Hardwood Flooring in Toronto: Best Options for Homes With Dogs

Maybe you’ve heard it said that wood floors and pets don’t mix.

Most of our furry friends have claws, and inevitable damage to wood floors results when dogs walk or run on them daily. You don’t want to pass on beautiful, hardwood flooring in Toronto, but your dog isn’t going anywhere either- what can you do?

Super Hard Hardwood

Consider alternatives

If you haven’t installed flooring yet, consider alternatives just to be sure you understand the various benefits. Vinyl, laminate and stone will all hold up better to the daily scratching and gauging of hard nails. If you’re confident that your home must have real solid hardwood, then you can guide your choice to a few resilient types rather than others.

Super hard hardwood flooring in Toronto

Not all wood types are created equal. There is a scale for measuring “hardness” called the Janka hardness scale. Based on this, we’ll advise you about the toughest options.

Brazilian Walnut and Ipe

Exotic hardwoods tend to be the hardest. Brazilian hardwood is incredibly dense. It won’t feel as soft and warm underfoot, but it will resist marks and dents very well in the long term. Ipe is also called Brazilian walnut. Tough enough to be used outdoors and in high traffic regions, Ipe has become more affordable in recent years as well.

Select hard maple

Hard Maple, as opposed to other variants of Maple, has a Janka hardness rating of 1450 or more. It’s used on basketball courts and also sometimes called sugar or rock Maple. It comes from trees grown above the 38th parallel where the brief growing seasons create a closer, denser grain.


Bamboo is technically grass, not wood. In the category of hardwood flooring in Toronto, you’ll see bamboo listed because it shares many similaries with solid wood. During manufacturing, the bamboo is infused with hard resins which lend resilience and resistance to scratching. Fossilized bamboo flooring boasts a Janka rating of 5,000 which is much higher than the still impressive, 2000-3000 rating for natural bamboo. If you have dogs at home, bamboo could be the longer-lasting and more economical choice.

Janka Hardness Rating

Protected Wood Planking

Will trimming nails help?

Yes and no. Unfortunately, blunt clipped dog nails do still scratch and mark floors. The sealant or wax on your floor’s surface will suffer a multitude of fine, shallow lines over time. One option is to invest in regular manicuring which files and rounds out the nail edges. There are also soft, plastic caps which your veterinarian can place on top of your dog’s nails. You may want to lay down non-slip runners and carpets in the high traffic areas and especially along your dog’s regular paths to the door.

Avoid softwood types

Softwoods such as fir or pine will make a poor option for your floors if you own dogs. They look pretty and feel soft under feet but if you plan to use any softwoods, confine them to a bedroom or office where the dog does not frequent.

Consider pre-finished

Stained and sealed in the factory, this wood planking comes protected with many layers of tough urethane finish. Our flooring experts at Chestnut Flooring will be happy to advise you about the ideal choices of materials to suit your needs. We welcome you to contact us and visit our beautiful showroom.

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