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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am in the middle of remodeling my home and I need to start thinking about hardwood floors. Many people say to get laminate and the virtues of laminate flooring but I just am not that impressed with the look. I have two dogs and I am concerned about putting 5-6k of hardwood floors only to see my dogs destroy them. Has anybody had any experience with this situation? If the floors need maintenance on them every couple of years I am ok with that. By maintenance I mean cleaning and sealing them again.

I am going for a ride right now and will be back in a couple of hours. I appreciate everyone's responses.
 

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Fini les ecrase-"manets"!
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From what I hear, the claws of larger dogs can definitely be hard on the floors. But I would think that a quality oak floor with one of those super-hard factory finishes would probably hold up pretty well. And a quality floor can be sanded and refinished, which is nice.

But I don't have any real experience to lay on you.
 

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For years I worked for a hardwood millwork and custom moulding company. The owner of the company had wood floors in his house. He also had many animals. Many dogs, but also exotic cats. He raised the Memphis State mascot tiger from a cub on those floors. They held up fine. He used the same finish that is used on bowling alley lanes. It don't remember what it was. He swore by it.
 

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Call me a Fred
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The finish on wood floors is stronger than the dogs claws. My three dogs don't cause any damage to my hardwood floors. It's the humans and their dirty shoes that do damage.
 

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Gruntled
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I have hardwood floors and 2 cats, and even if the floors don't hold up, it's worth it for the entertainment. Watching kitty try to make a 90 degree turn at full speed, skid out, and hit the wall sideways makes me LOL.

(No animals were harmed in the making of this post. Hay bales have been installed at all corners in my home).
 

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Steaming piles of opinion
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Two greyhounds, oak and walnut hardwood, no worries. There aren't many critters that generate a higher psi loading on a surface than these guys.

There is an area near the back door where they excitedly paw to go out that has a small amount of wear to the finish after four years. Simple cleaning makes it nearly invisible, the (admittedly rare) waxing makes it completely disappear.

After 10 years in a previous house with good ol' fashioned varnish, there was noticeable wear to the surface in some high-wear spots, and they were starting to get to the wood. One of the two-step chemical refinishing products (a chemical abraider and refinisher) made them good as (probably better than) new.

Aside from the poor look and feel, laminates will wear much less well, and have zero repair options. Avoid.


And Jim is absolutely right - critters doing cartoon turns is worth the price of admission.
 

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Failboat Captian
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I've had hardwood floors in 3 houses with a 50 lb; sometimes hyper, lab-husky mix.

The prefinished hardwood floors hold up pretty well. But don't expect that they won't get scratched a bit. They will. I hate the Bruce type stuff that has the huge beveled edges (which is what is in my current house) because you can't get the dirt out of the grooves, and it just looks bad. There are some now that have a smaller bevel.

How well they hold up depends more on the hardness of the wood than the finish. The finishes they use these days are very tough.

The advantage of the plastic laminate floors is that they are a bit more forgiving and bounce back from dings, where as wood dents. But yeah, they're kind of ugly. The big advantage of wood is that you can refinish it and it just looks better.

In my last house, with a 50 lb dog running around on the floors for 6 years (he had very long nails because he was really skiddish about getting them cut), we had pre-finished Canadian Beech. They were beautiful and looked great when we left the house.

Oh... Another advantage of plastic laminate is that they can get wet without damage. We had a refrigerator leak in the last house, and the wood cupped pretty badly. Because I had installed it myself, I had plenty left over to fix it.

I think the take-away here is, if you trim your dog's nails, it's not even an issue.
 

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What? are you all serious? how am i the only one with hardwood floors that have been destroyed? my boxer is hard, hard, hard on floors.
 

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jaded bitter joy crusher
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I've got bamboo floors and a 70 pound dog and two cats. The dog is definitely causing wear and tear on the floor---you can see scratches in the finish---but there's no way you could remotely call this "destroying" the floor. Sanding and refinishing every five years or so should be sufficient to keep the floor looking very good.
 

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Another advantage of plastic laminate is that they can get wet without damage.
I don't think that's true. I saw my neighbors laminate floor after their indoor AC unit leaked. It puffed up like a big wet crouton. They had to replace much of it.

We went with ceramic tile that looks alot like wood but has a traffic rating of like... industrial. Dogs and 12 year olds haven't touched it. Not a chip, not a scratch.

 

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JohnnyTooBad said:
The advantage of the plastic laminate floors is that they are a bit more forgiving and bounce back from dings, where as wood dents. But yeah, they're kind of ugly. The big advantage of wood is that you can refinish it and it just looks better.


I think the take-away here is, if you trim your dog's nails, it's not even an issue.
Two notes: My major concern with laminates is that there is some tendency to catch an edge and peel up a small 'flake.' In comparison, wood dents - which do happen - are relatively invisible. And while the prefinished floors are quite durable, they do have the 'groove' problem you mention, and the finish is just a little too 'bar top' looking for my preference - just too perfectly smooth and built-up. An applied finish shows a bit of the grain, which helps to hide some wear imperfections. I also find it more appealing as compared to the 'perfect' finish, though that's absolutely only a personal aesthetic choice.

Second, you are right - trimming is key. You've no doubt seen the ads for "Pedi Paws" - the grinder for nail trimming? It's the way I've been doing my dogs for years, though with a real man's tool:) - a cordless Dremel. The nice rounded edges are much easier on floors than the hard cut edges from normal clippers, and the dogs like it much better. Finally, it's controllable, so there's much less worry about nicking their quick.
 

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yup
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I have old parquet wood floors, resurfaced and refinished by a local wood floor guy. I also have a 3 year old Lab, and we love to throw her frisbee down the long hall. She slips and slides and does cartoon like wind ups trying to get traction, often running into the walls. Not a scratch on the floors after two years of this.
 

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Failboat Captian
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danl1 said:
Two notes: My major concern with laminates is that there is some tendency to catch an edge and peel up a small 'flake.' In comparison, wood dents - which do happen - are relatively invisible. And while the prefinished floors are quite durable, they do have the 'groove' problem you mention, and the finish is just a little too 'bar top' looking for my preference - just too perfectly smooth and built-up. An applied finish shows a bit of the grain, which helps to hide some wear imperfections. I also find it more appealing as compared to the 'perfect' finish, though that's absolutely only a personal aesthetic choice.

Second, you are right - trimming is key. You've no doubt seen the ads for "Pedi Paws" - the grinder for nail trimming? It's the way I've been doing my dogs for years, though with a real man's tool:) - a cordless Dremel. The nice rounded edges are much easier on floors than the hard cut edges from normal clippers, and the dogs like it much better. Finally, it's controllable, so there's much less worry about nicking their quick.
hehe. Yes, I have a Dremmel. Get my dog with 20 feet of it, and you would be riskign life and limb (or a runaway dog). He's been gone for a year now, though. So no more dog considerations. Just 4 kids.

I hadn't heard about the edges of the laminates chipping off. That would suck, since you can't really repair it, other than maybe some matching paint?
 

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Bamboozled by love...
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sbglax13 said:
What? are you all serious? how am i the only one with hardwood floors that have been destroyed? my boxer is hard, hard, hard on floors.
I installed about $8K worth of beautiful 5" maple plank flooring for a buddy a couple of years ago. Day one got ~500 sq. ft. installed, and was HORRIFIED when I arrived the next morning to see that their ~75# HYPER golden lab had already damaged the hell out of the brand new flooring with his nails doing laps around the 1st floor. Fortunately, my buddy recognized the dog was responsible and not a careless installer.

Made me nauseous just to think about laying out that kind of bread and having the flooring trashed (not trashed, but by my standards, NOT acceptable) with 24 hours.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Excellent repsonses but

it seems like it is hit or miss. What about bamboo floors? Does anybody have any experience with this surface?
 

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It's complexicated
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A fella who used to work w/ VaughnA didn't know to keep his 2 big dogs off the new hardwood for the first week or so and had to get it refinished right after putting it in, and just before Christmas, too... OOOooooh Nooooo!
 

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I Have Oak hardwoods and 2 labs, (55,70) with wear tear from humans but not the labs, that being aid they get walked and exercised so their nails stay at bay
 

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Fredke said:
I've got bamboo floors and a 70 pound dog and two cats. The dog is definitely causing wear and tear on the floor---you can see scratches in the finish---but there's no way you could remotely call this "destroying" the floor. Sanding and refinishing every five years or so should be sufficient to keep the floor looking very good.
I have bamboo and my floor are really easy to dent and scratch. I would not recommend bamboo for dogs
 

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Fini les ecrase-"manets"!
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mbaha said:
I have bamboo and my floor are really easy to dent and scratch. I would not recommend bamboo for dogs
I second this comment.
 

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Game on, b*tches!
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I think that the sheer entertainment value alone would make it worth it. Watching our little Bichon-Shitzu fly all over our vinyl kitchen floor is hrs of entertainment...
 
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