Almost 75% of American households own dogs or cats, and more than a third of all dog and cat owners have 2 or more four-legged friends. With these numbers in mind, it’s easy to understand why there is a growing demand for engineered hardwood floors that are not only green and natural, but also practical and extremely durable. But what is the best hardwood floor for a household with pets? If you are a dog or cat owner with a heart set on getting engineered hardwood floors, read on, as the tips below explain how to choose flooring that will stand up to pets over time.
Go with Hardwoods, Not Soft Woods
Stay away from soft woods like American walnut, pine or birch. Instead, go for hard species. Oaks, Ash or Brazilian Cherries are among the hard and strong wood species that don’t dent easily and have excellent shock absorbency properties, which will help minimize dents and scratches from dog and cat nails.
Choose Wood Species with Pronounced Grain Texture
White oak and ash, for example, have naturally rich grain texture that disguises minor dents and scratches. Marks left by dog and cat nails will blend in with the floor surface, appearing as part of natural wood texture.
Go for Wire Brushed or Scraped FlooringWhen the wood is brushed, the soft portion of the wood is scraped away in order to highlight the natural richness and deep grain texture. The result is a very natural-looking and forgiving floor surface that is complemented by wood knots and dramatic character marks of wood. Scratches and small dents left by dog nails, as well as other signs of wear and tear will simply add to the dramatic effect achieved by wire brushing the floor surface.
Choose Natural Colors
Stains in natural colors that range from beige to dark brown are the best choice for homes with dogs and other pets. During periods of shedding, fur will be barely noticeable on floor surface.
Choose a Matte or Low Sheen Finish
Oil and wax-based matte finishes are best for households with dogs not only because they conceal dust, dirt and small scratches, but also because oil penetrates into the wood without forming a thick surface film. Visually, this results in beautiful open grains. Practically, this means that floors are protected from effects of moisture from the inside (especially, if finish is a water-repellent oil or wax). In addition, oiled floors have a warm and natural feel and are a lot less slippery than traditional lacquer floors.
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