Pet-Friendly Floor Types for Dog Owners

Monday October 27, 2008
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Medium to large breed dogs may range anywhere between 20-200 pounds or more and include types such as Beagles, Golden Retrievers and German shepherds. No matter what kind of dog you have, it's important you trim their nails regularly to help prevent floor scratches from occurring. Even small dogs can inflict nail damage on your floors.

Heavier dog breeds, such as Great Danes, usually require a durable and resilient floor surface. If you want bamboo or hardwood flooring, make sure you choose the hardest type available. Hardwood flooring that ranks higher on the Janka Scale*, has a more firm surface than hardwood floors that rank lower on the scale. While choosing a harder hardwood doesn't necessarily mean less nicks and dings from pet claws, (harder hardwood floors are still susceptible to scratching), it may help prevent denting. Strand woven bamboo flooring is the strongest type of bamboo flooring available and is comparable to many of the stronger hardwood floor types. Strand woven bamboo floors can handle pet wear and tear better than softer bamboo floors.

Laminate is a great alternative to hardwood and bamboo flooring when it comes to medium and large breed dogs, as many laminate floor types are designed for heavy commercial use. The strength of laminate floors is determined by the Abrasion Class (AC) Rating and placed in 1 of 5 categories**:

Abrasion Class Rating:

• AC1 Moderate Residential - Best suited for light traffic areas, such as closets.
• AC2 General Residential - Suited for dining rooms and living rooms.
• AC3 Heavy Residential/Moderate Commercial - Works well in all rooms of the house.
• AC4 General Commercial - Good for household rooms as well as heavily trafficked commercial buildings (such as cafes, boutiques and offices).
• AC5 Heavy Commercial - Most often used for high-traffic areas such as public buildings and department stores.

For large breed dogs, choose laminate flooring made for heavy residential, moderate or heavy commercial foot traffic (AC3, AC4 or AC5).

* The Janka Scale is a rating used to determine the hardness in pounds per square inch (PSI) of different types of wood flooring.

** Note: A few manufacturers have begun to use AC6 to indicate heavy commercial use, but this is not a common rating and is not widely recognized.


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Good article. My yorkie has torn up the carpet in my living room and I am shopping for new "yorkie safe" flooring. I'll take these recommendations into consideration.
October 30 2008
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