The Best Hardwood Flooring for People with Pets

Written by gregg miller
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The Best Hardwood Flooring for People with Pets
Larger pets require a more dense species of wood. (Jupiterimages/Creatas/Getty Images)

Most people know that wood flooring is a durable product that provides years of trouble-free usage while requiring minimal maintenance. It's important to note, however, that not all wood floors are the same. Each has its own characteristics that may make them more or less suitable for specific types of pets. Some varieties are more dense and handle heavy traffic better than others. Other species are moisture resistant and recommended for high humidity areas or those where liquid spills or pet urine may occur. Selecting the right type of hardwood flooring for your pet will prevent damage and extend the life of your flooring.

Pet-stain resistant varieties.

Regardless of training, pet stains can and do occur. Although this problem is more prevalent with cats, dogs and other animals also have accidents. For this situation, oily woods like teak, Australian Cypress, and Cocobolo are good choices. There are many other exotic woods from South America and Africa that also have an oily composition. These varieties give homeowners and builders a large pool to choose from.

Floors for larger pets

Large animals can not only scratch wood flooring, but their weight, combined with sharp nails, can even puncture finish and dent the wood. For this type of pet, a denser variety of wood will give you more protection. Species like maple, Brazilian cherry, or hickory, will give you a strong and durable surface that resists the effects of large pets.

Avoid bevels and V-grooved flooring.

Many flooring types come with a microgroove around the edges and this makes them a poor choice for pet owners. Some manufacturers even produce flooring with a large V-groove as seep as one-eighth to one quarter inch. Notorious dust collectors, these grooves and bevels are even worse news for pet owners. They collect fur that is difficult to remove and if a pet urinates on the surface, it can travel under the flooring through the bevel. Anything other than square edged flooring is a bad idea for pets.

Laminate and Engineered flooring

While not actually hardwood, laminate and engineered flooring types have become synonymous with it. If you are certain that you will never have a urine issue, they may serve your flooring needs. In fact, for large pets, laminate is an excellent surface because it is more like Formica than wood and very tolerant of large animals. The downside is that both types of flooring are subject to severe delamination if they get wet. This can lead to structural failure and costly repairs.

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