3 Ways to Reduce Dog Scratches on an Engineered Wood Floor

If you want to install an engineered wooden floor in your home and you have a dog, then you might worry that your pet's claws will affect the flooring. You can see your dog careering across a smooth wood surface, leaving scratches behind it as it runs along and comes to a halt.

While you may not be able to mitigate against the odd scratch here and there, you can install wooden flooring even if you have a dog and keep the floor in good shape. However, to do this, you have to make some key decisions. What are they?

1. Go for a Harder Wood

The hardness of wood varies according to the type of wood you use. Some woods are softer than others; they are more likely to get scratched. However, harder woods typically withstand the effects of dog claws more effectively.

So, look for flooring that is made from a harder wood like oak. Softer woods, like walnut, won't look so good after your dog has run around on them for a few years.

2. Choose an Oiled Finish

You can choose different finishes for wood floors. While some people like a deeply lacquered look, it may be better to go for an oiled finish if you have a dog.

A lacquer sealant sits on top of the flooring like multiple coats of nail polish. Oiling seeps into the wood itself. If your dog scratches lacquer, then it scrapes away some of the surface sealant. To restore this kind of damage and to get an even finish again, you would have to strip back and reseal the whole floor.

Scratches aren't always as visible on oiled floors because they don't have these extra surface layers. Plus, you can treat individual scratches on an oiled floor more easily. You simply sand the damaged area to remove the scratch and then oil it again. It won't look patchy after a repair.

3. Keep Your Dog's Claws Short

As well as choosing your flooring and its finish carefully, the care of your pet also has a part to play here. If you allow your dog's claws to grow long, then they'll scratch floor surfaces more. However, if you clip your dog's claws regularly to keep them short and blunt, then you'll reduce scratch frequency and depth.

Bear in mind that you can buy wood floors with a scratch-resistant coating which may also be useful. For example, flooring like Preference engineered flooring comes with this feature. To find out more, talk to your flooring supplier.