Buying Wood Floors When There’s A Dog In The House

“I want to get wood floors for my house, but my dog is just going to scratch it up.”

That is probably the number one concern every wood customer brings up to me when thinking about buying wood floors. No salesman will ever tell a customer “Then get rid of the dog.” That’s a quick way for the salesman to lose the sale.

People want their homes to look nice, but they also love their dogs. Dogs are part of the family. If you’re thinking of putting wood floors over an area covering 1,500 to 2,000 square feet, that can be an expensive project and the last thing you want is for the dog to scratch it up.

When shopping for wood that is dog friendly, you may want to consider prefinished wood instead of unfinished wood that has to be stained. The reason for prefinished wood by the factory is that wood manufacturers will add an Aluminum Oxide finish. An Aluminum Oxide finish is a layer on top of the wood composed of Aluminum Oxide dust that is ground into the finish which makes the wood last longer and resists scratching. Some of the wood manufacturers will offer 15, 20, 25, and in some cases 50-year finish warranties for their wood products.

Another option would be to consider a lighter color of wood. Lighter colors can hide scratches better than deep, dark, and at times almost ebony-colored wood.

The hardness of the wood is another factor to consider when looking for wood flooring. The hardness is measured with the Janka Hardness Scale. The Janka Hardness scale is named for Gabriel Janka (1864-1932) an Austrian wood researcher who developed a method for determining the hardness of wood. The hardness is measured by placing a ball bearing on a piece of wood. The number of pounds per square inch that it takes for the ball bearing to make a dent in the wood determines the wood’s hardness. For example, white oak has a Janka Hardness rating of 1,320 pounds-force (lbf) compared to hickory at 1,820 (lbf). Other popular species of wood with hard ratings include maple, birch, walnut, and Brazilian cherry.

Taking care of your dog is another way to protect your wood floors. Make sure your dog’s nails are trimmed on a regular basis. Make sure your dog is potty trained and place potty pads on parts of the floor where the dog may be prone to accidents. Place rubber mats under the dog’s food and water dishes to protect the wood floors underneath.

If despite all of your best efforts, the dog still scratches the floor you can still do simple at-home repairs. If there is a slight scratch, you can always get a stain marker similar to the wood’s color at any hardware store. If the scratch is deeper you will have to use a wood filler, sand it down and stain to match the affected area. If the dog wets the floor and the urine has damaged the floor, the worst-case scenario will be to rip up the damaged areas and replace it with new wood. When purchasing wood floors, it is always a good idea to buy one or two extra boxes to have on hand in case repairs are needed in the future. Sometimes the manufacturer will drop certain colors and styles of wood and in some cases, wood manufacturers will go out of business.


Hopefully, these tips will help you with your next wood flooring purchase and will make you feel more confident when adopting that Rottweiler, German Shephard, or Great Dane.

To learn more about the Janka Hardness Scale click this link:

Buffaloe Floors and Up offers a wide variety of wood style, species and colors. Here are some of the wood brands available:

Crescent Hardwood Collection:
GreenWorld Industries:
Heritage Hardwood:
Hill Country Innovations:
Impressions Hardwood Collection:
LM Flooring:
Mohawk Hardwood:
Provenza Floors:
Regal Hardwoods:
Southern Traditions Wood Floors:

If you would like to see any of these products please visit Buffaloe Floors and Up at 4305 Richmond Avenue, Houston, Texas 77027.

The hours of operation are Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Please call 713-626-9100 to schedule either an in-showroom or in-home consultation.

For more information visit our website at:

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