How To Choose Hardwood Floors if You Have Pets

September 14, 2020by LV Flooring0

Pets are an essential part of the family and they deserve the utmost care. However, you need to pay attention to the type of floor they walk on. In this article, you will learn how to choose hardwood floors if you have pets.

A lot of pet owners in Canada want to buy hardwood floors. However, they have existing worries about functionality. Will pets destroy their hardwood floors? Does hardwood flooring have any adverse effect on the health and well being of pets?

Over the course of this article, we will answer these burning questions. We will discuss the tips for using hardwood floors if you have pets. This article will provide a guide to choosing hardwood floors and highlight the benefits of using one. Also, you will learn about the diverse hardwood material available for flooring.

More importantly, we will show you how to choose the right hardwood floors, especially if you have pets. Here’s what you need to know.

Why Your Hardwood Floor Matters for Your Pets

How To Choose Hardwood Floors if You Have Pets

Your pets will often walk around your house. Therefore, they need to be comfortable. This is why you need to install pet-friendly hardwood floors. Some houses use carpets for their flooring. If you have pets, this can be a bad idea. Carpets trap dirt and grime easily and are hard to clean. Cats and dogs also scratch and bite at it thereby easily causing damage.

Knowing how to choose hardwood floors if you have pets offers longevity for your investment. Furthermore, the best hardwood floors will be gentle to your pet’s paws and nails. It will prevent sores and stress to the feet of your pets.

The unique installation method of hardwood floors makes it very easy to clean and maintain. You can easily clean the dirt away from the surface. Your pet will also be able to walk above the smooth hardwood surfaces with ease.

So you see, residents in Canada who have pets shouldn’t just buy any random hardwood flooring design. There are considerations and tips that can help you choose the best hardwood floors for your pets. Take them into account!

Benefits of using the Right Hardwood Floor for Your Pet

Learning how to choose hardwood floors if you have pets is only the first step. You need to know the benefits of choosing a hardwood floor. Pet-friendly hardwood floors offer the following:

  • Ease of cleaning
  • Great reduction of scratches to the floorboard
  • Ease of mopping to remove dust and mould
  • Concealment of obvious scratches over time
  • Prevention of damage to pet paws and claws

How To Choose the Right Hardwood Floor

You have seen the benefits of using the right hardwood floor. Now, you need to know how to choose hardwood floors if you have pets. This is the main aim of this guide to choosing hardwood floors that will favour your pets.

The type of wood material you use is an important factor in choosing the right flooring. You don’t want to use wood floors that can easily dent under your pet’s foot.

How To Choose Hardwood Floors if You Have Pets

Firstly, make sure to avoid softwoods like carbonized bamboo, pine, and American walnut. They damage easily over time and don’t last very long. These will not bode well for both the hardwood floors and your pets.

Some of the best hardwoods to use are red oak, Brazilian walnut, and hickory. They are aesthetically pleasing and do not dent easily under pressure. Also, they have strong wood graining that hides scratches very well and for long.

When deciding how to choose hardwood floors if you have pets, there are different types of hardwood materials to consider. Below we will highlight the various types of materials and note their pros and cons.

Cork Flooring

Firstly, it has very strong antimicrobial properties. This means that accidents and spillages have a very slim chance of developing mould. Cork flooring absorbs all clicks and clatters that will come from the claws of your pet. Due to these benefits, this option is common among people looking to buy hardwood floors in Toronto

Picking a light shade helps in masking claw marks and scratches. Furthermore, the use of a strong finish to coat the surface of your cork flooring makes scratch marks more invisible. However, in its natural form, cork flooring can be dark and dull and may require extra finishing.

Engineered Wood

As reliable as hardwood is, its rigidity may be harmful in the long run. Thankfully, engineered wood can help make things better for your pet. It consists of multiple layers of thin wood as opposed to the single solid hardwood. 

This makes it easy to refinish many times without any major damage. In addition, engineered wood increases the resale value of your home

Any damages to the top layer can be easily sanded down and re-polished. The thin layers also provide a hollow comfort to the feet of your pets. However, it may be quite expensive to acquire.

Engineered wood like red and white oak ease the question of how to choose hardwood floors if you have pets. Their extensive durability and flexibility make it ideal for your pet.

Luxury Vinyl Flooring

Although this flooring may not be original wood, it is very durable. It can mimic wood very well through its graining system. Furthermore, luxury vinyl flooring is soft enough for your pet while still tough enough to withstand dents. It is incredibly easy to clean and manage as dirt slides off easily.

Luxury vinyl flooring may not be the ideal choice on how to choose hardwood floors if you have pets. Regardless, it emulates wood good enough to function as a hardwood floor. A large portion of these flooring varieties is waterproof which helps against spillages. However, it’s resale value may not be as high as that of engineered wood flooring.

Bamboo Wood

When using this type of hardwood flooring, pay special attention to the type of bamboo. Stained and caramelized wood is significantly weak and scratches easily. When deciding how to choose hardwood floors if you have pets, know that this type of bamboo blackens easily from moisture exposure.

Alternatively, using strand bamboo is highly effective. It is environmentally friendly and very easy to maintain. This type of pet-friendly hardwood floor is also affordable to acquire and install.

Alternative Flooring

Just in case wood is not your choice of flooring, there are alternatives. Popular secondary options are stones and tiles. They may not be the ideal route on how to choose hardwood floors if you have pets. Notwithstanding, they offer similar functionalities to hardwood floors.

They are highly water-resistant as they have a smooth surface that can be easily cleaned. They are also stain-resistant and will show no marks or scratches from your pets. Furthermore, it is quite affordable to purchase and install.

However, they are noisy and can break. Also, they can be hard and cold to the feet of your pet, particularly in winter. You will need pet socks or a separate warm bed to compliment your pets. In the end, hardwood floors offer more functionality. 

How To Choose Hardwood Floors if You Have Pets

Disadvantages of Using the Wrong Hardwood Floors

We have noted the positives on what hardwood floor should pet owners choose. Inversely, there are repercussions to picking the wrong hardwood floor. Below are the cons of using the wrong hardwood floors.

  • Damages to pet paws and nails
  • Discoloration of wood flooring from moisture
  • Gathering of mould and harmful pathogens
  • Slipping and injury to pets
  • Deep scratches and damage to the floorboard
  • Constant refinishing which cost money

Tips on Keeping Your Hardwood Floor Clean

Sure, you have knowledge of how to choose hardwood if you have pets. However, this knowledge may not prove useful if you don’t maintain your newly installed flooring. These measures will ensure your hardwood floors last longer. 

  • Sweep and vacuum the floorboards frequently
  • Mop hard surfaces regularly to remove mould
  • Clean up pet accidents as soon as possible
  • Placemats under pet food and water bowls to minimize spillage
  • Use oil-based polyurethane instead of water-based
  • Use hardwoods with easily replaceable parts
  •  Place entry and exit mats to minimize dirt entering the house
  • Use quality waterproof lamination to prevent slipping

Minimizing Accidents

Whereas it’s impossible to totally avoid accidents, they can be greatly managed. There are steps to take to reduce the chances of accidents. These actions simplify the relationship between hardwood floors and pet

  • Potty train your pets properly
  • Get aged pets with weak bowels checked by vet doctors
  • Rearrange furniture to discourage same spot usage by pets

FAQs About Using Hardwood Floors With Pets 

Q: What are the best homemade items to use to clean hardwood floors?

A: A simple mixture of warm water and vinegar

Q: Are there hardwood designs that hide marks well?

A: Distressed hardwood has an intentional rough design that hides scratches well

Q: Why is oil-based polyurethane better than water-based?

A: Oil-based polyurethane shines more in-depth, lasts longer and conceals marks better than water-based

How To Choose Hardwood Floors if You Have Pets


At this point, there should be zero confusion on how to choose hardwood floors if you have pets. We have been able to cover major aspects of the guide to choosing hardwood floors. Similarly, we covered why your choice of hardwood floor matters for your pet. 

Furthermore, we have highlighted the benefits of using hardwood floors. To cap it off, you can now discuss the different types of wood flooring. There is engineered wood, bamboo, cork flooring more and other alternative options to consider. 

Are you looking to buy hardwood floors in Canada? Are you still undecided on which type of hardwood to use? Check out our online store to get the best hardwood floors for you and your pets. And, at the best prices too! Get started now!

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