Nearly 60% of Americans own dogs, and almost a third of all dog owner have 2 or more four-legged friends. With these numbers in mind, it’s easy to understand why there is a growing demand for hardwood floors that are not only green and natural, but also practical and extremely durable. But what is the best hardwood floor for a household with dogs? If you are a dog owner with a heart set on getting real hardwood floors, read on, as the tips below explain how to choose flooring that will stand up to dogs over time.
How to choose the best hardwood floor for dogs?
1) Go with hardwood, not softwood.
Stay away from soft woods like American walnut, pine or birch. Instead, go for hard species. Oak, ash or Brazilian Cherry are among the hard and strong wood species that don’t dent easily and have excellent shock absorbency properties, which will help minimize dents and scratches from dog nails.
2) Choose wood species with pronounced grain texture.
White oak and ash, for example, have naturally rich grain texture that disguises minor dents and scratches. Marks left by dog and cat nails will blend in with the floor surface, appearing as part of natural wood texture.
3) Go for wirebrushed or scraped flooring, or an otherwise textured surface.
When the wood is brushed, soft portion of the wood is scraped away in order to highlight the natural richness and deep grain texture. The result is a very natural-looking and forgiving floor surface that is complemented by wood knots and dramatic character marks of wood. Scratches and small dents left by dog nails, as well as other signs of wear and tear will simply add to the dramatic effect achieved by wirebrushing the floor surface.
4) Choose natural colors.
Stains in natural colors that range from beige to dark brown are the best choice for homes with dogs and other large pets. During periods of shedding, fur will be barely noticeable on floor surface.
5) Go for low gloss, matte surface finishes.
Oil and wax-based matte finishes are best for households with dogs not only because they conceal dust, dirt and small scratches, but also because oil penetrates into the wood without forming a thick surface film. Visually, this results beautiful open grains. Practically, this means that floors are protected from effects of moisture from the inside (especially, if finish is a water-repellent oil or wax). In addition, oiled floors have a warm and natural feel and are a lot less slippery than traditional lacquer floors.
Oiled floors have another advantage over lacquered: they allow for “spot repairs”. While with traditional polyurethane lacquer floors, fixing severe local damage will often entail removal and replacement of ruined planks. With oiled flooring, the repair procedure is a simple do-it-yourself job that only requires a piece of sanding paper, some stain, oil and a sponge. While brushed and oiled floors will need to be re-oiled, on average, every couple of years, it is an easy one-man job that can be completed in a single afternoon.
Coswick offers a wide range of wirebrushed and oiled hardwood floors that are designed to last in heavy traffic conditions and are perfect for households with dogs and other large pets. Check it out, and if you found a floor you like, feel free to order a complimentary sample.