Wood Floor Durability

jodip1975June 8, 2012

My husband and I are building our first home. We are wanting to put wood floors in the entire home. We have two 70 lbs dogs. We have been looking into Brazilian Walnut since it is a durable wood. Our worry is the scratches on the floors from our dogs.

What are your thoughts on this choice? Do you have any reccomendations of a durable wood? What type of finsh do you reccomend?

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Keep their nails trimmed.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2012 at 3:46PM
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Brickeyee is right keep their nails trimmed will help.
Ipe is a good choice. But beware just because its a very hard wood does not mean your dogs wont scratch it.

About a month ago i did an ipe job and went back yesterday for a concern about scratches. She had a smaller dog and it destroyed the floor. No finish will prevent the damage of pets.

As far as what type of finish to go with? I learned this the hardway years ago. WATERBASE! ipe is naturally a very oily wood. And if you apply oil to ipe you are going to be waiting days for each coat to dry. So waterbase urethane is recommended. I would make sure who ever is sanding and finishing be aware of how waterbase reacts to Ipe. The sealer coat can and will change color and can leave streaks.

Good luck and wear a dust mask!!

    Bookmark   June 8, 2012 at 4:39PM
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We are purchasing prefinished, so we will not be finishing them ourself.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2012 at 1:21PM
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We had Brazilian cherry with a gloss finish and a 70 pound lab. It did fairly well but I think the shinier the finish, the more likely scratches show. We are looking at doing hand scraped in our new build to mitigate. I just don't know how hard it would be to refinish the hand scraped a few years down the road.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2012 at 9:05AM
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Just so the OP understands that the design layer of "laminate hardwood" is a "simulation" and not the genuine article.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2012 at 9:39AM
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I can't agree more with Ray72. Low sheen, hand scraped, distressed, aged looking, medium color with reasonable veriance floorings will help. It's hard to avoid scratches with 70 lbs dog as gregmills pointed out even with a very hard species as Ipe or Curupay. It is a matter of whether the scratches show or not.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2012 at 12:48PM
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Oh, boy,

I think I can help. We have two 67 lb dogs and have been in two houses with different wood floors. The first had Brazilian Teak (or Cumaru), which has a JANKA rating of 3540 (Brazilian Walnut is 3680). It's lighter in color. Those floors didn't get any scratches from our dog's nails whatsoever! Not even superficial scratches in the clear coat. The only scratch those floors received was from a very heavy piece of furniture that didn't have felt underneath. That was it. We were able to sell the house in two days.

The next floors we had were Tigerwood (JANKA rating 1850). Talk about a mess! In just two years, they were destroyed. The dog's nails tore them to pieces. Scratches and dents everywhere - many so deep I could use a felt pen to hide them. Worse, the other scratches couldn't be hidden because they dented the wood without breaking through the protective coating, and would show as a white bubble. Just terrible. And I trim the dog's nails diligently! I never allow them to grow more than 1/8 inch past the quick. The worst part was that the scratches weren't dispersed evenly, so there was just a line of scratches running down all the traffic zones. It didn't look rustic at all. Just damaged.

So, yes, there is HUGE difference in choosing wood floors. We'll only go with the highest JANKA ratings from now on! Lesson learned.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2012 at 4:16PM
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Oh, and as for finish, both our floors were pre-finished, but we only know the quality of the first as the second was already installed when we purchased the house. The first had a 25 year warranty from BR-111. Of course, judging by the way the second floor got dented without breaking the protective coating, I think the wood is more important than the coating.

On the other hand, the coating isn't unimportant, as it did lose it's luster near the back door from all the traces of dirt that would get tracked in. That was unattractive.

Now, I think you can get a 100 year warranty from Bellawood, but I'm not sure whether that's just hype.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2012 at 4:23PM
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Floor warrantys for prefinish floors are junk. Well not junk but not what you think they are. Yes they will replace your floor but only under VERY STRICT circumstances. If you are buying a floor simply because it has XX number of years under warranty. Read the fine print. Most if not all will only replace the floor if the finish fails on its own. The warrantys DO NOT cover dog scratches, water damage etc. they put the warrantys on the box for marketing purposes. Imo.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2012 at 6:02PM
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I agree with gregmills opinion as to the primary purpose and function of a floor material warranty.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2012 at 9:32PM
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All good points above. I can not imagine a seventy pound dog indenting an Ipe or Cumaru floor but I have seen high heel shoes missing the protective cap do a little damage.

Most finish warranties do not kick in until 10% wear though. That will be in your highest and most visible traffic areas. No thoughtful person will wait that long before refinishing.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2012 at 1:33PM
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Oh just because Ipe has an extremely high Janka rating doesnt mean a 70 lb dog no wait even 40 lb dog wont indent or scratch it. Ive seen it first hand multiple times. I had a nervous HO call about it. These dense woods are better for static forces.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2012 at 2:56PM
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