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Hi all, im new to the forum and could think of no other place to go. We desperately want to put hardwood floors in our home, BUT in our last home our 2- 80lbs lab mix kids scratched the heck out of them!!!! We were told that certain types of wood, the harder variety such as brazilian cherrywood, would not be damaged by doggy nails, but the salespeople we talked to just want to sell and dont really know. I can't imagine that all dog lovers don't have hardwood floors b/c of doggy nail damage. Any advice? Thanks a million in advance.
 

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We have hardwood floors- they're fine. Of course, we only have 2 dogs and the heaviest is ~45 lbs. I'm sure someone else can give better advice!!
 

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We have hardwood throughout the entire downstairs and they haven't been damaged. We keep Sidney's nails short. I'm not sure why your were so scratched??? I've heard Pergo (wood laminate) does well with scratches from people who have them but I wouldn't know. Sorry I couldn't be more helpful. You could try calling an independent contractor who does floors - he wouldn't benefit from telling you one product is better than another.
 

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Yes if you do laminate hardwood you wont have a problem, if you get technical like the Cherry Wood, Maple and all that you might have a problem with bigger dogs. I remember being young and having hardwood floors in the rooms my mom would not allowed our Shih Tzu in them :( Even if she was a tiny dog.
 

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Ditto on the laminate. I have laminate (Wilsonart) throughout my downstairs area, and it doesn't scratch at all. The downside with laminate is that you have to be careful with pee accidents on the cracks. It can soak in there and not only contain the smell, but if it's a big puddle and it sits long enough, it can raise the grain. Laminate's base is an mdf (like particle board) and the fibers can expand with moisture that gets down in the cracks. In that case, you'll get warping.
 

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This is actually a difficult question to answer...
The salesman was partially correct. The good hardwoods like Black Walnut and Cherry will not scratch as easy as softer woods like Maple and Pine. ALTHOUGH...most of the noticeable scratches in a NEW hardwood floor are actually scratches in the eurathane finish not the wood inself.
If your previous home had hardwood...what was the condition of the finish?
If it was an existing finish ( more than 10 years old) you cannot really compare those floors to a new installation for several reasons...

1. eurathane has come a long way in the past ten years. newer compositions are far more durable and penetrate much better than older eurathanes.
2. eurathane finishes older than 10 years or so are already pretty worn through. Your old floor may have looked just fine, but if the finish was old and thin..the dogs nails will wreck it quickly.
3. You do not know what grade of floor and finish was installed in your old home. Contractor grade floor and finishes are not installed with the abuse suffered from dogs in mind. They are usually lower end oak planking and mid grade eurathane done in two coats...sometimes just one coat...
4. your old floor VERY LIKELY did not have enough eurathane finish to withstand a dogs nails.


Any wood floor will show some scratches from dogs nails...but a floor installed with your dogs in mind will be easily maintained.
1. use rugs at point of entry and exit for the dogs.
2. use a GOOD quality eurathane...not the crap you find at Home Depot...there are different grades and qualities of eurathane and for your situation...you want the commercial flooring grade finish!!!! It is expensive but very worth it! YOU WILL HAVE TO CLARIFY THIS WITH YOUR INSTALLER AND I SUGGEST YOU DO THE RESEARCH TO FIND TOP QUALITY BRANDS. You will need to specify the brand or at least know what the installer is going to use. As normal course the installer will use a mid grade eurathane...it may be the best Home Depot offers, but believe me it is not the best! Know what is being used so you do not pay for top grade eurathane and only get mid grade installed!!!!!!!!!!
3. have a minimum of FOUR COATS of eurathane applied to your floor!!!! The first coat should be "cut" and applied thin to get the best possible penetration and soak into the floor.

so long as you have enough coats of a good quality eurathane the floor should do fine and if there are any scrathes they will buff out by hand will floor polish.

you do not need the most expensive wood...Brazilian Cherry is stupid expensive...you can use any quality hardwood so long as it is finished properly! Wood floors are all about the finish!
 

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Rob beat me to it.

The finish is the most important part. New finishes on a newly installed floor (if I'm not mistaken, most new flooring comes prefinished) are going to be way tougher than they are in an older home with existing hardwood flooring.

I refinshed my own yellow pine floors about ten years ago, and admittedly did a really crappy job, but the only thing that's scratched them up was pushing a very old, very heavy (1940s) sofa across the room, when one of the casters (wheels) underneath got stuck and skidded sideways instead of rolling. :mad:
 

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i install and finish hardwood flooring for a living. hardwoods like brazillian cherry, mahoganny, and even maple should not scratch. oak, pine and other softer hardwoods scratch easy. but rob is right about the finish no matter how hard the wood is the finish can still be scratched some finishes less then others. the hardest finish on the market is Bona Traffic if your installer uses that finish and a hard wood your scratches should be minamal. Wher do u live i might be able to suggest a installer in your area.


by the way just cause its called a hardwood does not mean its hard what makes a hardwood a hardwood is the fact that i comes from a tree with leaves soft woods are evergreens like pine douglas fir and ceder. but oak is a hardwood with leaves but is actually soft and can be dented easy or scratched.
 

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I don't have much to add about the wood as it has been well covered. We have a prefinished in our house and it scratches easily. It was not expensive (read cheep) though. I recomend Tile to anyone with dogs. It's great. Our last house had tile troughout the living areas and was great for the dogs as well as general clean up. Looked great too.
 

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To cover a large area , place vinyl table cloths over the floor. These types of table cloths have a flannel backing that prevents them from sliding. Another option is to place runners on the hardwood. Not only do these runners protect the floor, but they also give your puppy traction when running.
 
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