Bamboo flooring a bad choice for a family with large dogs?

Q: Is bamboo flooring a bad choice for a family with 4 large dogs (60 – 80 lb.)?

A: There is no wood or grass floor which will be unmarked by large dogs. The problem I have with bamboo is the use of adhesives to bond the strips together which emit a urea Formaldehyde vapour. Also, every sample I have seen exhibits large gaps between the planks indicating it shrinks quite a bit.

I think you would be best to go with a heavy grained wood to hide the scratches or go with a wood that you intend to look distressed. In that case, the scratches will just be part of the floor and add to it’s distressed look.

Related Q: I’m looking to replace carpet with wood floor. We have 4 dogs and accidents happen. What style or manufacturer would you recommend for a living room/family room that has high traffic from both people and pets?

A: I would go with site finished, not factory finished. Oak is good with pets because the heavy grain helps to hide the nail impressions. If you want to go with a very hard wood I’d probably suggest Hickory. You have to know in advance that unless a real tight environmental program is followed, Hickory will tend to expand and shrink a lot. A site finished floor has the coatings applied over the entire floor surface rather than individual boards and is much easier to deal with as far as applying a refresher coat of finish down the road.