Large dogs and wood floors.. best wood species, finishes / coatings

Q: I just obtained some pre-finished samples to help me choose the species, color and finish of my new floor. I have a dog. I tried to see how resilient the flooring would be by scratching the samples with my thumbnail. None of the samples seem very resilient, but what really seems to scratch is the finish, not the wood, and this uses the aluminum oxide.

A: First, I am not a big fan of factory finished floors for most situations. It is true that the aluminium oxide coating is tough and abrasion resistant. This becomes quite a problem down the road when it gets covered in surface scratches and needs to be re coated. Remember this finish is abrasion resistant, and we must abrade it to create a mechanic bond.

Being a dog lover as myself, of course, you won’t want to become a slave to your floor. Keep his nails trimmed and filed. The tendency is to get nail impressions in the wood without compromising the finish right away. This holds true even with my site finished jobs where I use polyurethane coatings. However, at least my coating can be buffed and freshened up later if need be.

With a large dog, I would tend to recommend a wood with heavy grain. This will help hide scratches. On the reverse, a floor such as maple, though harder than oak, has very tight veining and these nail impressions will really stand out. In a short time, that is really all you will see. Hundreds of claw impressions in the floor surface itself.

I have recently been working with a different kind of finish which I really like and am recommending. It is a Tung oil based penetrating oil called Waterlox. www.waterlox.com. This product is so easy to apply and care for, touching up an area is as simple as making sure the floor is clean and either wiping a small amount over the area with a cloth or brush. It offers good durability and excellent water repulsion.

Similar Q: What is the best poly to use on floors we are finishing, with large dogs in mind? I found a lot of people are asking questions about large dogs and wood floors, but I can’t find the answer. Thank you.

A: I’ve been using Poloplaz Primero for a number of years. Excellent coating. Easy to apply with a roller and quite a tough finish also. The best I’ve used in this class of floor finish. There are harder finishes of the types moisture cured and acid cured. But believe me, you don’t want to even consider those. They are truly nasty and not easy to work with. I can recommend Primero: www.poloplaz.com.

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