Large dog - real hardwood or engineered wood floor?

bham76February 19, 2007

We currently have solid oak floors that are really scratched from an excited 60lb dog. We are building a new house right now, and really like the look of hardwood, but want something that will be more durable than what we have. But we are building on a budget and we definitely don't want laminate floors, or tile or anything like that. We want wood. Any suggestions? My builder mentioned a Thomasville engineered floor. Any thoughts? Thanks.

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Cabellas or Bass Pro.

Look for Doggy booties!!

No wood will withstand the psi, from a dogs nails. It will all dent to some extent.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2007 at 8:02PM
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Floorguy is right - no wood floor will withstand a large dog. The nails do not scratch the wood - the wood is compressed or dented. We have 2 pretty calm Golden Retrievers, our home is 4 years old and the hardwood floors are in terrible condition. In the areas where the dogs fly around the corner, or run in to get their treats, the finish is actually worn to the bare wood. We bought our home new, but it was already finished out. All I know is that we have Bruce hardwood, factory finished with an aluminum oxide finish which is supposedly the hardest, most durable available.

I had an estimate done for refinishing 796 sq ft - $4000. Floors with an aluminum oxide finish are very hard to refinish because it is a hard finish and so hard to sand off. I love the look of my wood flooring, but I hate to say I will have to go with tile when we finally bite the bullet and have the floors redone.

I talked to a person at Lumber Liquidators about the Bellawood species which is their hardest. (Brazilian cherry, maybe?) He said even that very hard wood would show dents from the dogs.

Hate to be so down on wood, but if you are a dog owner you will be disappointed in what a large dog will do to hardwood. Any one with a better experience than mine with hardwood and large dogs?

    Bookmark   February 19, 2007 at 9:01PM
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I think it comes down to the expectations you have for the appearance of the floor. Some people pay extra for hand scraped/beat up new floors. I paid less for new #1 common with knots, worm holes, and mineral streaks.

If you want it to always look new, then what floorguy said, or tile would probably be best. If you don't mind a few dents and dings, then you need a finish that can be easily spot repaired.

Examples of easily spot repaired finishes include oils, oil + varnish mixes, waxes, or wax + oil finishes. Straight oil (tung or boiled linseed oil) does not offer much surface protection. Oil + varnish offers reasonable surface protection (Waterlox). Waxed floors require periodic buffing. I don't know much about the wax/oil mixtures that come from Europe (OSMO Hardwax Oil).

All of the oil-based finishes have the issue of more VOCS and slower dry/cure times than the water-based finishes.

The only touch-up products I have seen for water-based finishes are the liquid acrylic mop on stuff. Search this forum for previous discussions about the product.

Our 40 lb. indoor dog has scratched and dented our R&Q red oak floor in a few places, mostly from jumping up and down on the bed and her chair. It's not really that noticeable with all the grain. I will cover it up with another coat of Waterlox sometime down the road.

Pigment-type stained floors are not easy to fix/match to undamaged areas. If you expect dings, then it is probably best to avoid stains. I don't have any experience with dyes as a colorant on floors or the repair issue.

Finally, laminate floors do dent. Go to any retail store that has laminate and look at the floor from an angle to see the dents and display case "drag lines" in the plastic surface layer.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2007 at 11:14AM
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Well, now I am even more confused than ever. I really wanted wood floors....but I do have a 65 lb dog inside and also 2 little bratty dogs that don't always behave. Tile? I never really liked the cold look of it for the whole house. Maybe I need to look into some wood flooring that is already heart pine or something. Hmmmm......

    Bookmark   February 20, 2007 at 11:55AM
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Distressed or handscraped hickory or pecan.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2007 at 12:51PM
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Thanks...I'll look into both of those. Heartpine is really expensive!!

    Bookmark   February 20, 2007 at 1:47PM
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I think wood floors are beautiful but am so reluctant to have them because we have a zoo of people, dogs, and cat here and I remember my childhood growing up with oak flooring through the house and how we had to be oh so careful not to scratch. Ultimately, after some years, it still got worn and not so beautiful anymore. I'd rather have a more durable floor material than dealing with the stress or scratches that are bound to happen.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2007 at 6:04PM
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Best wood flooring I've come across for resistance to denting 'was' Hartco acrylic impregnated Pattern Plus. I can't say for sure if that still is true.

I put the original Pattern Plus in a local Tex-Mex restaurant about thirteen years ago. The owner calls it his 'ironwood floor"...

    Bookmark   February 20, 2007 at 8:00PM
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I dealing with the same delima.

Went to the flooring store today and came back almost sold on Laminate wood flooring. I just fell in love with the wide rustic pine from Shaw.

I did NOT go in there to look at plastic floor. I went for engineered flooring but with my two Labs I had to re think things.

Bottom line is this with dogs: Ain't nothin' gonna be pretty if it's torn up and looks bad. So, for me, I'm almost sold right now on the laminate.

Honestly, I was walking on the stuff in the store and commented at how the hardwood I was standing on was just so georgeous and he told me quickly that it was laminate.

If you want wood, then you just want wood. I thought I did too until seeing this Rustic Pine plank from Shaw.

Just a suggestion.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2007 at 10:05PM
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Hartco Pattern plus is acrylic impregnated. It takes any species and makes it 2 1/2 times harder than a non impregnated floor. That means that oad or similar with a psi of around 1200 becomes 3600 with the process. The aluminum oxide is also far heavier than what is used on residential grades. A lot of retailers won't know this unless they bid commercial jobs. Also, any prefinished can be recoated easily. The guy who posted about the dogs, just get the floor recoated way before it gets down to the wood.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2007 at 11:57AM
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I just want to add. I was recently in a home with pine floors, 7 yrs. Oil with some resin was applied. The floors have a beautiful patina! I asked and they did say 2 kids and taking care of 2 large dogs helped obtain the patina. Of course you have to like the look of old floors.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2007 at 4:55PM
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