How to prevent furry friends from damaging wooden floors

PET LOVE: Keep your pets and floors happy with these tips (Photo by Getty)

For many homeowners, the dream of having beautiful hardwood floors is unachievable because of their furry loved ones.

Luckily, preventing floor damage from pets isn’t as difficult as it sounds. You can enjoy both your pets and your wooden floors without either side feeling neglected.

InYourArea spoke to technical expert Jon Ashbrook and product development manager at luxury flooring specialists Ted Todd, who shared simple steps you can take to keep your floor looking pristine for years to come.

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Choose durable over stylish
The most pet-friendly flooring is made from engineered wood because it provides more durability and is easier to maintain. It has a longer life than laminate and can be sanded to remove scuffs and scratches from pets and floor traffic.

This type of flooring also allows for underfloor heating, which could “create a comfortable haven for pets, especially those with arthritis,” Jon explained. He added, “A satin finish is a popular, low-maintenance choice for pet-friendly homes because it’s more resistant to spills and scratches from pets.”

Add a rug in more delicate areas
To avoid damage in the first place, try adding mats and beds where animals spend most of their time to avoid contact with the ground. Secure runners and mats with a non-slip underlay so the mat itself doesn’t wear down the hardwood finish by sliding back and forth.

You can also invest in absorbent mats for entryways and mudrooms, but keep in mind that they don’t come cheap.

Keep them neat
It is inevitable to bring dirt and gravel while walking outside, especially as we enter the wet winter months. But you can reduce damage to your floors by keeping your pet’s nails and paws well maintained.

Keep your pets well cared for to avoid damage (Photo by Getty)

Scratches and moisture retention, both of which can be caused by your pet’s paws, are two of the most common causes of damage to wood floors. “It is recommended that you trim your pet’s nails once or twice a month. Be careful of cats, especially since they like to deliberately scratch at the texture of the floor,” Jon said.

Taking your pet for regular walks to stave off pent-up energy and making sure to wipe down wet paws upon entering the house can also help keep your floors spotless.

Clean up spills quickly
Engineered wood is low maintenance, and while this flooring is less susceptible to moisture damage, that doesn’t mean it can withstand buckets of water or spills. This is especially true in the case of pet urine.

The acid in the urine can damage the wood if it sits too long. Luckily, if you wipe it off right away, that’s not a problem. “Use a towel or rag to quickly absorb most of the liquid, then apply varnish to prevent further spills from staining the floor,” Jon advised.

Avoid Harsh Chemicals
Try to avoid general detergents and cleaning solutions containing harmful chemicals, as they can damage wooden floors. “The best and safest way to clean up spills is with a microfiber mop head. You can use it wet or dry and it will work great,” Jon said.

To clean the mop itself, the head can be put in the washing machine with a mild detergent.

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