Do you share your home with an adorable animal? Being a pet parent comes with numerous rewards, from countless cuddle sessions to always having a loyal friend in your corner. However, owning a pet comes with grave responsibilities, including extra floor care. Sharp claws, shedding fur, tracked dirt, and loud tippy-tappys at all hours call for a little more attention on the type of floor you choose and how to maintain them. Here are 10 important engineered flooring tips for pet owners to keep your floors in top condition and make your life easier.
Quickly Tend To Spills
Compared to solid wood and carpets, engineered hardwood provides you with a more durable and water-resistant flooring option. With that said, engineered hardwood is still wood, and over time, water and moisture damage does affect the planks. To avoid long-term wear to your floors, you should tend to spills quickly and immediately, whether your pet has an indoor bathroom emergency or likes to splash when drinking water. The longer the spills sit on the floor’s surface, the more moisture the wood absorbs.
Add a Finish
Finishes add an extra barrier to the top veneer of your wood planks. The added surface layer creates an additional obstacle that wear and tear must endure before harming the actual wood itself. Finishes minimize the appearance and occurrence of floor scratches and erosion from heavy foot traffic. From The Forest is an engineered hardwood flooring manufacturer in the USA that provides prefinished planks, fitting your wood with high-grade finishes and protectants. Although you can finish your woods yourself, many find it more convenient to purchase prefinished woods to save time and coat their floors with better, industrial-grade seals. If you choose to DIY-finish your floors or refinish them for maintenance, wax sealants work best to absorb spills and endure impacts from pet claws.
Invest in Touch-up Kits
With pets, floor depletion is inevitable. From their clawed paws to their constant movement, scratches and floor wear come as no surprise to pet owners. Touch-up kits equip you with resources to cover up marks and maintain the beautiful appearance of your hardwood floors. You can use wood markers or crayons, paint, wood fillers, and scratch concealer solutions to cover markings. Investing in touch-up kits ensures you are equipped to handle surface-level incisions and visual implications. Plus, if you are trying to sell your house, touch-up kits help refresh your floors’ appearance to put their best face forward for potential buyers.
Opt for Woods With High Janka Ratings
Although engineered hardwood consists of a core made from a compressed mixture of wood parts, choosing woods with high Janka ratings still holds importance in the flooring decision process. The top veneer of engineered planks features thin layers of true hardwood, meaning that the type of wood you choose is the surface layer of your floor. Stronger surfaces increase your floors’ longevity and resistance to wear. Janka ratings are scales that measure the strength and density of woods. The higher the Janka rating, the denser and more durable the wood. Hardwoods with high Janka scores include red oak, white oak, hard maple, and hickory hardwood species.
Favor Dark Woods To Hide Imperfections and Dirt
Dark woods exude a deep pigment that hides imperfections and dirt effortlessly in the right lighting. Since pets are prone to tracking dirt around the house, scuffing up floors from running, and are known to shed profusely, dark wooden floors work well for homes with pets. It’s also easier to seamlessly cover scratches and touch-up wood in darker colors because they are more likely to match better with wood markers or display the cover-ups less apparent. Dents also don’t appear as noticeable as they would on lighter-colored floors.
Choose Lighter-Colored Woods for Scratches
Although dark woods use their deep shades to hide things better, lighter floors camouflage scratches more naturally. The inner layers of wood carry a lighter pigment than their surface layer, causing scratches on wood floors to appear stark white. Similar to when you scratch the surface of dry skin, and it leaves a white trail, scrapes on wood floors create white markings. Lighter woods blend those light streaks caused by scratches with their pale background, eliminating the urgency and consistency of covering imperfections. Non-furry friends with sharp claws work well with light wooden floors, especially since light woods illuminate dirt and fur debris appearances.
Select Woods With More Grains
Aside from the color choice of your woods, their granularity also helps hide pet markings. Natural burls and wood textures merge scratches into their overall look, dissipating the noticeability of floor imperfections. American black walnut, red oak, and hickory hardwoods feature vivid patterns that blend external markings into the natural appearance of the wood.
Before you commit to placing your engineered floors down, consider installing underlayments. Underlayments add extra material between the foundation of your space and your wood planks. They provide a range of benefits, including minimizing echo. With underlayments, the added materials absorb sounds, creating muted steps, allowing your pets to wander throughout the house at night without disturbing your sleep. Although tippy-taps across the floor during the day are an adorable feature of your pet’s existence, persistent echoes of your pet’s pacing can quickly become annoying at night.
Set a Regular Cleaning Routine
Like humans, most pets shed skin flakes and dandruff. To those with allergy and respiratory sensitivities, a buildup of skin particles and dust on the floors cause irritations. Regular cleaning routines keep your engineered wood flooring free from dust and other allergens. Hardwood’s sleek surface allows debris to rest on the top, providing ease when cleaning, but those dust particles easily spread into the air and around the room when left unswept.
Furnish With Rugs
Rugs add a padded layer to your floors, blocking direct impact from scratches and other markings. They protect your wood from impalements, hide dents, and maximize your floor’s life. However, there are some things to consider when using rugs.
- Placement: Engineered hardwood is still vulnerable to eventual sun bleaching. Adding a rug onto the floors sitting in the direct sunlight will cause uneven discoloration over time.
- Aesthetics: Although rugs act as a protective barrier to your floor, they do cover the wood’s natural aesthetics and earthy ambiance.
- Uneven wear: Without a base to secure the mats, rugs can cause uneven wear with consistent micro-abrasions from moving across the surface of the wood. Plus, certain materials will further affect the amount of wear and tear the rug will cause to the wooden flooring.
Engineered wood floorings provide you with an assortment of benefits, including pet-proof endurance. Like most things, though, persistent and intense impairments to their surface cause damage as time passes. With these 10 important engineered flooring tips for pet owners, you and your pets can reap the perks of engineered wood floors for years to come.