Many homeowners dream of having hardwood floors. But if you have dogs in the home, you may wonder if the two are compatible. Most people assume that dogs and wood floors don't mix, but the truth is that they can live in harmony with a little preparation. Here are three things to examine when shopping so you can have the floor of your dreams without worrying about damage.
There are many different types of wood to choose from, such as hickory, oak, walnut, birch, bamboo, pine, ash, beech, etc. The options seem limitless in an almost overwhelming sort of way. Fortunately, those that want a floor that's highly resistant to damage from dogs have a narrower pool to select from, making the decision process easier.
The best thing to do is to go with a "hard" wood in order to protect against claw marks and scratches. The hardness of wood floors is reflected in the Janka rating; the higher the number, the harder the wood. With a Janka rating of 3680, Brazilian walnut is currently one of the hardest wood floors on the market. Color can vary, but it's typically on the darker side and is ideal for high-traffic areas.
Brazilian walnut is considered an "exotic" species; its main difference from traditional wood floors is that it provides more color variation and an increased hardness rating. If you don't like the look of this flooring type, there are many others to choose from that will stand up to your four-legged friends.
Floors that have a high-gloss or high-sheen finish are much more likely to show scratches and dents. So, the lower the sheen, the better it is for those with canines in the home.
The sheen is also indicative of the level of luster, and this is measured by how much light reflects off the floor at a 60-degree angle. This angle is about the same as how they're viewed by the average person when standing up. The higher the luster, the more light that's reflected, and the more visible scratches become.
There are four levels of sheen. From highest to lowest in luster, they include glossy, semi-gloss, satin, and matte.
Glossy finishes are seen in gymnasiums and bowling alleys, and are rarely used in homes. Satin tends to be the most popular choice with homeowners, but it has a luster rating of 40%. Matte, however, has a luster rating of 25%, making it a better option for those with pets.
You can also go with a wire-brushed finish, which involves scraping the floors to reveal more of the natural grain, giving the wood a textured and weathered appearance. As you can probably guess, this look would perfectly hide any scratches and dings caused by little paws.
One thing you'll love about a low-sheen finish on your floors is that it hides dirt, grime, and pet hair much better than glossy floors. Even for people who are cleaning fanatics, this can be a huge advantage on those occasions when visitors pop over without calling first.
But no matter how well your new floor hides dirt and hair, you still need to keep it clean and perform some routine maintenance to keep it looking great for years. Here are a few tips to follow:
- Keep your dogs' nails clipped as short as possible. This is especially important for bigger dogs that weigh more and apply more pressure to the floor.
- Use throw rugs in areas of high traffic.
- Clean up any pet accidents right away.
- Use a stable water bowl that isn't likely to tip over, and place a waterproof mat underneath.
- Be sure to follow the manufacturer's instructions for cleaning your wood floors, as they can vary among wood types and finishes. You can also ask a flooring specialist about using a vinegar/water mixture if you don't want to purchase special cleaners.
For additional information, contact a wood floor contractor at a company like Monterrey Tile Company.