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9 Tips for Maintaining Wood Floors with Pets

So many pet owners feel like they have to choose between their furry friends and the floor of their dream. It’s okay—we know you would pick Fido over our flooring every time, but what if we told you that you don’t have to?



Photo: Southern Oaks Flooring, Nashville, TN


Nashville hardwood floors aren’t just for pet-free homes! We know that you stress over puddles and scratches ruining your beautiful flooring, but there are many things you can do to protect it. Read on if you would like to learn more about the ways you can maintain your hardwood flooring while still loving on your four-legged friends.


1. Choose the Right Wood Species

When we discussed how to choose your dream wood flooring, we mentioned the importance of selecting the correct species. Since some woods are harder than others, you need to talk to your manufacturer to make sure you choose a flooring that is high on the Janka scale.


Pine, Black Walnut, and Black Cherry tend to be softer, so they are more prone to scratches. Hickory, White Oak, Hard Maple, and Brazilian Walnut are some of the harder options to resist damage.


2. Pick a Light Wood Color

As you move forward in selecting your hardwood floor, we recommend sticking with lighter colors. Even medium colors could work, but you should try to avoid anything on the dark side.


Why?


Scratches tend to blend into lighter colors better. Whereas dark colors often show every scratch. Not to mention, they make it easier to spot pet hair and dander.



Photo: Southern Oaks Flooring, Nashville, TN


3. Prevent Scratches with Shorter Nails

One of the best things you can do to maintain your floors is to maintain your pets. Scratches continue to be one of the biggest concerns many homeowners have. In particular, it is something that dog owners need to look out for since cats don’t walk with their claws out.


Dogs, especially big dogs that put a lot of weight on their paws, can leave your floor with deeper dents and scratches. The best way to avoid the problem is by keeping their nails trimmed to a suitable length. Not only will that help protect your floors, but it will also make it easier and more comfortable for them to walk on the hardwood.


4. Use Rugs in Vulnerable Areas

This tip might be an obvious one, but it’s crucial that you invest in rugs in some of the high-traffic areas of your home. While we love to show off wood flooring as much as the next person, we also see the value in protecting it with some stylish rugs!


Consider putting an area rug in the rooms where you and your pets spend the most time. Runners in your hallway can also help reduce the risk of scratches anytime your pets get the “zoomies.”


5. Clean up Accidents Quickly

No matter how well you potty train your beloved dog or cat, accidents can happen. Fortunately, they aren’t too damaging if you act quickly. Your waterproof coating should also help, but it can damage your finish and soak into the wood if you leave the puddle for too long. This can leave you with an unsightly spot, and worse, it can cause a lingering odor.


Fortunately, you aren’t stuck with the damage if you invested in solid hardwood floors. You can restore them to their beautiful, original condition with hardwood refinishing. Nashville residents can count on our professionals to help them any time their pets damage their wood floors.


6. Add Protection Around Water Bowls

In addition to potty training mishaps, you need to watch out for damage around water bowls. If you’re a dog owner, you’re no stranger to the messy ways your pet drinks water. The puddles and splashes can damage your floors as well. Therefore, we suggest that you put a mat down around any water dishes.


Photo: Southern Oaks Flooring, Nashville, TN


7. Choose Litter Box Location Carefully

If you own a cat, you have an extra step to take care of your floor. Much like with the previous tips, you should choose your litter box location carefully to avoid any damage from spills or accidents. If you can, we suggest placing it in a room with tile. Otherwise, you can add a protective rubber mat around the litter box as well.


8. Protect Your Floors with the Right Cleaning Solutions

Please do not mop your hardwood floors with water, Orange Glo, or furniture polish. Just say no! Bona is a trusted brand that makes a great hardwood floor cleaner for floors finished with polyurethane. If your hardwood floors are finished with Rubio Monocoat or a similiar hardwax oil, use the brand's recommended cleaner.


9. Clean Floors Regularly

Lastly, but most importantly, you need to clean your floors regularly. Pets tend to track in mud and other debris. Walking on said debris or letting the mud soak into your floors can cause more damage. We recommend sweeping your floors a few times a week.


Learn About How You Can Protect Your Hardwood Floors from Pets

Whether you want to install new floors or need to refinish your floors after pet damage, Southern Oaks Flooring is here to help! We are happy to provide you with the perfect flooring for you and your family. You can contact our experts for an in-home consultation, or you can call to learn more about how to protect your floors from your beloved furry friends.