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Q: We want to replace our carpeted floors with hardwood floors. We have two large dogs and two cats. Which type of flooring would be best to install with many pets? What is the best hardwood floors with large dogs?Thanks in advance for your help! We want to make sure that whatever floor we choose (hardwood, engineered, laminate) will withstand many pet feet and the occasional pet stain without becoming too scratched, dingy or stained.

A: My 70 year old 3/8 oak strip floors which I stained and finished myself have stood up very well to my tromping about, often with a bit of snow on my boots. There are very few marks from my 20 lbs. Boston Terrier. However, my factory finished birch floor with aluminum oxide finish on it has not done well at all. If you go with a real hardwood, 3/4 thick, I still think Oak is your best bet, finished on site. When properly finished with straight coats of polyurethane and no sealers as a base coat it does a very good job of repelling spills of any kind. While the wood can get claw impressions from a dog (heavy weight on such a small area as a claw), oak hides them best, but the polyurethane finish should stay intact and not need a buff and recoat for at least a year or more. It depends how active your dogs are. Torly’s has some fairly inexpensive click laminates which are very tough and inexpensive. However, this is not real wood, and could not have the life expectancy of a real wood floor. Also, the floor or sub floor it is being installed over needs to be near totally flat and level.

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