Hardwood flooring isn’t cheap!
Indeed, homeowners spend an average of almost $4,500 to install their hardwood floors. The cost of materials and hiring professionals to complete the task all stack up. Some exotic woods can cost as much as $12-22 per square foot, all in. It isn’t just the money though. These floors are a labor of love that justifies the expense with their warmth, style, and versatility. Hardwood is a classic interior design choice that’s a beautiful addition to any home. All things considered, it’s no surprise that people want to protect them. This is where dogs can be an issue. Unfortunately, dogs and hardwood floors tend not to work well together. They have an uncanny ability to scratch and mark your brand new wooden flooring. How do you prevent man’s best friend from becoming your hardwood floor’s greatest enemy? Let us help! Keep reading to learn how to protect your floors from dog scratches.
Below are 7 ways to protect your hardwood floors from your hound. Keep your floor in pristine condition with the following tips:
- Keep Things Clean
- Wax Your Floorboards
- Keep Your Dog’s Nails Well-Clipped
- Take the Dog for Regular Walks
- Use a Carpet Runner
- Go Doggy Shoe Shopping
- Avoid Little Accidents
Dogs and Hardwood Floors: 7 Ways to Prevent Scratches
1. Keep Things Clean
Keeping your brand new, pristine floorboards clean will probably be a priority anyway. However, there’s added incentive to clean your floor when there’s a dog around. In this instance, clean boards are helpful beyond the aesthetics of your home. We all know how dogs shed their fur. Their hair seems to get everywhere, especially in warmer weather! They have an unparalleled ability to bring dirt into the home too. Cleaning this up can go a long way in protecting your hardwood flooring. A bit like sandpaper, the dirt and hair can collect and mark the floor when stepped upon. This is particularly evident in entranceways, and other places the dogs spend a lot of time.
2. Wax Your Floorboards
Waxing your floorboards is an essential preventative measure to employ. You know how surfers wax their boards to give them extra grip? Exactly the same idea applies here. It’s just on a floorboard this time…and for your dogs. There is all manner of reasons you hounds might make a dash for it in your home. To bark at the postman, greet their master, to catch the cat…the list goes on. On un-waxed, slippery floors they’ll use their nails to give them extra traction. Your hardwood floor can take a beating whenever the dogs run, and try to stop
3. Keep Your Dog’s Nails Well-Clipped
Keeping your dog well-groomed, and clipping their nails, helps too. Longer nails mean a greater likelihood of scratches. Clipping them should be the first port of call for protecting your floors. You can go to the vet, or do it yourself at home. Sometimes leaving it to the professionals is the better bet though. Clipping a dog’s nails too short can cause it significant pain. An alternative would be to fit claw coverings to your dog’s claws. These ‘Soft Paws’ offer an effective way to protect your floorboards from gauges and scratches. An added benefit is their non-invasive, trauma-free nature.
4. Take the Dog for Regular Walks
Dog walking is a primary part of responsible dog ownership. It’s good for you, for the dog…and for your floorboards. Your hardwood floors benefit for two reasons. Firstly, a well walked dog, or a dog taken to a dog park often, has less energy to charge around the house causing chaos. Secondly, walking outdoors (especially on the harder ground, such as gravel) is a natural way to keep their nails shorter. They wear their nails down as they go. As we’ve already discussed, shorter nails mean less chance of problematic scratches at home.
5. Use a Carpet Runner
Every dog has their favorite parts of a house. Next to the front door, on the sofa, next to the window…wherever it is, dogs tend towards particular places and pathways through your home. It follows that your hardwood flooring is more likely to get damaged in places in particularly ‘high traffic’ areas then, you could consider putting down rugs, or carpets, to protect the boards. Your dog traverses the runner that way, instead of the floor itself.
6. Go Doggy Shoe Shopping
These days you can buy all manner of dog fashion accessories. A whole industry has grown up around it. Your dog can be the most fashionable canine in the country if you want it to. Little dog booties are one particular accessory you might be interested in. They’re little doggy shoes that fit over your pet’s paws. The material is generally soft and padded, which creates the perfect barrier between their claws and your floors.
7. Avoid Little Accidents
This tip doesn’t necessarily apply to scratch-avoidance. You might thank us for mentioning it though! Simply, for the sake of your hardwood floorboards, you should endeavor to keep them clear of dog urine. If an accident happens, clear it up as soon as you can. It doesn’t matter if the floors are sealed. The wee can get through the wood and hit the floor beneath. You can be left with discolored floorboards and the smell of urine to boot. Worst-case scenarios require the board to be replaced. However, for lighter stains, you could possibly get away with sanding it down and using bleach to clean, before refinishing the wood (here’s a handy guide to decide if your floorboards need replacing or refinishing). If ever there was an added incentive to house train your hound, this is surely it!
Time to Wrap Up
There you have it: 7 ways to keep a positive relationship between your dogs and hardwood floors! Anyone who has installed hardwood floors knows that they cost a pretty penny. Keeping them pristine and scratch free can become a priority. But scratches can be an inevitable part of dog ownership. Thankfully, there are things you can do to prevent dogs from scratching your floorboards. Keeping your boards clean, apply wax, clipping your dog’s nails, regularly walking the dog, using carpets in certain areas, buying dog booties, and avoiding ‘accidents’, can all help. Hopefully, this piece has provided all the information you need to keep your beautiful hardwood floors safe and scratch free! Are you wondering about getting hardwood floors fitted? We can help. Request a consultation today.