Becky H
Becky H
  • Hometalker
  • Tampa, FL
Asked on Mar 17, 2012

We are currently remodeling our kitchen. When it is finished the next major project we are considering is flooring.

Becky HDesigns by BSBElisa S
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Answered

We both like wood floors, and over the years, I've read up on various types of wood. No matter who sells the wood, it seems no one will recommend their product when you've a large dog. Apparently, dog toe nails leave scratches in the wood, and no one has been willing to recommend wood flooring which will hold up to dogs' toe nails.
Does anyone have any knowledge of wood flooring that will tolerate this? Or, are we stuck with tile, stone or carpet as long as we are dog lovers??
38 answers
  • 3po3
    on Mar 17, 2012

    There are definitely some hard hardwood floors, but I think your best bet is tile or stone - both for the dogs and the potential water damage.

  • Becky H
    on Mar 17, 2012

    I'm sorry, I should have been clearer about the flooring. We are considering replacing the tile in the bedrooms, hallway, foyer, family room, kitchen and butler's pantry. We currently have stone in the formal dining room and living room, with slate flooring in one bathroom and travertine in the other. I would like to get rid of the wall to wall carpet and tile, unifying the rooms with wood flooring. Otherwise, I may as well keep the tile floors.

  • KMS Woodworks
    on Mar 17, 2012

    Becky Keep the tile in the "wet areas" or install new tile in all of those areas that "matches" Slate due to its rough texture is a real bugger to keep clean. As far as wood types go Jatoba is one of my favorites. It holds up very well to dog nails...we have dogs and lots of wood. The type of finish will play a big role in how the flooring "looks". Most floors these days are "surface" finished and this top coat provides the protection. A penetrating oil and wax type finish allows the woods natural "strength" to provide the protection. Here harder denser woods rock. Check out this article I wrote on floor finishes. http://www.networx.com/article/exotic-wood-floor-finishes-you-havent-s You will also want to familiarize your self with the Janka rating system. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Janka_hardness_test Jatoba is up there at 2350...the wood in my bedroom...in our living room we have Bolivian rosewood at 3800 or so..

  • Jody F
    on Mar 18, 2012

    I would be cautious about what TYPE of tile you install. Travertine, for example, has a tendency to be somewhat fragile and stains.

  • Norma C
    on Mar 18, 2012

    Big dog and slippery tiles is cause for broken hip and leg bones in the dog...

  • Jan P
    on Mar 18, 2012

    I have wood laminate and no dog nail problems. The dog's not wild about it because he kind of skitters and can't come to a stop, though! He prefers the tile or the throw rugs.

  • Kat T
    on Mar 18, 2012

    Go with a Tarklett floor in the wood floor design. It is great for dogs.

  • Teresa A
    on Mar 18, 2012

    Becky Just make sure you cut your dogs nails regularly (at least twice a month) Area rugs in high dog traffic areas also help. slick tile and stone are high risk for hip and shoulder injuries. Also make sure you teach your dog walking is the only speed in the house.

  • Norma B
    on Mar 18, 2012

    i myself prefer carpet or something so that the larger dogs wont slip on and possibly break bones. with having a newfie and the mass of her body i have rugs and carpet thru out house. but thats just myself. i have linolium kitchen abd bathrooms but main floors have carpet. just my choice. after all all my 6 dogs are my kids and there comfort is important right. chose what you think is best for your babies

  • Pam C
    on Mar 18, 2012

    How about porcelain that looks like wood?

  • Rebecca D
    on Mar 18, 2012

    Is Pergo off your radar? I like wood floors as well, but we recently moved into a house with Pergo and it stands up great to our one year old spastic/high energy/cat chasing dog. In our split ranch we have wood stairs leading from the entrance to the main floor and to the basement and although they weren't in top notch condition when we moved in, with each passing month they look worse. I can't wait to rip them out and put in something more durable. Having just the "look,"of wood and durability suits us for right now.

  • Dianne J
    on Mar 18, 2012

    I have a large dog....75 lbs. I have ceramic tile, which I don't recommend. Porceline tile is non-porous and cleans up well with a sealer...that is extra precaution. I have wood floors in the bedrooms and there are slight scratches if you get down on the floor and really look. I have pergo on the downstairs floor which does not hold up to any "leaks" and I have some damage already. The main thing is to use quality products, in my opinion! Hope this helps.

  • Brenda R
    on Mar 18, 2012

    We have Great Danes and Mastiffs.... Giant Dogs. We have hardwood floors. Not sure what kind of wood it is... it's a light colored wood. They can scratch up the floors but we've found that if you lay down decorative rugs in the high traffic areas it's fine. Any floor that doesn't have texture to provide some traction should have at least some scatter rugs around so they don't slip.

  • K K
    on Mar 18, 2012

    I have 1 large and 6 small dogs. had wood in the last house & liked it fine. with this house (3 years now) I went with acid washed concrete (the foundation was in good shape & worked fine. I love, love, love my concrete!

  • JILL L
    on Mar 18, 2012

    I have 3 Jack Russell terriers and bamboo floor throughout....incl kitchen and baths.

  • Kim L
    on Mar 18, 2012

    I have wood laminate thru kitchen, family room and hallway and NO Scratches from the dogs. I have a puppy and it is very good for cleaning up his little mistakes as well. I consider this floor pretty much impervious as far as dogs go. Unlike a real hardwood floor that does get scratched up. So I have the hardwood look.......but no scratches. The only thing I do not like is it slippery for them to play on. I take them outside or to my big carpetted bedroom for some good play time. I have Dachshunds by the way.....hope this helps.

  • Cheryl C
    on Mar 18, 2012

    just need to use 4 minimum layers of polyurethane on the wood. tests what i have on my 100 year old wood floors

  • Mary E
    on Mar 18, 2012

    look at home depot's trafficmaster allure ultra. it's vinyl, looks like wood, is waterproof, and you can install it yourself. dog lover friends swear by it.

  • Becky H
    on Mar 18, 2012

    Thank all of you for the benefit of your experiences. We have tile in the common/high traffic areas now, and I was hoping to learn some specific wood would hold up to dog traffic, as I would enjoy having the wood throughout the home to compliment the stone flooring we already have, and unify the rest of the home w/the same flooring. You've given me plenty to consider, and I thank you.

  • Dana T
    on Mar 18, 2012

    My answer as a vet tech: Slick floors such as tile, slate, and even hardwood floors can be dangerous and annoying for very active dogs. If you have a large dog such as a lab, pointer, retriever, border collie, etc then you might notice them often "spinning their wheels" because they can't get traction. St. Bernards, mastiffs, great danes - truly giant breed dogs, can be a little less active and slow moving about the house. As your dogs age to seniors, you also need to consider the breed's predisposition to hip displasia and arthritis. It will be very hard to the dogs to stand up from laying or sitting positions on very slick floors. Regular nail trims will get you a long way, but can end up costing if you are not able to do yourself at home. There are products on the market that are plastic caps that you glue to the dog's nails. They are expensive, but will save your floors. If running and playing are the cause of the problem, you might need to start establishing some ground rules for movement about the house: no balls, walking only, no rough housing. My answer as a dog owner with hardwood floors: I have a Pointer and English Setter who are both indoor dogs - very high energy large breeds. All of the floor in my house is linoleum or original 1950's wood floors (oak and pine). Frankly, they have scratched the $hit out of the wood floors. We refinished the downstairs oak floors slightly over a year ago. There is no changes in color or very deep grooves, but with the right light the scratches are plain as day - all within a year. Personally, I don't really care. I would much rather have my dogs than a show home. If we have to refinish the floors again someday, then so be it. If we have to put carpet back down, that's fine. Either way - the floor is changing, not the dogs :) I am giving consideration to concrete down the road. It can be stamped to look like rustic reclaimed hardwood floors. Concrete actually helps keep nails wore down! We have also done a lot of obedience training and have some rules about play in the house.

  • Kelly S
    on Mar 18, 2012

    We used BellaWood prefinished hardwood in ash from Lumber Liquidators for our entire downstairs 10 years ago. We have a 13 yr old shephard/ husky. Yea there are some scratches but you'll get the same from kids. Plus it can be refinished because it is solid wood. We just have runners and area rugs to help her traction. Arthritic hips tend to give her the Bambi on ice look when she's in a hurry.

  • Helen C
    on Mar 18, 2012

    Go with the wood but do not use polyurethane or anything like it. When it gets scratched it will always show. Use camuba wax and tung oil. The floor will still scrstch but a quick going over with a little wax and unless the scratches are deep you shouldn't see them if they are deep it becomes part of the ambience of the floor.

  • Bonnie
    on Mar 18, 2012

    I am a carpet cleaner and hard surface refinisher by trade..... Hardwood works fine with dogs, just make sure it is finished using several coats of polyurethane and done by a woodworker professional. Do NOT purchase pre-finished wood (which is also a polyurethane finish, but a very thin one coat of finish is sprayed on at the manufacturer....this is not enough protection!) You need to also make sure the wood is a hardwood, not a softwood like pine. (Pine scratches and dents easily) I have Australian Shepherds, Huskeys, a Cocker Spaniel, cats, and plenty of shoe traffic; my floors still look great after 20 years. One good thing about true hardwood, if or when they get scruffy looking they can be sanded and refinished to look brand new again. My aunt had pecan hardwood flooring for 45 years before it was refinished and it looks brand new again. She always had multiple dogs and cats running through her house. I did have Pergo installed in our family room and sad to say, I hate it. It is too plasticky feeling, and while it does resist scratches from the dogs, the slightest pebble underfoot will scratch. The corners of the strips curl, and it does not hold up to leaks or spills at all. Worst mistake we've made was putting in the laminate. I would go with vinyl flooring before doing laminate again. There is some beautiful wood look vinyl out there! Stained and sealed concrete is also another good option that is extremely durable and looks very nice finished. It however is cold to the feet. But slippers, and area carpets work great! (Easy to clean or replace if they get 'doggy'. (In my opinion.) Hope this helps.

  • Julie J
    on Mar 18, 2012

    I have 4 German Shephard Dogs in the house. I LOVE my porcilane tile floors! I have them in my kitchen/dining rm & sunroom. I also have the wood look porcilane tiles in a large area. They clean up great and don't show dirt. I would recomend a nice slate type texture as that will not be slippery for them. All real wood floors will get scratches or what I call denting from the claws grabing in for quick speed. The hardest woods would be the only way to go if you want wood.

  • Emily C
    on Mar 18, 2012

    Just your luck that the "distressed" look in wood flooring is in right now. Some people pay a lot of money to have their wood floors scratched on purpose. If you are not into that look, I highly recommend Pergo floors. They look and feel just like wood, but are much sturdier

  • Pat S
    on Mar 18, 2012

    My sister had to pull up all carpets because of allergies and has had hard wood floors in all rooms including kitchen and bath is tile. She has never been without a minimum of 2 dogs but currently 4 boxers and a yorkie. She's said she would never go back; so much easier to clean.

  • Charles L
    on Mar 18, 2012

    I like bamboo flooring because of its toughness and it lesser impact on old growth forest. I think you'll like to look as well.

  • KMS Woodworks
    on Mar 18, 2012

    Charles L...you should re-think bamboo as a green alternative...It has tons more embodied energy than the manufacture and transport of concrete does for only its transport. The clear cutting of diverse tropical ecosystems to grow mono-typic plantations of bamboo...are another big down side. http://www.oriental-bamboo.co.za/reference/embodied_energy_considerations_in_existing_leed_credits.pdf

  • Pensacola Accents
    on Mar 19, 2012

    I have been in the carpet/flooring business for 25 years and would recommend commercial grade rubber squares that snap together...child care centers use this, big time OR commercial carpet squares for the same reason. If this look offends you, the acid washed concrete, sealed with 3-4 coats of poly with the occasional area rug is what I personally have used. The best bet is to keep the dogs nails trimmed because slip and falls can be tragic!

  • Lynn M
    on Mar 19, 2012

    I understand completely - I have thought of getting a dog and have hardwood thoughout the house and have seen problems arise on hardwood floors of ppl with dogs. I guess it's best to keep dog's nails clipped and put area rugs where ever possible. I am not changing the floors throughout my house but love dogs.

  • Becky H
    on Mar 19, 2012

    Lynn I agree; if there's to be a sacrifice, I will sacrifice the flooring I want for the company of my dog!

  • Carol H
    on Mar 19, 2012

    I know lots and lots of people who have hardwood floors and have a dog. I know people who have dogs and have carpeting and regret it .

  • Kristin C
    on Mar 19, 2012

    Ya, I have found tile & wood hard on our German Shepard pups too (travertine, distressed wood, and in out new place, laminate). This seem to be esp true if your dog is big (smaller dogs seems to have an easier time). Oddly the cats love sliding across it though :) Have you looked into cork? Its not wood, but its got an organic look and is a green product. Cleans well, yet is a grippy material and to boot good on your feet too!

  • KMS Woodworks
    on Mar 19, 2012

    Cork floors and dogs toe nail = not a good fit. Cork floors are soft and squishy...I had a client who installed cork his big dog left many scratches in it.

  • Becky H
    on Mar 20, 2012

    Thank you KMS; I had heard the same.

  • Elisa S
    on Apr 12, 2012

    If you do really want hardwoods, perhaps a medium to light stain, and a pre-distressed variety? Or consider finishing the wood after it's been laid, so extra coats of poly can be applied. We actually went with a commerical-grade laminate (still cheaper than hardwoods!) and so far so good! It is not impermeable to scratches (I dropped a slate coaster and made a little dent.. sadface) but the dogs and cat don't seem to leave any marks at all.

  • Designs by BSB
    on Apr 13, 2012

    Great advice from soo many here! Id like to throw in attention to the logistics of design! A project a measured today was a perfect example (that may or may not shed light to yours?!) They have hardwoods in the adjoining (open floor plan) room and were thinking to put tile in the kitchen. With the new cabinet design, it will make the rooms even feel more connected, so I encouraged wood throughout. Changing materials, changing finishes, etc. Divides spaces making them feel independent and smaller. If you want rooms to easily flow from one to the next .. keep like materials/colors. Everything will feel larger than it is .. and flow .. seamlessly.

  • Becky H
    on Apr 13, 2012

    This is precisely my flooring goal. I will retain the travertine in the living and dining room, plus the stone floors in the bathrooms, but wish to unify the rest of the rooms with like flooring.

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