Beautiful hardwood floors can withstand a lot of daily wear and tear, but your dog or cat can be too much for them if you don't take steps to prevent damage in advance. The following tips will help you keep your hardwood floors in top shape by preventing the most common types of pet damage.
#1: Check the Nails
Dog nails are the main damage culprit, since they can't retract their claws like a cat. This means that each time they walk across the floor they could be scratching the finish. The easiest solution is to trim your dogs nails regularly. If the nails are long enough to click on the floor, it's time to trim them. While you can take them to a groomer for regular trims, the process is simple enough to learn to do on your own. Even cats can benefit from a timely trim, and trimming their claws can keep them from scratching walls, furniture, and the floor.
#2: Use Rugs
Rugs are a must at entryways and in other areas with high traffic. They catch the dirt and mud coming off of paws and feet alike. You may also want to place a few rugs in areas that experience heavy pet traffic. For example, a rug in the hallway where your dog likes to nap can prevent damage if you also have a dog that likes to circle or scratch at the floor before laying down. Or you may want to place a small rug under your cat's favorite sunning window, which will then cushion their claws when they jump back down to the floor.
#3: Choose a True Hardwood
Some hardwoods are softer than others, which means it doesn't take much for your dog or cat to scratch them. For example, white oak floor boards have a tighter grain than red oak, so they are harder and more difficult to scratch. Hickory is even harder, which means it can withstand the heaviest use and most wear before experiencing any damage. Contact a local outlet, such as National Carpet Mill Outlet, for further assistance or information.
#4: Skip the Gloss
A high gloss finish on the floors will quickly dull and require refinishing in a house with pets. Go for a more natural finish or just a light gloss so that scratches won't show as easily. Lighter colored floors also show less scratching, so you may want to also forgo the dark stain. When it is time to refinish the floors, it won't take much to lightly sand the surface and add a fresh coat of finish if there isn't thick layers of gloss or stain to remove.