Unless you plan to banish your pets from your home, you know that every new purchase requires you to consider how well it will last with them around. Household flooring is no exception, and if you plan on installing hardwood flooring, you need to consider factors such as scratch and stain resistance, sound absorption, and cleanability.

To ease the process, we have compiled a list of the best types of hardwood floors to install if you have pets. With the help of our guide, you’ll be able to make a decision that will provide comfort and durability while still expressing your style. 

General Flooring Factors to Consider with Pets in the Home

Cleaning hardwood floors

Resistance: Although scratches might be your primary concern, you also need to consider other types of damage and wear-and-tear. Accidents happen, which could lead to stains, muddy pawprints, and moisture from, for example, urine, which can significantly damage the finish.

Comfort: You need to consider the level of comfort your flooring will provide to both you and your pets. Not only do they appreciate a soft landing, but age can also lead them to become more sensitive and require more comfort when walking or laying down. You can enhance the comfort of your pets by putting down area rugs in certain areas of your house, or buying them comfy bedding!

Cleanability: Most types of pets commonly shed their hair. The flooring you choose will need regular cleaning, so you need to consider how often your selected floors can be cleaned. Hardwood floors are therefore perfect for a house with pets, since they’re much easier to clean than a carpet. 

Durability: Your pets’ nails can scratch up the floors, so it’s important to take this into consideration when choosing a finish.

Hardwood Options to Choose From

So now that you know what to look for in a hardwood floor that’s going to share the space with your pets, what are your options?

Prefinished vs. Site-finished Hardwood Floors

Unlike engineered hardwood floors, solid, site-finished hardwood floors allow for a nearly unlimited number of refinishes, and can easily be refinished when deep scratches or stains are left on them. However, a prefinished hardwood floor often comes out of the factory with a super hard and durable, UV-cured finish, so they won’t have to be refinished as much, which will ultimately save you money in the long run. However, if a stain or scratch penetrates that finish, it’s more difficult to refinish than a site-finished floor.

Distressed Hardwoods

Distressed hardwood floors aren’t everyone’s style, but they do have qualities that work excellent with pets. Unlike other hardwoods, it shows scratches and dents less because the design of the floor itself is already distressed!

Hardwood with Stronger Graining

Floors with smooth, consistent graining patterns tend to show the smallest of scratches, but those with a strong grain pattern––such as walnut or hickory hardwood floors––do a better job of hiding them. As some amount of minor damage is sure to occur over the years, these will provide an excellent surface for damage to blend right into.  

Dark Colors and a Matte or Satin Finish

When choosing a color for your flooring, lighter colors are ideal since they hide scratches and stains better than dark hardwood floors. Having a matte or satin finish instead of a glossy one will also minimize the amount of damage that shows. 

Over time, all flooring will start displaying damage and general wear-and-tear. Although hardwood flooring won’t prevent this from happening, choosing the right type of finish will minimize the appearance of staining, claw marks, and other damage. 

Still unsure of which hardwood floor choices would be best for your home? Click here to contact us!

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