Floors Direct North – Education Centre

Pets And Your Solid/Engineered Hardwood Floor

Minimizing Your Risk

Having hardwood floors makes cleaning up generally easier when you have pets – but all hardwood flooring can show scratches and indents and this can be worse if you are a pet owner. The question we get asked most is “how do we minimize the risk?”

Choice of wood

The choice of wood is very important and with this in mind it is advisable to look for the following when buying a hardwood/engineered hardwood.

    • If you like the classic look (semi-gloss/smooth look) choose a wood with pronounced grain such as oak or ash. Hiding scratches in grain is easy but almost impossible in maples and birches. Hickory is also a good choice. 
    • Distressed woods are here to stay like it or not, and this style takes the worry out of most floors. It is definitely the way to go especially if you have larger pets with claws. There are three looks to distressed wood and the look is now very “contemporary and stylish”. The three looks are wire-brushed, hand-scraped and distressed. Some woods have one look, some two and some a combination of all three.
      • Wire brushed is one of the best options available. They literally take the equivalent of a wire brush and brush out all the soft grain. This texture makes it very easy to hide scratches and if you go for a character grade (knots and variation), that will help too.
      • Woods with a distressed, hand-scraped look are very effective also and the distressing helps hide a multitude of sins including scratching and dents.
    • Last but not least, choose a wood with a matte or satin finish. The higher the gloss level the more scratches will show.


Here are some tips to help ease the wear of your flooring:


  • Avoid water and be prepared to clean up any liquid spills efficiently and quickly.
  • Trim pets nails regularly. This will help prevent surface scratches.
  • Designate ‘pet free’ zones.
  • Use area rugs and mats in rooms where your pet is likely to be. These can always be rolled up when you get visitors.
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