Warning: Dogs damaging timber floors

KarlDog damage, Floor care, Polished floors

Dogs damaging timber floors

Dogs Damaging Timber Floors – A Costly Experience

Dogs damaging timber floors is more common than you think. If you are contemplating an ‘inside dog’ and you have polished timber floors in your home, then, in short, it’s going to be a costly experience. Most home owners will find out the hard way that dog claws and polished timber floors just don’t mix.

After 18+ years in the floor sanding industry, and almost on a weekly basis, I have encountered dog claw damage to polished timber floors which have completely ruined an otherwise beautiful polished timber floor surface.

Dogs damaging timber floors is a common problem with landlords who own rental properties. Too many times to mention I have received phone calls from tenants at the end of a lease frantic about how their dog has ruined the floors and trying to somehow save their bonds.

How it occurs

Minor superficial scratches in the surface of the top coating can generally be removed with light sand, and the application of another top coat. Unfortunately 99 percent of dog claw damage is more than just superficial.

Polished timber floors are made up of two components – The coating (the film build of three coats of polyurethane) and the timber surface itself. The pressure from the tip of the dog claws indents the timber surface taking the coating down with it. Repairing this type of damage entails the entire floor area to be completely re-sanded back to raw timber to remove the indentations and the reapplication of another three coats.

Level of damage to expect

The extent of the damage can vary depending on timber species and the size of the dog. Contrary to logic, it’s more the smaller, more energetic dog breeds which cause the most damage as they scurry around corners or fight to gain traction when excited.

The best case scenario for an inside dog would be:
  • A large slow moving dog.
  • A harder timber floor such as hardwood
  • A floor with a satin or low sheen finish applied
The worst case scenario:
  • A small energetic dog.
  • A softer timber such as pine.
  • A high gloss finish applied.

The level of gloss applied to your floors will vary the visibility of the damage sustained when viewed in natural reflected light. Full gloss finishes tend to reflect more light, or highlight the edges of any indentations in the surface of the floor. Lower sheen finishes reflect less light and so surface damage is slightly less visible.

Dog claw damage – Best advice

– After your dog claws are clipped, use a nail file to round the tips of the claws to remove the sharp edges.
– Place rugs in appropriate places located where the might be more excited such as the entry (when visitors arrive)
– Use a hallway carpet runner