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Pet-Proof Laminate or Hardwood??

Posted by colorblind1961 (My Page) on
Mon, Feb 2, 09 at 16:50

Is there really such a thing? Does anyone have first-hand experience with this? I have a BIG dog - right now he is tearing into my Hardwood floor in the foyer. I want to re-floor my whole house with hardwoods or laminate - but it has to be Big-Dog-Proof! Any advice?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Pet-Proof Laminate or Hardwood??

We just redid our house in Laminate for this reason. I have one dog that is 16 lbs and a full breed boxer puppy who is estimated to weigh about 75 -80lb. in a few months. I was informed to go with laminate because it is way more durable than hardwood. My brother has hardwood and his dog scratches the floor just by running across the room. So far my dogs have ran across the floor, dragged each other across the room, and played chased..and plenty more. I have not seen one scratch. I also have 3 little kids that visit and they too have drop things on the floor without doing harm. The two brands I looked at was Pergo - American Cottage version because they designed the floor with pets in mind (ScratchGard Advanced - 30% greater scratch protection) and Mannington, which is the one we ended up with. Both come with good warranties and good durability. Good luck and I hope this helped.


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RE: Pet-Proof Laminate or Hardwood??

Pet proof laminate or hardwood does not exist. Laminate may hold up a better, but it will also scratch and is not repairable like hardwood. I am doing a combination of a couple of things. First, I accepted the fact that my dogs(65 pound pit bull and 2 itty bitty chihuahuas) were going to scratch my floor. So I went with a light natural finish that does not show the scratches so much. I also used waterlox for the finish since it is repairable. The 3rd and most important thing I am doing is teaching Bailey how to behave in the house. Just as I would expect a child to not go tearing madly through the house, Bailey is learning that she is supposed to walk nicely in the house. She is a very bright dog and a fast learner so it's going well. If she starts digging in hard and running, I simply tell her STOP in a firm loud voice and she drops to the floor and calms down. She is the best dog! So Laminate....or hardwood....each had advantages and disadvantages. Both can and will be damaged by rambunctious dogs. I knew this when I decided on hardwood but I can't stand tile so I just accept the fact that my floors will look a little "lived in". Hey...people sell distressed flooring for lots of money...my dogs are distressing mine for free! lol!


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RE: Pet-Proof Laminate or Hardwood??

Each has its drawbacks. While laminate looks nice, some people don't like the sound of walking on it, especially the sound of doggie nails. If it is glossy laminate, which is in style right now, every little spot of water/drool will show. The surface of laminate is slick compared to most floors, so older, particularly large dogs with hip issues, will have a harder time manuvering on laminate. That said, it is a great option for those of us with dogs.

NO hardwood will stand up to dogs. If anyone tells you that their hardwood floor will stand up to dogs, they are just looking for a sale. Yes, some species are harder, more resistant to the damage, but all species will be damaged. Dogs' nails don't so much scratch the wood as they compress the wood. Think dropping a plate on its edge on a wooden table. I have hardwood floors, Bruce Bristol Strip with factory applied aluminum oxide finish, and after 6 years, with 2 Golden Retrievers, the floor looks horrible. Serious nail marks, finish worn off in traffic areas, and the bevels on the edges of the strips have chipped off in places. I have appointments this week for estimates for refinishing - thinking of going with Bona Traffic, depending on what I learn from the refinishers. I am also considering Waterlox as ccombs1 mentioned. It is not a polyurethane finish and can be spot refinished without the hassle of sanding. My hesitation is that I can't find a place to see in person a floor finished with Waterlox and so am hesitant to go that direction.

Here is an option I saw installed at a Home Depot Expo when I recently visited San Diego - Amtico Flooring. It is a man-made product that is absolutely stunning. It doesn't have the issues of laminate with the clicking. And it is so incredibly authentic looking. Expo had several areas done in it and I had no idea just by looking that it was "fake". When we build our retirement home, Amtico will be a serious consideration. We plan to have a whole herd of Retrievers!

Here is a link that might be useful: Amtico Flooring website


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RE: Pet-Proof Laminate or Hardwood??

Each has its drawbacks. While laminate looks nice, some people don't like the sound of walking on it, especially the sound of doggie nails. If it is glossy laminate, which is in style right now, every little spot of water/drool will show. The surface of laminate is slick compared to most floors, so older, particularly large dogs with hip issues, will have a harder time manuvering on laminate. That said, it is a great option for those of us with dogs.

NO hardwood will stand up to dogs. If anyone tells you that their hardwood floor will stand up to dogs, they are just looking for a sale. Yes, some species are harder, more resistant to the damage, but all species will be damaged. Dogs' nails don't so much scratch the wood as they compress the wood. Think dropping a plate on its edge on a wooden table. I have hardwood floors, Bruce Bristol Strip with factory applied aluminum oxide finish, and after 6 years, with 2 Golden Retrievers, the floor looks horrible. Serious nail marks, finish worn off in traffic areas, and the bevels on the edges of the strips have chipped off in places. I have appointments this week for estimates for refinishing - thinking of going with Bona Traffic, depending on what I learn from the refinishers. I am also considering Waterlox as ccombs1 mentioned. It is not a polyurethane finish and can be spot refinished without the hassle of sanding. My hesitation is that I can't find a place to see in person a floor finished with Waterlox and so am hesitant to go that direction.

Here is an option I saw installed at a Home Depot Expo when I recently visited San Diego - Amtico Flooring. It is a man-made product that is absolutely stunning. It doesn't have the issues of laminate with the clicking. And it is so incredibly authentic looking. Expo had several areas done in it and I had no idea just by looking that it was "fake". When we build our retirement home, Amtico will be a serious consideration. We plan to have a whole herd of Retrievers!

Here is a link that might be useful: Amtico Flooring website


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RE: Pet-Proof Laminate or Hardwood??

It is my opininion that a handscraped character driven hardwood will look good even with Dogs on them. You never ever refinish a handscraped floor. There are treatments that make them look fresh. Also, an oiled hardwood is an option in a character grade, as a new treatment makes the floor looks better than the day it was installed. Konecto plank is another option. Laminates are OK against pets, but I would pass on that option. Shaw currently has a product call Piedmont park (Oak) or Chelsea in a hickory. Each can be purchased around 5 bucks per foot (Approx.) These products will take a ton of abuse, stay fairly unnoticeable and major scratched will dissapear with an Old English application to the scratch. Also, Natural Cork makes a soft Pine oiled hardwood. With that product, they will tell you that the scratches will beautify it as it adds character. I am not sure I buy the Pine theory, but it is out there. Get to a good flooring store, someone that is not brainwashed on certain products, and pick their brain. Take a look at the Shaw stuff. They are coming out with a bunch of new character products in about a month also. Good Luck.


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RE: Pet-Proof Laminate or Hardwood??

I've seen some old hardwood floors that were distressed by years of use and abuse and still looked great.

It all depends on what you want your floors to look like and what your expectations are.


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RE: Pet-Proof Laminate or Hardwood??

Glennsfc, you are so right. I love the look of the old worn floors in vintage homes. Those floors had tung oil on them and many had waterlox. I only hope my foors age as gracefully as those old floors have. It's just a different look. I know a woman who is so bothered by scratches on her dark floors that she's already had them refinished twice....in 3 years!! It's really kind of sad. A home should be lived in, not turned into some sort of shrine.


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RE: Pet-Proof Laminate or Hardwood??

So far as I've seen, there are only two types of 100% pet proof floors. One is porcelain tile with epoxy grout, and the other is seamless epoxy flooring. Anything else is vulnerable. Resilient flooring might last longer than most others, but even that's susceptible to claws.


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RE: Pet-Proof Laminate or Hardwood??

I am just in the process of replacing/repariring a cork (veneer) click floor that we put in 5 years ago--don't do cork if your dogs are at home alone. It was great until 18 months ago when we brought home our lovely lab puppy Lucy. On one afternoon while in a confinement area on the cork floor for a couple of hours and she managed to paw through the veneer --though we may just try replacing the damaged planks and putting a new wear layer (poly) over the whole thing. By contrast our 100 yr old hardwood floors in the rest of the house have held up pretty well.


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RE: Pet-Proof Laminate or Hardwood??

We have 3 crazy dogs. We are in the middle of a huge renovation and we are installing tile and Interceramics Timberland line that looks like rustic wood. It is georgeous and totally claw proof. Just a thought


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RE: Pet-Proof Laminate or Hardwood??

We just had our old soft wood floors refinished about a month ago. Nearly the entire house is hardwood. We're hoping to adopt a dog within the next two years. Should I spend those next two years mentally preparing myself for scratched floors? Does placing an area rug in the room help distract the eye from the scratches?
Let us know what you choose, colorblind!


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RE: Pet-Proof Laminate or Hardwood??

If I had dogs, then I would use waterlox to finish the floor. It is very ease to repair or refresh without sanding the floor again.


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RE: Pet-Proof Laminate or Hardwood??

I just purchased Wilsonart laminate flooring - its expensive but high quality. It will go in on Monday.

My neighbor got a cheaper laminate floor installed about a year ago, we frequently have 5 large retrievers running through her house, has not shown a scratch!

One thing she complains about though is that you can see dog footprints (because their pads sweat) and water spots easily. The higher the gloss finish the more it shows. You really have to look to notice though.

I was going to put in a beautiful wood look tile http://www.mediterranea-usa.com/havana.html but found my cement foundation is cracked so need to go with a floating floor.

Good luck with your decision!


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