Best hardwood flooring ideas for dogs
There are several things to consider when making a decision about the best hardwood flooring options for dogs.
There are two different finishing preferences for solid hardwood that should be considered: lacquered and oiled. You also have the choice of lower cost, engineered hardwood. Read on to find out which option will suit your needs best.
Solid hardwood is wood that has been milled straight from the tree source. Thickness ranges from 15mm to 20mm.
It can take decades before the tree is mature enough for its wood to be used in construction. In the case of the English Oak, it can take up to one hundred and fifty years! (https://www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/learn/british-trees/native-trees/english-oak/).
Hardwood is hydroscopic, which means it retains water easily and in humid conditions, will absorb water from the air. This should be considered if you are toilet training a puppy. Excess liquid can spoil the wood, leading to warping and bending.
Sharp claws from cats, and especially dogs, can also ruin a hardwood floor. Even trimming them can leave them with blunt edges that will still scratch the surface.
Consider sanding your hardwood floors every seven years, and choose a darker finish. This will remove any scratches and the darker finish will help mask future scratches until the next sanding.
There are two different types of finish to solid hardwood: oiled and lacquered.
An oiled finish will help you retain the natural aesthetics of your wood. However, it may need to be re-oiled on a more regular basis to keep on top of dogs wandering in and out of the garden with dirty paws.
Slight discolouration may occur from food or water spills, but these can be remedied with oil wood floor cleaner and maintenance oil.
A lacquered finish makes cleaning a much more straightforward process than with an oiled floor. The lacquer will prevent any dirt from penetrating the surface of the wood, so mess and mud from your furry friend can be cleaned away without any fuss.
Pet smells won’t integrate into lacquered wood either. Small scratches can be repaired with wax crayons and lacquer repair kits (http://briwaxprofessional.com/wood/index.html). Larger areas of damage can be trickier to fix. The whole board will need to be repaired, not just where the accident occurred. If your pet has caused a lot of damage, it’s best to call the professionals in.
Unlike laminate flooring, which doesn’t actually contain any wood, engineered hardwood is very similar to traditional solid hardwood, but is much more affordable. It’s created by sandwiching a softwood or plywood core between the hardwood surface and bottom supporting layer.
In high temperatures and humidity, hardwood can sometimes change form and warp. Engineered hardwood doesn’t do this. You can install it as a DIY project yourself, without any worry that the British weather, with hot summers and cold winters might affect the wood.
Engineered hardwood may be a cheaper option, but it comes at a price. You are only able to lightly sand down the surface of the wood a few times, before the structural wood underneath is revealed. If you have a dog who is a persistent offender when it comes to scratching the floor, engineered hardwood may not be for you.
When it comes to managing muddy paws, spilt food, moulting fur and relentless fleas, there’s nothing worse than having a carpet to contend with! Flea larvae can survive quite happily in a carpet, feeding on dead insects and adult flea faeces. (http://www.rentokil.co.uk/fleas/how-to-get-rid-of-fleas/)
Having a hardwood surface makes so much sense. Although adult fleas and ticks won’t be able to survive for long on wooden floors, as there is no food source, they still need to be eliminated. A thorough vacuum and mop should help keep remove these pesky parasites.
There are so many different varieties of flooring on the market right now, so it’s really important to do your research. Consider how many dogs you have, and the level of maintenance you want to be responsible for, before making a decision on the best hardwood flooring material for your dogs.