Are you thinking about opening up your home to an adorable dog but are worried about your beloved hardwood floors being ruined as a result? Maybe it's the other way around and you have a dog that is stopping you from fulfilling your dream of owning a hardwood floor. Either way, you may not realize that this doesn't have to be an either/or situation! You can have the best of both worlds if you shop and act wisely!
1. Gravitate toward stronger graining
You need boards that will stand up to dog claws, which means they need to be strong and their graining needs to be even stronger! Oak and Hickory are likely your best bet here, though you should keep in mind that strong graining won't necessarily prevent scratches. It will do a better job of hiding scratches and dents than most types of wood.
2. Avoid soft types of wood
Given the advice shown in our first point, you probably saw this one coming. You can't use softer wood types and hope to keep them in beautiful condition with a dog. This means American cherry, American walnut, pine, fir, carbonized bamboo, and cedar are off the table. That's fine though. Floors made from these types of wood are more expensive anyway.
3. Stay solid
Solid wood floors are usually better quality and more durable than engineered hardwood floors. They may be more expensive initially, but it will be worth it.
4. Try a distressed wood floor
While they're not everyone's cup of tea, distressed hardwood floors are trendy and perfect for pet owners. Any scratches caused by dog claws blend right into the aesthetic of the floorboards. You'll be thanking your dog for the personalization they've added to your floor rather than punishing them.
5. Consider color and finish
When it comes to pets, dark floorboards and glossy finishes just don't work well. Both make scratches pretty noticeable, so you're better off choosing a lighter color for your boards and a satin or matte finish. These choices won't guarantee invisible blemishes, but they will help.
6. Take care with your dog's feet as well as your own
You can help your dog stay out of floor-related trouble by covering their nails with vinyl nail guards. This is an inexpensive and fashionable way to keep some space between your dog's claws and your floors.
Meanwhile you and everyone who enters your home should be diligent about removing their shoes. It's far too easy to track dirt and pebbles into the house that will leave marks on your hardwood floors.
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