What Hardwood Floor is Best For Dogs?
Are you one of those pet owners who would love to have a hardwood floor but worried if they can stand up well to dog claws? Well, the good news is that your dog and a hardwood floor can easily co-exist with each other, provided you take a few simple measures to care for them.
Here are some guidelines you may want to consider to help you in choosing a pet-friendly hardwood floor.
Types of Hardwood Flooring Suitable For Dogs
- As a general rule, you’ll want to avoid the soft woods like pine, fir, cedar, American walnut, and American cherry. Always remember that the softer the wood, the more they are prone to denting and scratching. It’s always better to opt for hardwood as they can withstand high traffic from both pets and humans without getting damaged. Hardwood species such as Brazilian cherry, Brazilian walnut, hickory, red and white oaks and maple are ideal choices.
- Opt for solid wood rather than engineered wood – As your dog’s claws are likely to cause scuffs and scratches to your floor; it’s more advisable to install solid wood flooring. Solid hardwoods are not only of better quality but can also withstand significantly more sanding than engineered floors.
- Opt for woods with stronger graining and higher Janka rating – The Janka hardness rating indicates the relative hardness of wood and its resistance to dents, scratches and wears. In simple terms, the higher the Janka rating, the more resistant the wood will be. Likewise, hardwoods with pronounced grain texture are excellent for masking the scratches. For example, Red Oak and Hickory with Janka hardness ratings of 1290 and 1820 respectively, does an excellent job of hiding the dents and scrapes. When it comes to choosing a wood floor, it’s definitely one of the best for dogs.
- Use distressed wood flooring – You can choose distressed or hand-scraped wood, which has natural or stylized markings that helps camouflage any imperfections on your floor’s surface. Since the wood is already rustic and natural looking, the dents will easily blend in and won’t be as visible. Hence, this type of flooring is perfect for you because you no longer need to panic about the scratches from your dog’ claws.
- Consider bamboo flooring – Although bamboo is not a wood species, it is hard like many hardwoods. Being one among the hardest and most durable flooring types, bamboo is one of the best for dogs and other large pets. In addition to this, it is stain-resistant and hence, you don’t need to worry about your floor getting stained by pet droppings or your kids who tend to spill things frequently. Besides, bamboo flooring is an eco-friendly alternative to hardwood flooring as it grows quickly and is a highly renewable source of material. Avoid using carbonized bamboo as it’s comparatively weaker than strand-woven bamboo, which is considered to be the hardest quality of bamboo.
Once you have made up your mind as to which type of hardwood flooring you want to go with, there are other factors you may need to consider for keeping you floor looking beautiful longer.
i. Choose a “dog-friendly” finish (low gloss and matte surface finishes) for your hardwood. Oil and wax-based finishes are better because they not only help hide dents and scratches but also protect the floor from further damages by forming a thick surface film on top.
- Choose natural and light shades as it will make pet hair and dirt less visible. Anything from beige to dark brown color is a perfect choice, especially if you have a dog that sheds a lot.
- Trim your dog’s nails or cover them with vinyl claw covers so that they don’t cause scratches and other damages to your floor.
- Make sure you mop up any accidental messes left by your pet, as quickly as you can to avoid causing deep staining on the floor, which will be harder to remove later.
- Dry your pet before they step into the home to prevent dirt, grime and moisture from ruining your floor.
Follow these simple yet effective steps and you will soon realize that it’s no longer impossible for your dog to live in harmony with your beautiful hardwood