Paws and claws? No problem!
Wood floors are designed to withstand the traffic of busy families, including man’s best friend. Wood floors are extremely durable. They can withstand the rambunctiousness of a puppy and still look beautiful for decades. Just be sure to pick a species that can endure Fido’s playful spirit, sharp nails, and occasional accidents.
Wood is an organic material that reacts to its environment. In humid environments, wood gains moisture and can swell. In dry environments, wood loses moisture and can shrink. If the environment in which your wood floors are installed changes drastically, it can cause changes in your floors and the way they perform.
If your floors gain moisture, they can cup. Cupping occurs across the width of the floorboard, with edges that are raised on each board and centers that are lower than the edges. If your floors lose moisture, they can gap or split. This can occur between floorboards or on the face of the boards. Gaps and splits can vary in size and are considered to be normal if they appear and disappear during normal seasonal changes. If the gaps in your floors are large or do not close during more-humid months, it’s time to call a professional.
Both of these issues can be minimized by keeping your home between 60-80 degrees Fahrenheit, and between 30-50 percent humidity, year-round.
To avoid scratches, use floor protector pads on the bottoms of the legs of any furniture that comes in direct contact with your floors. Avoid walking on floors with sports cleats or high-heeled shoes. But even if, despite your best efforts, the floor becomes a toy car racetrack or tap dance floor, minor damages can be repaired.
Touch-up markers, stain pens, and furniture repair kits come in handy when touching up minor surface scratches. A professional can help with bigger repairs.