Wood floors help to create a beautiful home for your family. For families that include dogs, cats and other four-legged friends, the best type of hardwood flooring also provides a more hygienic environment. It's important to opt for one of the best types of wood floors for pets, in order to maximize your home improvement investment as well as avoid frustration and excessive maintenance. Find out what type of floors and finish work well and install the wood floors you've always dreamed about.

Pet-Friendly Wood Flooring Types

Pets spend an awful lot of time on the floor, and deserve a comfortable, durable walking surface. They also have claws that tend to be hard on that surface. Choose hardwood flooring with a high Janka rating to overcome the issue--you can appreciate the beauty of hardwood, without worrying about whether or not your puppy will scratch up the floor beyond recognition. Pets also track in dirt, mud and rocks on a regular basis. Durable hardwood flooring can withstand this debris. Your best bets include:

  • Brazilian Walnut wood floors - this exotic wood floor is dense and tops the Janka hardness rating scale. Consider Ipe and any other type of Brazilian walnut, available in a range of colors and finishes.
  • Maple - this domestic hardwood flooring is used for gymnasiums and basketball courts, making it a good choice for your home. The Janka hardness rating comes in at 1,450, a very respectable score that will deliver exceptional performance.

Pet-Friendly Wood Floor Finishes

Prefinished hardwood flooring is the optimum choice for pet homes. Most flooring experts agree that solid hardwood finished with a quality product containing aluminum oxide stands up well against sharp claws and constant scratching. Combine that durable finish with a dense floorboard and you have a winning selection. Handscraped floors provide another option. This rustic look hides the occasional scratch and wears much better over time. At the very least, homeowners should choose a product with low sheen, as opposed to a high glaze finish that shows even the smallest mark and dent.

Dealing With Liquid

Some assume that hardwood floors are an unwise decision in a pet-friendly home. Although liquid needs to be wiped up as soon as possible, quality wood floors will stand up to the spills that come with pet ownership. In fact, many pet lovers appreciate the benefits of hardwood. Unlike carpet, wood floors do not hold an odor and spills can be detected and contained quickly.

Remember to Keep Nails Trimmed

View your hardwood flooring as an investment. You wouldn’t drag heavy furniture across the planks or subject the floorboards to excessive abuse. In the same way, be sure to keep your pet’s nails or clawed trimmed and clean. This limits the amount of scratching and wear on your floors, and helps to maintain a clean living space. Dogs and cats are part of the family, and deserve to enjoy a comfortable, attractive home. Choose the best types of wood floors for pets and expect a flooring product that will last, standing up to whatever your beloved pet can deliver.