February 8, 2024

Maintaining Hardwood Floors With Pets

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Your new furry friend loves to run around and play inside your house, but what does this mean for your hardwood floors? Or, what does having a pet mean when you want to install new and beautiful hardwood floors? You can enjoy the best of both worlds with the right maintenance tips — your beloved pets can roam around and play without scratching or damaging the floor. 

Tips for Keeping Hardwood Floors Clean With Pets

With the proper precautions, hardwood floors can be pet-friendly. All that’s needed is some healthy compromise to make the partnership work, and we have some tips that can help you pet-proof hardwood floors. 

1. Trim Your Pet’s Nails

Nothing quite compares to the joy of seeing your pup running toward you after a long day at work or school. If you’re worried about their excited paws leaving scratches on your hardwood floors, there’s a simple solution — nail clippers. Keeping your dog’s nails trimmed helps reduce damage to your floors when they run, so they can chase toys or jump at your legs, and you can focus on loving them back without thinking about your floors. Trimming their nails is also healthy for them

While cats might not run at you as excitedly as dogs, you should still keep their nails trimmed to keep them healthy and protect your floors. Plus, trimming a cat’s nails is a good alternative to declawing them — which most experts do not recommend

2. Add Rugs

Pets often hang out around windows and doors because their curious minds want to know who is out there. And if they hear the garage door, they’ll trot over to the window to get a glimpse of your face or to the door to give you a prompt greeting. Adding rugs in front of doors and below windows can help prevent scratches in these popular pet areas. Rugs also allow you to change the look and feel of your home while complementing the beauty of your floors. You can even switch them out regularly to capture the vibe of the season.

3. Place Mats Under Water Bowls and Litter Boxes

Hydration is essential for pets — but we can’t say the same for your floors. While they don’t mean to make a mess, pups can spill their water while they’re playing with toys or when they take a drink from a bowl that’s too full. When spilled water sits for too long, it could damage your hardwood floors. Luckily, mats provide a solution. You can place these pet mats under their food and water bowls to prevent your floor from getting wet, resulting in less floor damage and cleanups for you. 

These mats are also perfect for underneath litter boxes. Instead of cat litter getting on your floor, it’ll get caught by the mat and be easy to wipe up. 

4. Clean Messes Quickly

Pet urine is highly acidic, and if it stays on the floor too long, it can cause some damage or leave stains. And if you don’t use the proper cleaning product, the scent will linger. Even if you can’t smell anything, your pets might, and they could pee in the same spot again. To remove these pet stains from wood floors, use a wood-friendly pet urine cleaner. These allow you to avoid damage and save costs associated with replacing your floors. 

It’s also easy to get dog hair out of hardwood floors. All you’ll need is a microfiber cloth or broom to sweep it up. 

How to Choose Hardwood Flooring When You Have Pets

When you have pets, you want to choose a flooring option that can keep up with them. Below are some things to keep in mind when selecting flooring options. 

Choose Harder Floors

Harder flooring is more durable than soft floors. When you have pets, opt for hardwood options like hard oak, hickory or maple. These options allow your pet to roam around freely, and scratches will be less common. For instance, oak flooring is hard and dense enough to support your pet’s lifestyle and activity level. And when you choose old-growth oak flooring, you can enjoy even more durability. 

Another great option is hard maple — its scratch-resistant properties make it one of the best floors to have with dogs and cats. Most basketball courts have hardwood maple floors, so if they can handle the activity of athletes, you can trust that your pet can roam around without causing damage to it!

Add a Protective Wood Oil Finish 

A hardwood floor finish adds refinement and elevates your flooring, and it can help your floors be more pet-friendly. For instance, a top-quality oil-based polyurethane finish makes it easier to maintain hardwood. It is durable and easy to clean, so you can quickly take care of accidents and water stains. As an additional benefit, if you spill anything else — like wine, tea or coffee — the finish will protect your floors. This protective wood finish is also ideal for parents with young kids who are prone to making messes.

Avoid Glossy Finishes 

A rich, glossy finish is incredibly appealing. It highlights the intricate details that make your wooden floors exquisite. However, when there are scratches on your floors, your eyes can’t help but hone in on them. Matte or satin finishes are an excellent solution. Unlike glossy finishes that highlight imperfections, satin finishes help hide them. Pet scratches you can’t attend to immediately will be less visible. 

Add Texture 

Texture on hardwood floors isn’t for everyone, but when you have pets, it’s an option you can consider. Wire brushing, hand-scraping or distressing the floors help you add texture to your floor, and the final result is worth the work. If your pets leave some scratches on the floor, they’ll blend in with the floor’s look. The final finish is a rustic look that looks seamless. 

Invest in Pet-Friendly Flooring From Superior Hardwoods of Montana

Your hardwood flooring should work for your everyday life rather than against it. Your pets are active and playful, so your flooring options should keep up with them. 

You can get the best of both worlds with Superior Hardwoods of Montana. Our hardwood flooring options are stunning and durable, making them an excellent option when you’re looking for pet-friendly hardwood floors that also enhance your home. Contact us today for a quote, to get free samples or to learn more about our hardwood floor options. Our floors can handle everything related to the pet parent life!