Do you have pets and timber floors? Some pets have a particular knack for getting up to mischief. If you have beautiful wooden floorboards installed in your home, you’re likely keen to make sure your beloved pet doesn’t accidentally damage them.
Often, here at Brisbanes Finest Floors, we’re called to answer questions regarding floorboard damage caused by pets. In this article, we discuss how to care for your timber floor when you have pets and the best hardwood floor finishes for a pet-friendly home.
Everything from your selected timber species to its timber coating type to the disposition and size of your pet or a recent change in pet care products can impact the state of your timber.
How To Care For Your Timber Floor When You Have Pets
The three most common ways that pets damage floorboards are:
Indentations from pet paws and claws (especially dogs)
Pet urine stains
Flea treatment, shaken off onto the floor after application
Many Australians do not realise that pet damage may not be included in their floorboards’ warranty. However, certain timbers are much more resistant to pet damage than other kinds, especially when sealed with a finish designed to make it more durable.
How To Protect Hardwood Floors From Dog Scratches
Generally, the size and activity levels of your dog is a major influence on whether your floor will indent. A moderately-sized active dog is more likely to deal greater damage to a harder timber floor than a heavier but more docile dog.
To protect hardwood floors from dog scratches, it’s ideal to keep your pet’s paw nails trimmed and choose scratch resistant wood flooring.
How To Protect Wood Floors From Dog Urine
When a pet has an accident on a rug, sometimes this will go unnoticed for a long enough time that the urine will penetrate through the timber coating and create a stain. Due to its alkaline nature, pet urine often reacts with tannins in the timber to create a dark discolouration. This kind of damage occurs most often with a sanded and re-coated floor.
Certain coating types are more prone to pet urine damage. For example, a water-based coating is more permeable to moisture, making it vulnerable to pet urine stains. For this reason, we recommend using a solvent-based polyurethane coating instead, as this will be more likely to resist discolouration.
Past pet urine contamination can also impact the future coating of a floor. If a timber floor is stained with pet urine and the coating has reacted to create a dark patch, you will need to re-sand floors back to bare timber. This still may not remove the urine patch if it has penetrated the timber.
How To Protect Timber Floors From Pet Flea Treatment
An often underestimated impact is indirect damage caused to your timber floorboards when your pet shakes their flea treatment off onto the floor after application. Many people are unaware that pet treatments can have a severe effect on coatings and may cause blistering.
Best Flooring For Dogs and Pets
The best hardwood floors for dogs are designed to have long-lasting resistance against the different types of pet damage.
Follow these guidelines to find the best hardwood floor for your needs:
Avoid soft woods – Instead of soft timbers like Tasmanian Oak, Cypress Pine, Rose Gum, opt for solid hardwood in Blackbutt, Spotted Gum, Jarrah, Brazilian Walnut, Brushbox, Ironbark, Greybox or Red Mahogany. For excellent resistance to indentation and wear, look for timber floorboards with a Janka rating of 8 or above, and a density greater than 805 kg/m3.
Use solid hardwood – For durability and thickness, choose solid hardwood over engineered hardwood.
Choose timber that hides scratches well – Timbers with stronger grains are superior when it comes to hiding scratches from pets. Look for timber where the grain is straight and runs parallel to the length of the board.
Of course, this is only one piece of the puzzle. It’s important to also invest in a durable hardwood floor finish. Here’s how to choose the best hardwood floor finishes for a pet-friendly home:
Finishes with low gloss – Less glossy finishes, such as satin and matte finishes, will help hide pet damage. Why? The more lustrous the finish, the more likely the scratches will stand out.
A lighter colour finish is best – Lighter colour finishes will show fewer scratches.
Choose a solvent-based polyurethane finish – If you are refinishing your hardwood flooring, choose a solvent-based polyurethane coating, as this will provide greater waterproofing and protection against pet damage.
Need more advice on the best finish for hardwood floors with dogs and pets? Get in touch with the experts at Brisbanes Finest Floors on 0411 220 488.