3 Ways to Prep Your Hardwood Floors for Dogs
Hardwood floors are a beautiful feature in any home. When you have pets, however, keeping your hardwood floors looking their best can be a challenge. To a
new homeowner, dogs and hardwood floors might seem like the two major ingredients to a disaster. At Patrick Daigle Hardwood Flooring, we install and refinish hardwood floors for people with a variety of pets. The good news is that you can make some choices that will help you keep your floors looking their best. The tips can be applied in the earlier stages of pre-finished floors all the way to the endgame of your finished hardwood floors being fully installed. Either way, these helpful hints will help you navigate life with dogs and hardwood floors.
Choose a Lighter Wood and Stain
Choosing a lighter stain will help to hide any minor damage your pet can cause. It also effectively hides most of the dust and dirt they tend to bring in from their outings. You can benefit from carefully selecting a wood that will lend itself to pets. Red Oak is a common option because of its stronger graining. The graining in this wood
makes it a bit easier to mask scratches or blemishes your dogs may cause over time. Another good option for a wood is Maple, which is great if you want more of a smooth graining in your floors. As one of the lightest options around, Maple is also popular because of its durability, which tends to get many votes of approval from pet-owners. Lastly, if you are looking to meet in the middle of the aesthetic spectrum, you could go with a Hickory wood. The majority of the wood is light but the graining will be darker, so you get a nice combination of both looks. If you really just have to have a darker wood, Brazilian Walnut can be a durable option but it is on the pricier end. You could also consider getting a stain shade that is relatively close to your dog’s fur to help conceal that as well.
Avoid Glossy Finishes
While a glossy finish can be tempting, pet owners should steer clear. Satin or matte finishes will hide scratches or dings much better, and they still look sleek and modern. While we all tend to think the scratches in the floor are all from our pets, you might be surprised to learn we do just as much
damage ourselves. High heels, moving furniture, and pebbles stuck in the treads of tennis shoes can cause a lot of the scratches and dents in the floors. Picking a satin or matte finish will keep your floors their best for the long haul. High gloss finishes tend to really highlight the scratches in the flooring. Save your future self some frustration and avoid waterborne finishes because these are the ones with high gloss and large amounts of aluminum oxide. Instead, try for an oil-based finish because it comes in a variety of gloss levels and is still a tougher finish. As long as you have several coats of finish applied, you should be good to go.
Trim Those Toenails
Keeping your dog’s nails trimmed will go a long way toward protecting your floors. Dogs should have their nails trimmed once every one to two months. Use this simple rule of thumb – if they click when they walk, it’s time to get the nails clipped. You can trim the nails yourself, grind the nails down, or take your dog to the nearest vet clinic or pet store to get the service done. If you are not comfortable doing it yourself, let a professional handle it in a matter of minutes. Not only does keeping the nails clipped protect your floors, but it also improves the health of your dog. Neglected nails can cause pain or disease for the dog. Another good tip is to place mats in front of your doors to collect dirt and small rocks that would otherwise scratch your wood floors. This will help catch most of the debris on your dog’s paws as he or she comes back inside.
Having pets does not mean you cannot have nice things. It just means you have to work a little smarter to keep those things nice. With the right flooring, you can absolutely maintain a beautiful home with a dog. Don’t settle for less when you can have more with both dogs and hardwood floors. Contact us today for your free home estimate.