We love our fur children, but more often than not the damage they can cause to timber flooring and floor coatings can be enough to send our four legged friends to the naughty corner!
We are often asked how to stop pets from damaging timber floors and coatings. Unfortunately, you cannot stop a pet from completely damaging your timber floors or floor coatings, but you can minimise the damage a pet can cause.
Whilst the most effective way to ensure your floors stay in pristine condition is by keeping your pet outside, often this is not an option for most pet owners. Here are the most common questions we are asked:
Cleaning – How often do you need to clean your floor with a pet?
Regularly sweep, vacuum and mop your floors. This will pick up any stray dog hairs, dirt and messy spills that your pet may have left behind.
Paws and Claws – What damage can this do to my floor?
Keep your pet’s nails trimmed. If you are having trouble clipping your pet’s nails – regular walks on concrete will help blunt the dog’s nails, or call a pet grooming service to help. Unfortunately, indentations can also occur from a pet’s paws.
Keep mats at doorways where pets enter. This will help trap the dirt coming from outside into the home and minimise scuffs and scratches to your floors. (This is helpful for humans too!).
Pet Activity – My pet likes to play with his toys in the house.
Keep your pet’s toys in a room that can withstand play. If you do not have an option to place a pet’s toys in a room that has tiling for example, place durable/hard wearing plastic mats over your timber floor to help withstand the roughhousing a pet can bring to your timber flooring. Remember the more active and size of your pet, the potential for more damage to your timber floor and coating.
Food and Water- My pet’s bowls are inside the home.
Place your pets water and food bowls away from timber flooring. A better option would be to use a laundry with tiling. If you must place food and water on timber floors, place a mat underneath the bowls to catch any excess spills and messes.
Pet Uh Oh’s – What happens to my timber floor if there is urine?
Clean all urine ASAP! Pet urine can leave dark stains on timber floors and a permanent urine smell if not cleaned up. left to soak into the floor boards and underlay, pet urine smell will intensify. NO amount of cleaning and window opening will help solve that problem. Urine is alkaline in nature and can react with the tannins in the timber – left unchecked, the only two solutions you may have to fix urine stained timber floor are costly. A complete re-sand (sometimes this solution may not suffice if the penetration is to deep) or a brand new floor.
So what are your flooring and coating options when you have a pet?
Generally speaking, pets are not included as part of flooring warranties, whether it is a floor coating or installation of new timber floors. You can minimise damage by choosing to install solid hardwood flooring such as Blackbutt, Spotted Gum and Jarrah. These types of timbers have higher Janka ratings making them a better option for pet owners. Janka ratings are used to determine whether a species is suitable for use as flooring. Ratings above 8 provide better resistance to indentation and wear. When selecting a timber – try to pick a timber that will hide scratches better from pets. Timbers that have stronger grains will help mask appearances of scratches. Lighter colour timber will also show fewer scratches than darker colour species.
It is important to understand no floor coating on the market will ever stop a pet causing scratches or scuffs to your timber coating. To help reduce the appearance of scuffing a good polyurethane coating such as Polycure’s DURAPOL 1014 Low Sheen or DURAPOL 1013 Super Satin Low Gloss Coatings are an ideal option as they are highly abrasion resistant and durable floor coating that will help minimise surface scuffs caused by your pet. Choosing lower gloss coatings will not only help mask scratches and scuffs, they will also help to hide any pet damage better than high gloss coatings.
If your floor has been badly damaged by your pet, you may have to re-sand, re-stain and reseal, especially if the damage spans a large surface area. For minor scuff marks, you can use a timber wood filler or putty to help repair minor scratches or defects.