on a waterproof mat so that it keeps no contact with the wooden floor. As a pet owner, you should keep an absorbent rug at the entrance of your home to avoid dirt, rain, snow or grime inside.
How to choose the best hardwood floors that’s good for dogs
There are several parameters by which you can judge which the best hardwood floor is for you and your dogs and choose accordingly. Fortunately, the market is full of such choices, so speak to a few experts in this line before making your final choice. Here are some pointers to take into consideration before making your final selection:
Choose one without a glossy finish: By opting for a floor type without a glossy finish, you’d be able to hide the scratch marks and dents that pets are responsible for ruining your floor with. Since this scratch-proof finish isn’t as glossy as the regular ones, it can hide the scratch marks that your pets’ claws leave on wooden floors. Such flooring also cleans faster than the normal ones, besides also making pet hair and dirt less obvious to the naked eye. So, though you might like to have dark hardwood flooring, you can choose to go with a low-gloss finish, though satin finishes are best.
Go for hard flooring with a high Janka rating: So, what’s a Janka rating? Not many people know that the Janka Hardness Scale is a measure for finding out a particular kind of wood’s hardness, resistance to scratches, wear and tear and dents. So, the higher the rating on this scale, the harder the wood. Any rating under 850 is said to be softwood and anything above 1250 is considered hardwood. Your choice of hardwood will be more preferred in your home with pets. In fact, it will scratch-proof your floor from your pet’s claws.
Try using distressed wood: Another good option for best flooring for dogs in the house is distressed wood flooring. Essentially, this refers to a kind of flooring that is subjected to a variety of processes to give it an antique and unique look. Some of these processes include aging, sculpting, wire brushing or hand scraping the hardwood planks. This action enhances the look, artistry and texture of the wood. Hand scraping gives this kind of wood stylized markings that can easily hide all the flaws in your flooring, like dogs’ claw marks. Since the wood already bears a rustic look, the dents won’t stand out. This makes such flooring for your house perfect because now you needn’t worry about the scratches made by your dog visible to all your guests.
Look for woods with strong grains: If the wood you choose has a strong grain, it will hide any scratches, such as red oak. It rates 1290 on the Janka scale and hides dents and scratches excellently. Hickory is another good choice with a Janka rating of 1820. It has a strong grain and is harder than oak.
Lighter colors are better than darker: Darker colors show up scratches more than lighter, so the latter are preferred.
Opt for an oil finish: A hardwood floor with an oil finish is just the right combination to prevent your pet from slipping. You can also wax your floor for a good sheen.
Types of pet-friendly hardwood for your home
Overall, hardwood types are better in pet-friendly homes than any other, chiefly for its durability, toughness and elegance in aging. However, when it comes to its performance in a pet-oriented home, it may not come up to scratch because it is averse to moisture. So, if your pet urinates on the floor, you’ll need to mop it up immediately or it could stain or warp. Pet toys and nails can also ruin or damage a hardwood floor.
So, a good compromise would be to have a solid or engineered hardwood floor with a really tough finish and a very high Janka rating. If you opt for pre-finished factory flooring, it will come with many tough protective layers.
Here are some types of hardwood you can choose for your pet-friendly home:
Bamboo: This is an excellent choice of wood for homes with pets because it is:
- Harder than the toughest hardwoods, so it can withstand a lot more traffic than others
- It doesn’t wear out easily
- It’s highly renewable, so it’s a good choice for anyone who’s eco-friendly.
- Since bamboo is stain-resistant, homeowners needn’t worry about spills.
- Being so hard, bamboo doesn’t need any of the maintenance work that other types of flooring need.
Cork: Cork is comparable in quality and toughness to bamboo, so this one too makes a good choice for pet-friendly homes for the following reasons:
- It is inherently antimicrobial, so reduces the chances of mold growing or allergens developing.
- It’s eco-friendly.
- Cork flooring withstands high traffic well.
- Cork is water- and scratch-resistant, and low maintenance.
Ipe or Brazilian Walnut: Brazilian Walnut is very hard and dense and is rated No. 1 on the Janka scale. It makes for good flooring material in a home with pets for these reasons:
- Its grain variation is so good that it conceals any scratches.
- Ipe is available in a large array of colors and finishes.
Hard Maple: Hard maple has been conventionally used for surfaces for basketball courts, so it can withstand heavy traffic. It rates 1450 on the Janka scale.
Tips to keep your pet-friendly floors looking good:
- Clip your pet’s nails periodically. Trimming them will reduce the chances of scratches on your hardwood floor. Often, as pets dart across the floor, their claws may scratch it. You could, of course, declaw your pet, but you still need to look for a solution to getting your flooring scratch-proof.
- If your pet urinates, wipe it immediately.
- Place a mat on the floor and his food and water bowls on it to avoid dirtying the floor.
- Play with your pet only on a designated rug used as a play area.
- Use a pet pad to protect your flooring.
- If your pet urinates on the floor, soak up the stain and blot it as much as you can. Leave on a cleaning solution for about five minutes or more. Rinse with cold water and cover the area with a white paper towel.
- If your pet dirties the floor, vacuum it and apply cleaning solution for a few minutes, rinsing off with water. Cover it with a white paper towel.
With all the information provided here on best hardwood floors for dogs, proud homeowners and pet owners like you will surely make the right choice and live happily with their pets.