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7 Ways to Protect Hardwood Floors from Your Pets

You love the look of hardwood. But you’ve shied away from installing it in your home because you have pets. You know that hardwood floors are no small investment. And you’re aware that pets are one of the main culprits of hardwood damage. So you’ve always believed that hardwood floors and pets just don’t mix.

But do you really have to sacrifice your love for hardwood just because your family includes a furry friend? Not at all. You can install hardwood in a home with pets. You just need to know how to mitigate the damage they can cause. Check out these 7 ways to protect hardwood floors from your pets:

Choose a hard species of hardwood

One way to protect hardwood floors from pets is to strategically select a type of wood that’s less vulnerable to damage. This means choosing a harder type of hardwood. Whereas harder types of wood can resist many dents and scratches, softer hardwoods can sustain damage even if a large dog simply runs across them.

Select a wood that hides imperfections

In addition to selecting a harder wood, you can protect hardwood floors from pets by choosing a wood that hides imperfections well. This includes selecting a light or medium-coloured hardwood, which makes dander, hair, and scratches less visible than dark hardwood does. It can also involve selecting satin or matte (instead of glossy) finishes, woods with pronounced grains, and textured wood. These types of hardwood are better at disguising scratches produced by pets.

Add a protective coating

Your hardwood floor may already have a basic clear finishing coat. But if you really want to protect hardwood floors from pets, it’s a good idea to add a urethane or polyurethane surface finish. These finishes give hardwood a durable and water-resistant barrier. This protects hardwood floors from dirty paws and splashes from water dishes.

Trim pet nails

You can protect hardwood floors from pets by strategically selecting the type of floor and finish you install. But another effective way to reduce pet damage to floors is to trim pet nails regularly. Dog and cat nails can scratch the surface of hardwood if pets are permitted in rooms where hardwood is installed. So unless you plan to banish your pets from certain rooms in your home, it’s a good idea to trim your pets’ nails regularly.

Place rugs in high-traffic areas

Another way to protect hardwood floors from pets is to place area rugs over hardwood in high-traffic areas. For example, if your dog loves to run around in your family room, cover the floor with a large area rug. Area rugs are good at protecting floors from scratches. They also shield hardwood from debris that pets can bring indoors on their paws. And remember, area rugs aren’t good just for protecting floors from pet damage. They also minimize damage caused by human traffic.

Add mats under water bowls and litter boxes

Even if your pets’ nails are trimmed, he or she can damage your hardwood floors by splashing water or dragging kitty litter onto them. To protect hardwood floors from this, place breathable mats under water bowls and litter boxes. This shields your floors from damage and keeps them clean.

Clean up spills and accidents immediately

No matter how careful you are, accidents happen. Because hardwood is susceptible to damage from spilled liquids, it’s important to clean up spills and accidents right away. The acid in dog and cat urine can eat away at your floors, so tend to accidents immediately to avoid stains and warping. Clean spills and accidents with a damp cloth followed by a dry one.

It’s possible to protect hardwood floors from pets

Pets and hardwood floors may not be a match made in heaven. But you also don’t need to keep them apart at all costs. If you love the look of hardwood, don’t avoid installing it in your home just because you have pets. Instead, use the tips outlined above to protect your floors from your furry friends.

Looking for a new hardwood floor for your home? We’d be happy to help you. Schedule a complimentary consultation.



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