Pet Proofing: Preventing and Fixing Scratches on Wood Floors

We love our furry critters, but sometimes they can wreak havoc. Fortunately, hardwood flooring is durable, so you can worry less! Plus there are steps you can take to prevent and fix scratches on your wood floors.

Having a pet and having beautiful hardwood floors aren’t mutually exclusive. Here are some tips to help you prevent scratches on your floors:

How to protect hardwood floors

  • Finishing: A finish is your floor’s first line of defense against scratches, water damage and UV rays.
  • Wax your floor: In addition to finishing your floors, waxing them regularly can help protect them.
  • Keep nails trimmed: Training your pet to tolerate nail trimming from a young age will help prevent scratches on your floor (and snags on your upholstery!). If you’re uncomfortable using clippers, try a Dremel, take your pet to the groomer, or ask your vet to trim them.
  • Crate training: Crate training your puppy gives them a safe place to be when you can’t supervise them. This means less destruction and accidents. Have absorbent pee-pee pads and enzyme cleaner on hand for when accidents happen.
  • Provide entertainment: Puzzles and scratching posts (for cats) can keep your pets entertained when you’re not around and keep them out of trouble.

The great thing about hardwood floors is that they’re extremely durable. Even if they sustain pet-damage, there are ways to fix scratches on wood floors. Hardwood floors can be sanded and refinished several times, unlike laminate floors that often need to be completely replaced.

How to sand hardwood floors

  1. Remove furniture and rugs
  2. Hammer in any raised nails, secure loose floorboards
  3. Clean the floor
  4. Seal off vents and doors with plastic to keep dust contained
  5. Remove base moulding
  6. Use a drum or belt sander, starting with coarse sandpaper, progressing to a medium grit and finishing with a fine grit sandpaper while vacuuming up dust with each progression. Replace sandpaper every 250 square feet for best results.
  7. Use a floor edger or small orbital sander to get corners and edges, again moving from a coarse sandpaper to a fine grit sandpaper.
  8. Use a floor buffer with fine-grit screening pad to buff away scratches.
  9. Vacuum up dust
  10. Apply a wood stain if desired or a sanding sealer, followed by the finish of your choice.

Tip: Practice with sanding equipment on plywood/scrap wood before using on your floors.

Ready to pull the trigger on the hardwood floors you’ve been dreaming of? Browse our selection.

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