Best finish for Cypress hard wood floors in home with dog and children

Q: I have Cypress hard wood floors and they are constantly getting scratches and dents due to the dog and children. I am having them refinished. What is the best finish to put on the floors to protect them? How many coats?

A: There is really only one solution to this problem. The dogs and children must go! Just kidding.

Any floor can be dented and any finish can and will get scratches. Some woods, even hard woods tend to reveal surface scratches more readily, such as maple. It’s very light natural colour and tight grain offer nothing in the character of the wood itself to hide these marks.

The harder the wood the more resistant it will be to denting and a floor finish itself will not alter this. Having said that, I include a short article from Poloplaz regarding finishing exotic woods. My usual approach is to apply 3 coats initially and another coat some time down the road to refresh the finish when it starts to get banged up.

Related Q: I am going to refinish my maple floors. I do have a dog. What would you recommend for a natural finish that will better withstand nail scratches? Could you also suggest the best how-to technique to accomplish this. I have never done this before, I have always had a professional refinish the floor, but money is tight so I am going to do myself.

A: I can’t give technique suggestions on sanding floors because this type of work requires a period of apprenticeship to become skilled. I use Poloplaz Primero which is a very tough finish. The problem with maple is while it is a harder wood generally, compared to oak, the grain is so thin, like pencil lines that there is nothing to hide nail impressions a heavy pet would leave in the floor.