The Best Hardwood Floors for Dogs

March 15, 2024 | By Bruce Product Expert

Every homeowner knows the unparalleled charm and timeless beauty of hardwood flooring. But, when you throw a dog into the equation, things can get challenging.

First, there’s the threat of claw marks and scratches. Second, there are concerns about damage from spilled water bowls or the occasional mishap at potty time.

So, can you have the best of both worlds? Hardwood floors you can be proud of and a dog (or dogs) you can love. We’ll look at the best hardwood floors for dogs to decide.

Critical Factors in Selecting the Best Hardwood for Dogs

With traditional wood flooring options like solid and engineered hardwood, it pays to consider these factors:

Have you ever heard of the Janka Hardness Test? It rates the resilience of wood species. The higher the score, the better the wood can withstand wear and tear. For example, Hickory owns the highest Janka rating of domestic hardwoods with an 1820 rating.

So, if you own a dog, purchase a hardwood floor with a high Janka rating. It stands a better chance of resisting damage from your dog’s nails.
Even hardwoods with a solid Janka rating can fall prey to scratches. But you can take measures to hide them. The floor’s finish is one way to mask floor blemishes.

A matte or satin finish can be a savior, masking scratches far better than glossy alternatives.

Another way to disguise blemishes is by selecting hardwood floors with a hand-scraped, distressed, or wire-brushed texture. Because the finish is already rough, it helps blend and hide any scratches or gouges. The scratches add to the rustic flavor of textured floors in many ways.

Color and Grain Pattern
Darker shades might look elegant, but they can highlight scratches. That said, if you have a dog with a darker coat, it will hide the pet hair better. But scratches and other minor nicks are often light-colored, so they blend well with light-colored hardwood floors. 

Woods with a busier grain pattern can be more forgiving for hiding scratches. For example, open-grained hardwoods have thicker, noticeable grain patterns. Typical open-grained timbers include oak and ash.

These patterns can give off natural, cozy, or even country vibes. Woods with an open grain can have either an irregular or straight grain.

Top Pet-Friendly Hardwood Floors for Dog Owners

Taking the above factors into consideration, three of the best options for dog-friendly hardwood floors include:

Oak: Red and white oak are both excellent selections based on their hardness. Red Oak owns the higher Janka rating. But in either case, their inherent resistance to wear makes them popular.

Maple: While maple scores well on the Janka scale, its fine grain might showcase scratches. Some prefer it for smaller breeds or more placid dogs that produce fewer, less prominent scratches.

Hickory: With its prominent place on the hardness scale, hickory is a boon for homes with larger, more active breeds. In addition to the wood’s hardness, hickory boasts unique graining that can help camouflage imperfections.

LVT Flooring is Another Dog-Friendly Option

There is one other good option for dog-friendly flooring: luxury vinyl tile. LVT offers superior scratch resistance. Manufacturers like Bruce® produce wood-look LVT with incredible realism, even in texture.

For instance, its Liberty Forge luxury vinyl tile collection is available in walnut and oak with traditional and rustic finishes.

But if you want the ultimate solution for having a dog and hardwood floors, there’s a revolutionary new flooring option.

Dogwood™: Virtually Dog-Proof Hardwood Floors

Despite all the precautions, traditional hardwood floors, and even engineered floors, can still fall victim to your furry friends.

Fortunately, there’s a new hardwood option available from Bruce, fittingly called Dogwood™. It’s the best hardwood flooring for dogs. Made with densified wood, it’s virtually dog-proof and capable of withstanding the most active pets.


Hardwood That Tackles Your Dog’s Nails

Our engineers have made natural wood even better using a simple heat and pressure process. That process doubles the wood’s denseness. We mentioned that Hickory has a Janka rating of 1820. That jumps to more than 3500 following the process.

The net result is that Dogwood delivers four times the scratch resistance and six times the dent resistance of standard hardwoods.

Water Resistant to Protect Against Pet Accidents

If you have a puppy, it’s a good bet you’ll encounter accidents. And older dogs sometimes struggle with holding things before they get outside. No worries with Dogwood. It provides waterproof protection, handling moisture for up to 24 hours without staining or discoloring your hardwood.

Dogwood also includes Cleantivity™ antimicrobial coating technology. It inhibits the growth of bacteria, mold, and mildew. It also protects against odor, damage, and discoloration stemming from mold or mildew. 

Bruce® Dogwood™: The Best Hardwood for Dogs

Thankfully, there’s finally a solution that lets you enjoy the timeless beauty of hardwood flooring without a fear of dogs. The densified wood fends off scratches and dents, while its unique coatings protect against water damage.

Dogwood is the best hardwood for dogs. It’s available in hickory, walnut, red, and white oak. And you can install it anywhere in your home. You’ll love it, and so will your dog.

You can find the nearest Dogwood dealer using our retail locator.

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