If you have pets, choosing the right floor is a really important part of your interior planning process.  While many people suggest that wood flooring isn’t ideal if you have four-legged friends in your home, there is no reason why you shouldn’t be able to make wood flooring work for you and your pets alike.  Here are our Top Three Tips for choosing the right flooring for pets:

Invest in hardwood flooring, not softwood because your initial investment will pay off longer term.  More hard wearing than softwood, hardwood will stand up well to high traffic from both pets and humans.  Wood species such as walnut, ipe or maple are ideal choices.

Opt for solid wood, not engineered wood.  Because pets’ claws are likely to cause scratching to your floor, it’s important to have the peace of mind of knowing you can sand your floor if you need to.  Solid wood flooring will withstand significantly more sanding in its lifetime than engineered wood flooring.

Choose a hardwearing finish for your floor.  When it comes to pets, both oiled and lacquered finishes have their pros and cons.  Lacquered will show scratches more readily than oiled, but will stand up generally to more wear and tear.  Oiled solid flooring in a home that has pets will probably need to be recoated more frequently than in a home which doesn’t have pets, but is likely to look less tired in-between times.

So, once you have made your selection of species of solid hardwood flooring with either a lacquered or oiled finish, it’s time to look at what else you can do help keep your floor looking great longer:

Keep your pet’s claws trimmed. Long, scratchy claws can play havoc with wooden floors, especially if your dog or cat is prone to running about vigorously!  For this reason, it’s important to try to keep your pet’s claws well trimmed so they don’t damage your floor.

Dry your pet when they come in from the wet. Unlike (most) human beings, pets tend not to wipe their feet before coming into the home, no matter how many doormats you provide! Because of this, it’s really important to make sure you rub down your pet when they come in from outside.  In particular, the mixture of dirt, grime and moisture is bad news for your floor, so do make sure you’re vigilant in your efforts to dry off your pet before they come into your home.

Mop up any accidents promptly. Although older pets are less likely to have little accidents, if they do occur, or if you have a puppy or a kitten, do make sure you mop up any urine as quickly as you can because urine can cause deep staining which can be difficult to remove.  Effectively, it’s the ammonia in urine that causes the wood to discolour and look unsightly.  If you have urine-stained flooring you’ll find out how deal with it here.