February 28, 2023

Dog-Friendly Hardwood Flooring Options Pet Owners Need to Consider

Adorable rough coated pup sitting on a hardwood floor.

Hardwood flooring and dogs aren’t the best combination must-haves, interior-wise, in your home. But it doesn’t mean homeowners should sacrifice one to own the other. While dogs and hardwood floors are often at odds with each other, they can still work in harmony with the help of research and proper care and maintenance. Homeowners can adjust their floorboards with planks capable of handling their furry companion’s nails and active personality with these dog-friendly hardwood floor recommendations.

Making Your Floors Dog-Friendly

Hardwood floors are not the most preferred flooring option for households with pet dogs. Many remodelers opt for vinyl, laminate, or tiles as floorings for a dog-friendly home. They can handle the consistent scratches from dog claws while maintaining their flawless appearance. Unlike these options, hardwood floorings are more prone to pet-related dents and scratches.

While hardwood floorings aren’t the go-to for dog-friendly floors, you can still install them in your home if they fit better with your aesthetic. But there are factors you need to consider. Softwoods, like pine or fir, are planks you should avoid for your floorboards when you’re a dog owner. They have softer wood durability, and no amount of finish and preparation can shield them from your pet’s paw claws.

Choose hardwood species with high Janka scale ratings, like oak, walnut, maple, and teak. You can also consider installing pre-finished hardwood flooring due to the several layers of factory-sealed aluminum oxide urethane finish that coats each plank.

Brazilian Walnut/ Ipe

Dog claws can scratch deep within the surface of any wooden flooring and cause irreparable aesthetic damage to your floors. When you use soft or mid-range hardwood species for your planks in an active, foot-heavy traffic area, your pets and their activities can destroy your floorboards fast, which can cause numerous flooring replacements.

To avoid additional costs, using the toughest hardwoods available is essential. Many domestic hardwood planks ranked high on the Janka hardness scale, but some exotic hardwood species are as tough and dense. One great example of it is the Brazilian Walnut or Ipe.

Brazilian hardwood floorings like Ipe are durable and dense planks that withstand heavy foot traffic and activity within the house. In addition, they work well for your outdoor decks due to their toughness. Unlike domestic hardwoods, Brazilian walnut planks are more expensive and harder to acquire at certain periods of the year. Homeowners can get the best rates for quality Ipe floorboards between May and August.

Maple (Hardwood)

Homeowners preferring domestic hardwood planks over exotic hardwoods can add hard maple to their list. Basketball courts have hard maple floorboards, which can ensure that they stand up well to any pet traffic. It has a Janka rating of at least 1450, making it an excellent flooring choice. But don’t get confused. Hard maple is not any old maple tree. They’re a specific hardwood often called sugar or rock maple.

The American Hardwood Export Council states that hard maple trees grow across the country, but most are in the Northern states. Although they have high Janka hardness ratings, hard maple can still gouge if your dog’s more active or heavy.


While bamboo is grass, not hardwood, the flooring industry classifies them as an exotic hardwood that woodworkers can subject to a Janka hardness test. Due to their durability, bamboo floors are becoming a popular, cost-friendly alternative to expensive hardwood floorings.

Although many homeowners love bamboo because they’re naturally durable, the manufacturing process that makes them twice as strong. Bamboo floorings can function like hardwood floors because they’re saturated with industrial hard resins.

Depending on the brand and manufacturer, bamboo floors can have a Janka rating of 3000 to 4000 or even beyond 5000. The bamboo’s natural durability and additional protection from the resins make them a top option for households with pets. Scratches and dents from the foot traffic and your dog’s claws seldom make an appearance and can withstand the wear and tear over time.


Cork is an unusual wood to use for your hardwood flooring, especially if your home takes heavy foot traffic and daily pet activity. While cork leans toward softer hardwood ratings, they feature many dog-friendly qualities.

Unlike most hardwood floorings, cork floors are non-slip. This feature allows your dogs to avoid using their claws inside the house to move around. In addition, this flooring option is also impervious to hard impacts. In case of damage or replacements, homeowners can repair them immediately and refinish them periodically throughout their years of service.

Dog-Friendly Hardwood Floors in Austin, TX

Having a pet dog is a blessing and a challenge. While there are many perks to living with a loyal furry companion, keeping them in a home with hardwood floors isn’t always the best combination. But it doesn’t mean you need to sacrifice beautiful wooden flooring to meet your aesthetic. These four dog-friendly hardwood flooring options allow you to enjoy the benefits of hardwood floors with your pet.

Get your hardwood floors in Austin with Kelly Hardwood Floors today!