Pets on floors, damage and solutions

Pets love to play and run, and when you’ve got puppies racing across your nice floors, they’re going to need a touchup eventually. In this post we will investigate pet-induced damages such as indentations in the floorboards, coating staining and deterioration and urine stains.


Of course, the main concern is damage to floors by scratch marks from dog nails. Different kinds of timber have varying levels of density and hardness; ranging from very hard, hard, moderately hard and soft. It does need to be remembered however, that even within a specific supply of timber, no two boards will be identical in hardness and density. Lower density or softer timbers are more susceptible to damage and indentation than higher density, and a prefinished  floor with multilayer UV-cured lacquer may also be more resilient. (Atfa, Timber floors, 2021). Having said this, it is important to remember that no timber floor is guaranteed to be resistant to pet damage.


Different Pets Different Issues

When it comes to how different sizes of dogs differently impact floors, it has been found that large dogs usually cause minimal damage, while smaller dogs cause significant impact to flooring. Level of activity of your dog, as well as how often pet nails are trimmed are also consequential factors in the quality of a floor. With such differentiating and unexpected facts, some owners can be mistaken into thinking the floor product or coating is of inferior quality.


Different types of wood also vary in levels of hardness and will react differently to dog impacts. Different kinds of flooring will meet different categories of density and hardness, but there is no absolute certainty that a specific type of flooring will meet its hardness criteria down to the wire. Different coatings will also react differently to pet-sourced damage; solvent-based polyurethanes have been found to be more robust and resistant to pet urine than water-based polyurethanes.


Pet Floor Damage

Owners should be aware that timbre floors are usually not particularly resilient to pet-damage. This can be aided by harder-type timbers and coating types, but ultimately, the problem will persist to some extent.


Urine waste produced by pets can also create major stains on timber floors, as it soaks through not only the coating but can also discolour the timber itself. The level of damage to the timber board will depend on the amount of time the urine is left sitting on the timber and the level of density of the wood. The longer the urine was left sitting and the softer the board, the worse and deeper the stain will be.


Urine stains can go unnoticed if they are done on rugs or puppy pee pads, as the stain can sit underneath the rug or pad and be allowed to soak into the timber until the rug is eventually lifted and the stain is discovered too late. This can also occur around table or chair legs, places in which dogs may prefer to mark their territory that may go unnoticed.


Pet Floor Damage Solution

Solutions to these kinds of stains are to fully sand the entire room to maintain the same level of height and colouring to all boards. It is important to remember that some shadowing may remain if the stain has leached deeper into the timber; if this is the case, the only option to fully remove the stain is to cut out and replace the discoloured timber. There are several cons to this method which include a greater cost and the possibility of mismatched timbers, as the new wood may not exactly match the old.


Owners should also be aware that new puppies are far more likely to have ‘accidents’ indoors than trained dogs, and we would advise that new dog owners wait until their puppy is no longer marking its territory indoors before they get their floors redone to avoid additional stains on new timber. It is also a possibility that new puppies will teethe on hard surfaces such as the edges of wooden stairs and legs of furniture.


Long-lasting water spots can also stain timber if dog bowls are left on wooden floors without any method of splash-resistance underneath to protect the surface (this can also apply to household pot-plants). If left unattended to, this can lead to staining and even mould in more serious cases. Preventative measures can be taken to avoid these situations such as placing dog bowls and pot plants on waterproof matting, and regularly checking the surrounding areas for rogue splashes.

  • Pet stains discolour the coating and the timber itself
  • Depending on the length of time of the stain, it can stain deeper down into the board – can be affected by soft of hard timbers
  • Pet stains go unnoticed bc done on rugs, when you lift the rug you can see the stain and its sat there for ages, or around table and chair legs
  • Solutions are fully sand not just areas but entire room to remove the stains – disclaimer: some shadowing may remain because its leeched deeper into the timber – only option is to cut out and replace the boards, greater expense and possibility of mismatched timbers
  • Cats and dogs differences
  • New puppy peeing and teething
  • Dog bowls (and pot plants) on waterproof matting and checked for splashing

We suggest that when you are discussing with Mister Floors you tell us upfront if you have any pets that will be sharing the use of the floor. Contact us today to learn more about what we can do to help you make your floors pet friendly!