Pets and Hardwood Flooring, Can You Have Both?

You might love hardwood floors, but are concerned about getting it installed because you have pets. This is a valid concern and it may lead you to ask the question, "Pets plus hardwood, can I have both?" The answer is yes!

The most common question that we receive from families with pets is regarding pets having an accident on the flooring. While it is true that pet urine is acidic, it is  no different in acidity that spilling a glass of orange juice on the floor. So, if cleaned up in a timely manner, it will leave no damage.

This alone will not cause damage to your hardwood. Hardwood flooring is built to be lived on so wear and tear is not only inevitable, some of it should be expected. Scratches and dents will accumulate over a long period of time on your flooring, but this transforms into a character of your home and the experiences you and your family (including your pets!) have shared together.

When you choose the flooring that is right for you home, especially when pets are involved, it is important to research several factors before making a final decision: 

  • Finish

The finish serves as a protective layer that goes over the top of the wood surface. when choosing a finish that is pet friendly, it may be best to choose a matte finish. This will be less shiny and in turn will reflect less light making small scratches virtually invisible.

  • Hardness

Hardness, also know and the Janka Rating, is sometimes an overrated property of hardwood flooring. While it may help in reducing the amount of dents that can occur from pet nails if you own a larger pet, it is less likely to have much of an effect on preventing scratches on the surface.

  • Texture

Hardwood is available in two types of textures; hand scraped which is most common or wire brushed which gives the flooring a more distressed natural look. If you choose a softer wood species, the Janka Rating may become irrelevant depending on the texture you choose. If its a distressed look, the dent or scratch that may occur could blend right in.

  • Color

Natural color flooring will help hide scratches or dents much more than stained hardwood. If deep scratches occur, it may dig all the way through the finish and into the bare wood. If the stain on your floor is dramatically different than the natural color of the wood, it will stick out like a sore thumb. It's important to consider this if you have pets as scratches and dents may occur.


So all in, you can have hardwood and have pets. It's all about the decisions that you make when choosing the flooring, along with some care and maintenance. As always, if you'd like to schedule a hardwood flooring project with us, feel free to contact us via our contact page. We look forward to working with you!

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