Caring for Wood Floors in a Pet Household

Few things beat the classic look of the hardwood floor, with their various wood grain patterns in shades from amber to umber. But few things can take a beating like hardwood flooring, accumulating unsightly buffs and scratches to the finish. This is especially true in a household with pets or children. The good news is that much of the damage done to a wood floor is easily repaired and prevented in the first place by following these simple tips.


Some of the damage done to wood floors is the result of dust and dirt particles. Therefore, sweeping or dust-mopping daily with a microfiber cloth or similar soft mop can help prevent damage. Additionally, mopping with a hardwood floor cleaner, once a month or so can help as well. Be sure to follow the directions listed on the package, and to use a cleaner made for your particular kind of finish. Lastly, clean up all spills or accidents as they happen. Water damage is especially common and can cause fading and warping, which are considerably harder to fix than surface damage.


Area rugs or welcome mats, especially in high traffic areas like hallways, can work wonders in protecting your hardwood flooring from dirty shoes or paws. If your pets are especially prone to running and playing, use furniture feet or protective pads to prevent furniture legs from scraping when being moved or bumped. Lastly, try to keep pet nails close trimmed or capped to prevent scratching.


Much of the damage done to your hardwood flooring is only on the surface. Refinishing can help restore a wood floor to its original look, by buffing or stripping away the old finish and laying down a fresh protective coat. While an oil-based polyurethane finish can be more durable, a water-based one is safer to be around during installation due to chemicals released by oil-based finish while drying. If you’d rather not stay at a hotel with your animals while your floors are being refinished, oil-based should be avoided.

In conclusion, while prevention is the best option, repairing surface damage with refinishing can help restore a scratched or scuffed floor to its original luster.

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