Reader question: Should I choose hardwood floors?

I have several dogs – should I really install hardwood floors?

And the answer is: it depends.

How large are your dogs? Do they run through the house at full speed, drop toys and roughhouse?

Are you ok with seeing a few dents and scratches on your floors? Keep in mind that some floors can be re-sanded or screened before they need to be replaced. Some people are ok with the natural process of floors getting scratched and dented – after all it looks rustic and distressed.

What are your alternate options and your budget? Carpet traps animal dander, odors and urine spots can be difficult to clean well. Laminate floors can also be dented and dinged and can bubble if liquids (accidents) are not cleaned up right away.

Do your animals shed? If you have light colored animals hair will show up quickly on a dark wood floor and vice versa.

Hardwood flooring and animals can get along. Here are some tips for helping to maintain your hardwood flooring should you decide to go that route.

Trim your pet’s nails frequently!

Place area rugs in high traffic areas and at the entrance and exit of your home. This will help reduce the wear and tear on your floors as your pets zoom in and out of the door. Just be sure that they are made for hardwood floors.

Put mats down under water bowls to prevent spills and splashes on floors. After all, some dogs slobber.  With these tips, your hardwood floors will stay in great shape!