‘Did You Know’ Episode 7 – Dog Nails and Their Ability to Damage a Wood Floor

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Episode 7 – Dog Nails and Their Ability to Damage a Wood Floor

Just as a woman’s high heels can dent and crush the fibers of a wood floor, a dog’s untrimmed nails can produce the same crushing action on the cells of a wood floor. As mentioned in the diagram below regarding high heels, your dog’s nail can exert the same psi.

As a dog slips on a finished surface, they will try to grip the surface with their nails. When doing so, the pressure applied to the wood will cause the wood fibers to dent. This may be viewed as a scratch in the finish but it is actually denting the wood. Unfortunately, even the most durable finish systems cannot make the wood harder.

Truthfully, any dog, of any size and of any age can potentially do this to a hardwood floor. A more rambunctious puppy that likes to run and play or even an older dog that likes to run to the door at the sound of a ringing doorbell would have a greater potential for this damage.

While most pet owners are unwilling to quarantine their dogs out of the living space of the home, here a few tips to minimize this damage on your hardwood floor:

  • First and foremost, keep their nails trimmed and rounded off (avoiding sharp points during trimming).
  • When choosing wood flooring for your home, choosing a denser wood specie can minimize the possibility of this type of damage. Maple, Hickory or Brazilian Cherry are great examples.
  • Higher sheen levels and darker stain colors will potentially show this damage more. Utilizing a Satin or Matte sheen level will minimize the reflection of light, thus masking the dents potentially being put into the wood.

If you are looking to repair this damage that has already happened to your floor, recoating it with Matte sheen may mask the damage. In worst case scenarios, the floor may need to be resanded to completely remove these dents.

Additional information can be acquired from the manufacturer’s technical department of the products used on your floor. The National Wood Floor Association (NWFA) can be an additional resource. They can be reached at 800-422-4556 or online at www.woodfloors.org.


Along with the Floor Care Products available through Gehl Flooring, check out these additional Floor Protection products.

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