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What Hardwood Flooring is Best for Dog Owners?

Hardwood floors offer a classic look to any home and it is very easy to clean and maintain. But for anyone with a dog, hardwood floors can be a problem. Dogs tend to scratch and stain hardwood flooring, leaving your floors looking worn down long before their time.

But there are flooring options that can help adjust to your furry friend. Here are the best hardwood flooring choices for pet owners who love their animal friends but also love their floors.


Brazilian Walnut

Exotic hardwoods tend to be some of the hardest woods in the industry, giving them the durability to withstand the pounding from a pet. Brazilian Walnut, also known as ipe, is hard enough to use for exterior purposes, so it is solid and dense for your pet’s use indoors too. While it is commonly thought to be quite expensive, the cost of Brazilian Walnut hardwood floors has dropped in the last few years.

Hard Maple

Hard maple is a great choice for some domestic hardwood. It is strong enough to withstand heavy traffic, including your pet’s, although it can gauge under the pressure of a heavy or active dog.

This is not any ordinary maple wood. Look for sugar or rock maple as an alternative name. These are trees grown north of the 38th parallel where the grown season is shorter. This leads to grains that are closer together and more uniform.


It’s technically a grass, not a hardwood, but bamboo is solid as a flooring option. It gets its hardness from resins during the manufacturing process. These resins make it a very durable hardwood option for a pet owner.

Alternatives to Hardwood

While hardwood is ideal for most people, for pet owners, it’s best to go with a different flooring option. Today, you can find tiles that so closely mimic real hardwood floors, you can hardly notice the difference. What’s more, your dog can enjoy the floor too without your worry about scratches or gauging.

Laminate flooring may also be a nice alternative to real hardwood. It is very scratch resistant and can withstand a dog’s paws quite nicely.

If you always dreamed of hardwood floors in your home but thought that your dog might stand in the way of that, think again. It is possible to get the hardwood flooring you want with a dog in the home. You just have to adjust your flooring choices to accommodate your dog and remember that the best choice is not wood at all. You can enjoy a wood finish with a more pet-friendly material like tile, vinyl, or laminate. In the end, it’s easy to love your dog and your floors at the same time, whether you choose these alternatives or a solid hardwood flooring Chicago option.

Choose a scratch-resistant finish

Damage caused by pets is usually visible in the top finish layer unless of course your pet is one who can tunnel through your floor. All finishes are not the same. Wood finishes that work great for docs have a UV urethane with an additive like aluminum oxide to make it extremely scratch resistant. Even though this type is a good combination you want to create a balance because having too much aluminum oxide can alter the optics of your floor to visitors.

Consider pre-finished floors

a prefinished floor is one that has already been sanded, stained and sealed during its inception so you never have to do this part. Having a floor that has been created in this way makes it a more durable finish because certain aspects of the floors elements work better when preconfigured.

Low Gloss

A matte floor that has minimum gloss applied to it will be more scratch resistant making it harder to see any damage that has occurred to its surface because it will blend in with the floor.

Keep the color light

When your surface has a lighter color it usually means you have less scratches present based on the fact that marks don’t inhibit as much contrast with the design of the floor. When you have dogs, having a light colored floor is best because it can mask pet hairs at a higher rate than darker colored floors that tend to make the shedding much more visible.