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Old 03-16-2011, 08:30 AM
 
Location: Brambleton, VA
2,187 posts, read 3,622,757 times
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I would like to have real hardwoods in our new house and we are debating what would work best. I know that there are many different types of wood to consider, but what stands up best to dogs? We dremel our dogs nails so they are rarely long enough or sharp enough to even touch the floor, but I just want floors that will stand up to a bit of wear and tear.

Secondly, is it even possible to hope for a Walnut finish floor with animals and kids in the future? I know that light finishes tend to hold up the best but I think the dark finishes look really sharp.

Has anyone done the installation by themselves? Or is this one project that you want to pay a professional to do?
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Old 03-16-2011, 12:58 PM
 
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Pretty much no matter what hardwood you go with, you're going to get surface scratches with dogs. I as well went with walnut finished oak floors and just within weeks there were fine scratches from dogs. The only thing really you can do is just deal with it and have them re-finish sanded every few years, or you could go with laminate which is more durable. You could install the floors yourself if you have all the tools to do so, but if it's new territory, I'd leave hardwood to the pros but laminate is fairly DIY friendly.
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Old 03-16-2011, 01:43 PM
 
Location: Houston, Texas
10,427 posts, read 29,611,491 times
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The hardest wood species are oak and maple and of course hickory is harder yet but semi rare on flooring. Scratching these woods is difficult but not impossible. If you choose a cherry or pine hardwood it will scratch very easy as they are soft species.

My rule of thumb is if you have to ask how to install something then you should consider hiring some one to do so. If you buy the flooring from the big orange who only wants your little green then you will be raped badly. Take your business to the small flooring stores. I dare you. Much cheaper because the big box stores charge full list price while all the smaller stores discount from list.

I recommend buying it from a small store then finding a decent Carpenter to install it for you. That will save you money cause if the contractor supplies it he will mark it up more. You should expect from .70 to 1.20 cents a sq ft for install price depending on where you live.

I very strongly advise NOT to get plastic...........oops I mean fake.............oops I mean laminate floors. The reasons go deep and have been discussed at length already on other threads. Bottom line is that it is cheap junk and looks like hell. Your dogs slipping and sliding on this slippery plastic junk could break their legs. Is it worth the small savings?

Today's hardwood floors are almost all engineered wood. Yes same thing as particle board, fiber board, flake board....and even plywood. But engineered flooring is made like plywood meaning several layers of plys are glued and laid with grains overlapping in opposite directions then pressed with 45 PSI. A very very durable finish is applied which should last a very very long time. These engineered floors are NOT sandable or refinishable. You would simply replace it. This material is only 3/8th thick but the finish-able wood is about an eighth thick.

The old way was hardwood flooring was solid stock 3/4" planks T&G. You could sand this every couple years if you wish because it is solid through and through.......as opposed to engineered floor planks where only the top surface eighth inch is real finish-able wood. Below that it is junk wood plys which would not even take a stain.
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Old 03-16-2011, 01:47 PM
 
21,579 posts, read 36,422,679 times
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If you get a dark finish on a naturally light wood it will show wear more quickly than wood that is naturally dark... Of course the added cost of walnut or similar may be crazy.


Less active medium large dogs tend to not be as hard on the floors as the frisky, dogs that more frantic -- jumping and running is worse than strolling...
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Old 03-16-2011, 01:51 PM
 
Location: Texas
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Our dark handscraped hardwood has held up amazingly so far. And they are nutty running, barking, jumping...
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Old 03-16-2011, 02:15 PM
 
Location: Niceville, FL
4,641 posts, read 8,480,492 times
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I'd have a look at Johnson's ForeverTuff line- it seemed significantly more scratch-resistant than a lot of other companies.

ForeverTuff

FOREVERTUFF

Yeah, they're engineered, but not every home or level of a house is suitable for plank flooring.
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Old 03-16-2011, 02:30 PM
 
Location: Johns Creek, GA
6,772 posts, read 21,441,188 times
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Regardless of what type of wood you pick, and were it falls on the Janka Scale-
Show the Janka Hardness Scale | Table of Wood Density Janka Rating | Janka Hardness Scale

It's not really the wood that gets damaged, it's the finish. Site finished floors are generally finished with polyurethane. Simple deduction; the more coats, the more protection for the wood. Oil or solvent based poly tend to be harder than water-based.
Prefinished, or factory finished flooring has a unique advantage- the finish is oven baked; and, it has aluminum oxide mixed with it making it extremely durable. Emphasis on durable, not scratch resistant.
Poly's come in different degrees of gloss-
For those that have animals I always suggest 3 coats of semi-gloss or sateen finish.
For those that want that high-style, entertaining look- 4 coats of high-gloss. And believe me, they look gorgeous!
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Old 03-16-2011, 02:49 PM
 
Location: Brambleton, VA
2,187 posts, read 3,622,757 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by K'ledgeBldr View Post
Regardless of what type of wood you pick, and were it falls on the Janka Scale-
Show the Janka Hardness Scale | Table of Wood Density Janka Rating | Janka Hardness Scale

It's not really the wood that gets damaged, it's the finish. Site finished floors are generally finished with polyurethane. Simple deduction; the more coats, the more protection for the wood. Oil or solvent based poly tend to be harder than water-based.
Prefinished, or factory finished flooring has a unique advantage- the finish is oven baked; and, it has aluminum oxide mixed with it making it extremely durable. Emphasis on durable, not scratch resistant.
Poly's come in different degrees of gloss-
For those that have animals I always suggest 3 coats of semi-gloss or sateen finish.
For those that want that high-style, entertaining look- 4 coats of high-gloss. And believe me, they look gorgeous!
Thanks for all the tips everyone!

So, if you do four coats of high gloss how long is the entire process? How long do you have to let each coat dry? I am guessing getting a professional is the best thing to do because it would be the fastest. We had no problem nailing down Bamboo flooring in our previous house but we were definitely slow! Having two perfectionists in the house seems to equal more time on any home projects!

Any recommendations on brands to look at when buying all of this? Brands to avoid?
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Old 03-16-2011, 03:26 PM
 
21,579 posts, read 36,422,679 times
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High gloss finishes and dark stain is a look that is VERY non-mainstream. Shows every SPECK of dust / hair / lint. Not popular with most buyers down the road either...

I agree with the suggestion to think about a non-site finished product -- the added steps that are done with a "factory finish" will help to ensure longer wear. If you are ok with the look it might also make sense to think about engineered flooring -- some have warranties that will outlive you dogs...

If you go with site finished flooring there is just about no way that the installer / manufacturer can stand behind the stain and the finish to the degree that pre-finished makers will.
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Old 03-17-2011, 05:58 AM
 
Location: Charleston, SC
5,081 posts, read 7,655,701 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alley01 View Post
I would like to have real hardwoods in our new house and we are debating what would work best. I know that there are many different types of wood to consider, but what stands up best to dogs? We dremel our dogs nails so they are rarely long enough or sharp enough to even touch the floor, but I just want floors that will stand up to a bit of wear and tear.

Secondly, is it even possible to hope for a Walnut finish floor with animals and kids in the future? I know that light finishes tend to hold up the best but I think the dark finishes look really sharp.

Has anyone done the installation by themselves? Or is this one project that you want to pay a professional to do?
Do your dogs do anything like run to the door barking whenever someone rings the doorbell? How big are they? This makes a HUGE difference. Our American Eskimo who weighs about 25lbs was able to put light marks on the flooring - the kind of thing you'd have to look at in sunlight to see.

What kind of subfloor will the wood be installed on? I installed engineered/walnut flooring a couple of years ago. It has about a 3/16 wear layer. It went on a concrete subfloor and I went with the gluedown method. The glue you use is particularly foul - it seems to be part glue and part rubber and dries to something not far from the rubber grip on a tool handle. Prior to that I've never installed wood flooring and it came out great. BUT I went slow and spent a lot of time on htp://hardwoodinstaller.com researching pretty much everything. One thing I learned is, make sure you have your transition pieces in hand before you start the installation. If I had to do it again I'd look a lot more closely into floating it over a good quality underlayment rather than gluing down.
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