It is fair to say that hardwood flooring can be damaged, but then so can any flooring, such as carpets or tiles. We understand that people have a lot of concerns surrounding pets on the hardwood flooring and whether they should even bother to install it in case pets ruin it.
Basically, as long as you are aware of any potential issues and follow some simple guidelines, there is no reason at all why hardwood flooring cannot cope with your dogs and cats, and even house rabbits.
Even hardwood floors without pets living at the property will need maintenance, and Liverpool floor sanding services recommend that every 5 to 10 years, hardwood floors are sanded and resealed keep them looking beautiful. In the meantime, here are a few simple ways you can prevent any damage from your furry friends.
Maintain Their Nails
One of the primary causes of scratching on hardwood floors is your pet’s nails. They are naturally very strong and can cause damage as your pet moves around the house. Cats are slightly different because they can retract their nails, so generally, when they’re walking, they keep their nails away. However, you should monitor to make sure they haven’t decided that a specific area of flooring makes a good scratching post.
Clicking Nails is a Sign
Dogs have the potential to do more damage because they cannot retract their claws, and heavier breeds will put more weight on the surface of the floor. However, a good rule of thumb is if you can hear their nails clicking on the surface as they walk, it’s time to give them a quick trim.
Cover High Traffic Areas
It also makes sense to consider placing rugs or runners in areas that have high traffic. This is not just to protect the hardwood floor from your pets but from everyone living in the house. For example, just inside the front door, people will be stepping in with dirt and debris from the streets on the bottom of their shoes, and if it’s been raining, they will also be wet, as will your pet’s feet. Having a rug just there helps mop off some of this potential dirt and grime and helps keep the floor in better condition.
Area Rugs Can Help
Area rugs also help give animals grip as they walk across the room; if you’ve ever seen a dog trying to walk on a very smooth surface, you will notice that it tends to scrabble, and this scrambling action can scratch the hardwood flooring.
Cats are naturally more agile and probably won’t struggle as much as dogs to walk on hard floor surfaces. By placing a rug down, you give them a better surface to walk on, meaning there is less chance of them scrambling and doing any damage with their claws. Rugs also add to the warmth of the room, keeping everyone’s feet warm in winter.
Keep Floors Dry
Again, this tip does not just apply to people who have hardwood floors and pets. Water is the enemy of hardwood floors, and this applies to spilt coffee or an accidental toileting accident. Urine is naturally acidic, and this will damage the floor if you do not shift it quickly.
The most important thing to remember with hardwood floors is clean up any spills as quickly as possible. If they are left wet, the top layer of the floor is prone to damage and decomposition. If this happens, you will be left with a dark patch on the floor. This is not great, but our wood floor varnishing Liverpool team would be able to fix it for you.
New puppies are adorable, but it’s unlikely that they come with toilet streaming. This is a process that you will have to go through, and during this period, you need to take extra care of your hardwood floor. You may not see every accident happen, so checking the room regularly for any wet patches is a good idea.
If possible, keep them out of the room with hardwood floors until they have a good understanding of asking to go out for the toilet, and if that’s not possible, use plastic-backed puppy pads to make sure that any moisture does not soak through to the wooden floor below.
Clean Up Properly
As well as ensuring that any Liquid spills are cleaned up quickly. It’s also important that they are cleaned up correctly. It’s best to use warm water with a little vinegar and never anything harsh like ammonia. Remember not to over-wet the area, as the purpose is to dry out the wood to prevent damage.
If the spill or toileting accident is on the rug, you need to get this lifted and removed as quickly as possible and clean up anything that may have gone through the rug onto the hard floor. Don’t assume the rug will absorb everything and protect the floor, as you could be in for a nasty surprise when you finally lift the rug and discover some staining or damage.
Harder Wood is the Best
Obviously, if your flooring is already in place, you just need to do the best you can to take care of it, no matter what type of wood it is. However, if you are looking at having a new wood floor put down and have pets at home, the choice of wood is critical. As you can imagine, softwood is more prone to damage when things are dropped on it, and it will scratch more easily.
Picking a harder wood ensures that you start with the toughest race possible. After that, it comes down to ensuring a good finish on the wood with a couple of layers of varnish or lacquer to help protect it. Once your floor has been installed, taking good care of it and regularly maintaining it is the best way to keep it looking fabulous for many years to come.