How to prevent furry friends from damaging wooden floors
With 652,000 #hardwoodfloors hashtags on Instagram alone, they are a trending, timeless design choice that can prove tricky to look after – especially with pets. To give homeowners a helping hand, interior experts have searched to find which wooden flooring is best and how to care for it in consideration to the family pet.
Technical expert Jon Ashbrook, head of product development at luxury wood flooring specialists Ted Todd has given his expertise and the do’s and don’ts on caring for wooden floors.
Choose easy maintenance from day one by selecting a durable floor with the right finish
The most pet friendly flooring is made from engineered wood as this offers more durability and is easier to maintain to prevent any damage. This type of flooring also allows underfloor heating which could create a comfortable haven for pets especially those that suffer from arthritis. To give engineered wood, the best protection choose the right finish.
Expert Jon says “Oils will give the floor a much darker look, whereas water-based finishes such as satin lacquer gives a more medium to dark tone. A satin finish is also a popular and low maintenance choice as its more resistant to splashes and scratches caused by pets. You’ll be able to add this to your floor by purchasing a care kit which will have the tools you need. With the right care system, maintaining wooden floors is effortless, ensuring you get the most longevity from the wood.”
Install longer lasting flooring
Engineered wood is popular for its durability, sustainability, and lifelong performance making it the ideal flooring choice for pets – it has a longer lifespan than laminate. It can be sanded down to get rid of scruffs and scratches made by pets and floor traffic and refinished to complete the floor’s new lease of life.
Jon says, “Prevention is always better than the cure so its best to add a good finish, depending on your floor finish, an oil and wax-based matte conceals dust, dirt and small scratches made by pets by penetrating the wood without forming a thick surface.”
Add a rug in trickier areas
To prevent damage in the first place try adding rugs and beds where pets spend most of their time to avoid contact with the floor. Taking your pet on regular walks to avoid pent up energy and making sure to wipe their damp paws upon entering the home. Bringing in dirt and grit from walking outdoors is inevitable, especially as we enter the wet winter months.
Jon recommends “Trying to keep on top of grooming your pets’ nails, sharp claws will add to the number of scratches in the wood. Watch out for cats especially as they like to purposefully scratch the texture of the floor.”
Clean up spillages quickly and gently
Engineered wood is low maintenance, and although this flooring is less liable to damage from moisture that doesn’t mean it can withstand buckets of water or spillages. Use a towel or rag to soak up the bulk of the liquid quickly and then apply a polish to prevent further spillages from staining the floor. Try to avoid any general detergents and cleaning solutions that contain harmful chemicals as this can damage wooden floors.
Jon says “The most efficient way to clean up spillages is with a microfibre mop head. You can use the mop wet or dry, when dry, the tiny fibres attract, dust and other debris using static electricity. When using wet simply run the mop under warm water, wring it out and get cleaning. To clean the mop itself the head can be put in the washing machine with a gentle detergent.”