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Hardwood Floors and Pets: Tips for Maintaining a Pet-Friendly Home

Posted on January 30, 2024 by fivestarhw

Hardwood floors exude elegance and warmth, turning any house into a home. However, the harmonious coexistence of pets and hardwood floors requires thoughtful care and maintenance.

In this article, the flooring contractors at Five Start Hardwood Floor share essential tips on how to maintain hardwood floors in homes with pets, placing a particular emphasis on preventive measures, effective cleaning practices, and minor repairs.

Whether you’re a proud cat owner, a devoted dog enthusiast, or both, the following pet-friendly hardwood floor care tips will help you strike the perfect balance between a pet-friendly haven and a beautifully maintained hardwood floor.

Choosing the Right Hardwood

1. Opt for Hardwood Species Resistant to Scratches

When selecting hardwood flooring, choose a wood species known for its durability and resistance to scratches. Hardwoods like oak, hickory, and maple are excellent choices as they are less prone to visible wear and tear caused by pet claws. These hardwood species are not only visually appealing but also stand up well to the demands of a pet-friendly household.

2. Consider Engineered Hardwood

Engineered hardwood is a fantastic alternative for pet owners due to its stability and resistance to moisture. Comprising multiple layers of wood and topped with a hardwood veneer, this flooring option offers enhanced durability, making it less susceptible to the challenges posed by pets. The layered construction of engineered hardwood provides added strength, ensuring your floors remain resilient in the face of pet-related activities.

A furry brown kitten sitting on a wooden floor


Preventive Measures

1. Trim Pet Nails Regularly

One of the simplest yet most effective preventive measures is trimming your pet’s nails. Regular nail maintenance minimizes the risk of scratches and dents, preserving the integrity of your hardwood floors. Invest in high-quality pet nail clippers and make nail care a routine, preventing accidental damage while promoting the well-being of your furry companions.

2. Strategically Place Rugs and Mats

Protect high-traffic areas and places where your pets frequent the most by strategically placing rugs and mats. These provide a protective barrier against scratches and also serve as an easy-to-clean surface for pet-related messes. Choose rugs with a non-slip backing to ensure stability, creating cozy spaces for your pets while safeguarding your hardwood floors.

3. Use Furniture Pads

Attach felt or rubber pads to the bottom of furniture legs to prevent scratches caused by furniture movement. This small investment can significantly reduce the impact of daily activities on your hardwood floors. Furniture pads protect your flooring and make rearranging furniture a breeze, preventing potential damage during the process.

Cleaning Practices

1. Promptly Clean Spills

Accidents happen, and when they involve pets, it’s crucial to address them promptly. Pet urine and spilled water can seep into the wood and damage the finish. Use a soft cloth to blot spills immediately, preventing long-term damage. For added protection, consider applying a pet-friendly sealant to vulnerable areas to guard against moisture penetration.

2. Invest in Pet-Friendly Cleaning Products

Choose cleaning products specifically designed for hardwood floors and safe for pets. Harsh chemicals can damage the finish and pose health risks to your furry companions. Opt for mild hardwood floor cleaners and follow the recommended usage guidelines. Look for products that are free of toxins and safe for pets, ensuring a clean and healthy living environment for everyone in the household.

A furry cat sitting on a wooden floor


3. Regular Sweeping and Vacuuming

Establish a regular sweeping or vacuuming routine to remove dirt, pet hair, and debris from your hardwood floors. Use a soft-bristle broom or a vacuum with a hardwood floor attachment to avoid scratches. Regular cleaning not only preserves the appearance of your floors but also eliminates allergens and promotes a healthier indoor environment for both pets and humans.

4. Deep Clean Periodically

Schedule deep cleaning sessions to maintain the luster of your hardwood floors. Use a damp mop with a mild cleaning solution, ensuring that the mop is only slightly damp to prevent excess moisture from harming the wood. Consider incorporating a hardwood floor conditioner during deep cleaning to nourish the wood and restore its natural shine, enhancing the longevity of your flooring.

Minor Repairs

1. Address Scratches with Touch-Up Pens

Despite preventive measures, scratches may occur. For minor scratches, use a hardwood floor touch-up pen that matches the color of your flooring. This quick fix helps camouflage imperfections and maintains the overall appearance of your hardwood floors. Keep a touch-up pen handy to address any new scratches promptly, ensuring the continued beauty of your floors.

2. Wood Filler for Gouges

Deeper gouges can be addressed using wood filler. Apply the filler to the damaged area, let it dry, and then sand it down to create a smooth surface. Following this, refinishing the affected spot can restore the floor’s uniform appearance. Wood filler not only repairs damage but also reinforces the structural integrity of the flooring, preventing further issues in the affected area.

Wood Floor Refinishing

1. Know When to Refinish

Over time, even with the best care, hardwood floors may show signs of wear and tear. Knowing when to refinish is crucial to maintaining your floors’ longevity and aesthetic appeal. Signs such as deep scratches, discoloration, or a worn-out finish may indicate it’s time for wood floor refinishing. Regular assessments of your floors allow you to proactively plan refinishing projects, preventing extensive damage and preserving the timeless beauty of your hardwood.

2. Hire a Professional Flooring Contractor

Engaging the services of a reputable flooring contractor is essential for a successful wood floor refinishing project. A skilled professional will assess the condition of your floors, recommend the appropriate refinishing method, and execute the process with precision. Professional refinishing transforms the appearance of your hardwood floors and ensures that the job is done efficiently and effectively, minimizing downtime and inconvenience for your family and pets.

A person installing a wooden floor in a house


Maintaining the beauty of hardwood floors in a pet-friendly home requires a blend of careful choices, preventive actions, and timely maintenance.

For those looking to enhance the longevity and appeal of their hardwood floors, Five Star Hardwood Floor stands ready to provide expert services. As a trusted Seattle flooring contractors specializing in wood floor refinishing, we understand the unique challenges posed by pets and offer tailored solutions to meet your specific needs.

Our team is well-versed in the installation of engineered hardwood in Seattle, a resilient option ideal for pet-friendly homes. Get in touch with our team today!