Guest Post by: Aedan Kiernan
Digital Marketing Executive
Wood Finishes Direct
Folkestone, Kent, UK
For many home owners, who are also dog owners, hardwood flooring is but a dream. Dogs claws, vomit, urine and dirty paws are all things that can cause havoc to a hardwood floor. However this doesn’t mean hardwood floors are out of the picture. Providing you choose the right wood, finish, sheen and cleaning products, your dog and floor can coexist in relative harmony. Although there is no way to stop damage altogether, you can reduce and limit the damage.
Wood – Choosing the wood will be the first thing you do, and there are so many woods available, oak, pine, walnut, ash, cherry, maple, the list goes on, but which one is best. The key to choosing wood flooring for a home with dogs is finding one which is strong and light in colour. You want it to be strong so it stands up well to your dogs claws and light in colour so any damage is less visible. This sums up oak perfectly as it is one of the strongest woods available, is naturally light in colour, and it is affordable. Although you could try an aged or distressed looking wood so any damage look like it is intentional.
Finish – Now that you have chosen the wood, now the question looms, what finish should I choose? Your new hardwood floor needs a finish to protect it from dirt and wear, otherwise it will quickly become damaged and eventually ruined. There are two main finishes on the market for floors and these are oils and varnishes. Oils are very popular as they offer a natural look and feel, but they are not suited to standing up to the wear caused by dogs. For this reason a floor varnish is the best choice of finish to provide the resilience you need. A varnish offers a hard and durable protective coating on top of the wood, helping to prevent damage and protecting the wood. The great thing with a varnish is multiple layers can be built up to increase protection. Make sure you use a specific “floor varnish” as these are made for floors and have increased protection to other generic varnishes. You can find a range of floor varnishes at Wood Finishes Direct.
Sheen – When choosing a varnish you will also have the option for what sheen level you want. Sheen determines how shiny the finish will be, but the more shiny/glossy the finish, the more likely it will show scratches and dinks. For this reason it is best to go for a matte or satin finish and these will help to hide any visible damage. If you are unsure about what finish you would prefer, conduct a small test area on some scrap wood or obscure corner of the room to see what each one looks like, before committing.
Cleaning – So you’ve got the strongest wood, the best finish and the right sheen, now the hard work is over right ? Wrong, it doesn’t stop there, now you have to care for, and maintain your floor. Dogs will leave your floor covered in muddy paw prints and this dirt could get into any cracks and begin to damage the wood beneath. Not only that dogs vomit or urine contains chemicals which can stain and ruin the wood and finish, so these should be cleaned as soon as possible to prevent them causing damage, and this can be done with a wood floor cleaner. Not all domestic cleaners are suitable for floors, and they could cause more damage than good, due to chemicals that they contain. Instead apply the wood floor cleaner directly to a damp mop or cloth, and wipe dry after. You can find a range of wood floor cleaners at Wood Finishes Direct.
Other Tips – There are a couple of other things you can do to help prevent your dogs from causing too much damage to your hardwood floor. Keep their nails trimmed, ensure they are toilet trained, place water bowl on a mat to stop it spilling onto floor, put carpet off cuts by doors leading from outside to remove dirt from paws and put a rug anywhere that receives excessive wear.
Thanks for the Guest Post, Aedan. Very good information about how to take care of a wood floor and keep all in the family happy.
Julie & Blue Belle