The Best Wood Floors for Homes with Dogs

August 9, 2018 6:31 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Wood floors and dogs can make for a frustrating combination. Unless you want to declaw your pet (which you shouldn’t), you will need to adjust your floor to the dog. While keeping the dog’s nails trimmed can help, it isn’t a comprehensive solution, as even blunt nails can cause damage to the sealant in the floor and scratch up the wood beneath.

The best flooring options for homes with dogs are not wood—they are vinyl, stone, tile or laminate. But some people love the appearance of wood, and are preparing to perform the extra maintenance that wood floors require when you have animals in the home. If this is the case for you, you’ll want to go with an extra-hard species of wood, as measured by the Janka hardness scale.

Here are some examples of super-hard wood types you might consider when shopping with a flooring store in Santa Cruz, CA.

Brazilian walnut or ipe

Exotic woods are often your best choice when searching for the hardest of hardwoods. Brazilian hardwood flooring is extremely dense and hard, so if that’s the primary characteristic you’re looking for in your wood selection, that’s the way to go.

Ipe is a specific type of Brazilian hardwood often referred to as Brazilian walnut. It is so hard that it is often used in exterior applications, such as decking. Ipe used to be available for luxury purposes only due to its premium pricing, but it has come down in price significantly to the point where it is much more affordable for a wider variety of homeowners and applications.

Hard maple woods

If you’d rather use a kind of wood that’s a little more local (and therefore likely to be less expensive), hard maple is a fine selection. It has long been used for creating the surfaces of basketball courts, so it is more than capable of withstanding heavy abuse over the course of many years. Some hard maples can get Janka ratings of higher than 1,450.

Keep in mind that not all maple wood is hard maple. Sugar maple (also occasionally referred to as rock maple) is the kind of wood you’re looking for here, as opposed to red maple or silver maple. These are trees grown above the 38th parallel, where there are shorter growing seasons that produce trees with closer grains.

This wood can still gouge under the weight of heavy or especially active dogs, but it is a reasonably durable option.


Bamboo is technically a grass, not a wood, but it is often used in the flooring industry and can have outstanding results according to the Janka hardness scale, with some specialized bamboo flooring having a rating of about 5,000. Bamboo flooring is made with many hard resins that increase its hardness and long-term durability.

Again, hardwood floors are not necessarily ideal with dogs, but there are some options that will hold up to pet abuse. Contact our flooring store in Santa Cruz, CA today for more tips and information.

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