Can Dogs Really Damage Timber Floors?

Anyone with a dog wants them to feel like part of the family. Some are inside dogs although the outside ones venture inside every now and then (during storms etc.)

So what’s the problem with that?

If you have polished timber floors you need to be a little careful if you want to protect your investment.

Yeah…He Knows He Shouldn’t Be in Here!

The Damage Dogs Cause To Polished Timber Floors

Small dogs that scurry around the polished floors of your house will leave thousands of tiny indentations in the surface. It’s not just in the surface coating. It also indents the timber and is more noticeable in softer timbers such as pine flooring.

Larger dogs on the other hand tend to move more slowly. They don’t tend to extend their claws out to try and get some extra grip – except if they get overly excited!

Here Are Some Ways You Can Avoid Dogs Damaging Your Floors

  • After clipping their claws, round off the edges with a fingernail emery board or fine sandpaper.
  • Place a rug in the entry area on the inside of the front door. This is where they get the most excited when leaving or someone arrives.
  • Try to avoid letting them run inside and especially around corners in your home.

Low Sheen Finishes Are more Suitable For Inside Dogs

A low sheen finish is the best choice of  gloss level options for dogs and timber floors. Light reflection is not your friend when it comes to surface damage. The lower the sheen level of your floors, the more it hides the damage.

In contrast, full gloss finish, an inside dog and soft pine timber floors would be the worst combination.

Best Case Scenario For an Inside Dog Would Be:
  • A large slow moving dog.
  • A harder timber floor such as hardwood
  • A floor with a satin or low sheen finish applied
The Worst Case Scenario:
  • A small energetic dog.
  • A softer timber such as pine.
  • A high gloss finish applied

The level of gloss applied to your floors will vary the visibility of the damage sustained when viewed in natural reflected light. Full gloss finishes tend to reflect more light, or highlight the edges of any indentations in the surface of the floor. Lower sheen finishes reflect less light and so surface damage is slightly less visible.

Repairing Timber Floors Damaged By Dog Claws

The good news is that the damage can be reversed. The bad news is it will involve re-sanding your floors to remove the indentations left by the dog claws. As noted earlier, the timber surface will also indent along with the coating.

If the damage is only minor, that is, it is just isolated to the surface coating, then it will be a far less costly experience. We can perform a maintenance coat instead. This involves sanding the top coat only, which removes minor scratches and scuff marks. Following that we re-apply another top coat to fully restore the surface finish.

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