The Best Hardwood Floors For Dogs: 8 Options

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Wooden floors and our canine best friends have a love-hate relationship. These mighty beasts love running around the house, playing, and goofing around which is bound to leave scratch marks and damage to your floor. 

Trimming their nails isn’t a great option either since the blunt tips of the nails can scratch your floors just as well and leave shallow dents. And if you think you’re going to have an easy time with a carpet, think again. Carpets in a house with pets can bring fleas and ticks and collect unwanted hair and dust. Plus they can be a pain to clean.

Since declawing your pooch isn’t an option here, the best solution is to adjust your floor to the canine rather than the other way around.

Whether you want to buy a new home or renovate your current one, choosing the best wood floors for dogs requires some serious consideration and decision-making. 

Luckily, I’m here to help, from one fellow dog owner to the other. Below are my top choices for the best and most durable hardwood floors for pets and essential considerations for you to make before making your final decision.

Considerations Before Choosing Your Dog-Friendly Hardwood Floors

There’s a plethora of information out there, but it can still be hard to decide which floor type would be the best fit for you and your dog. 

Before you head to the hardware store to buy hardwood floors, there are many things you need to consider beforehand. 

For example, which floor types would soak up urine? Which floors are dog-proof and which are simply dog-resistant? Which types would hide scratches best? 

These are all the questions that are probably floating in your head, and we’re going to tackle them all one by one.

So before deciding on the type of hardwood to go with, here’s what you need to think about. 

The Janka Scale 

The Janka Hardness Scale is a standardized industry term that’s used to measure the hardness of wood flooring. The Janka scale ranges from 0 to 5060. The hardness of the wood is an excellent indication of how resistant it would be to surface scratches. 

The higher the Janka ranking of the wooden floor, the harder it would be to scratch it, and it’ll be resistant to any dents your puppy might accidentally make. This Janka scale will help you in choosing the best floors for dogs

The Design of Your Floor and the Overall Finish

Our dogs are bound to make some scratch marks once the floors are installed, so in choosing your hardwood flooring, you should think about the floor’s finish and consider a matte or satin finish as credible options. Minor scratches are pretty visible when your floors are shiny and reflective, so a glossy finish is a big no-no.

Adding to this, most hardwood floors now come with gorgeous, intricate designs. Not only do these designs add to the overall aesthetic of your floors, but they’re also great at hiding scratches and imperfections that your floor might have.

Solid or Engineered Wood?

The ever-prevalent engineered vs. solid wood debate is something you might want to pay attention to. Engineered wood involves a thin layer of hardwood that’s bonded to high-quality plywood or fiberboard while solid wood is just one continuous piece of wood throughout without additions. 

For dog owners, my personal suggestion is to go for engineered wood because of its moisture resistance quality which gives you an added advantage if your dog ever decides to wet your new hardwood floor.

One thing that should be noted about engineered hardwood, though, is that it can only be sanded down and redone a few times whereas solid wood can be sanded and redone many times over. The option to be able to refinish your floors is something that you should consider if your dog is going to be running around the house for years to come (no compromise on their playtime). 

Scratch Resistance and Water Resistance

Scratch resistance and water resistance are two of the biggest concerns for dog owners who want to install hardwood floorings. No matter how well trained your pooch is, anything can happen. Your dogs can even drag mud, water, and snow into the house or knock a glass over. 

One of these is bound to happen, and it helps to know if you can count on your floors to withstand the frequent scratches and liquid accidents. Water-resistant wood is one of the best hardwood floor types for the kitchen.

The 8 Best Wood Flooring for Dogs

Now that we’ve gotten some of the basics down, here are some of the best wood flooring for dogs that money can buy. 

1. Waterproof Hardwood Flooring

This one takes the cake for its water resistance traits. The ability to ward off liquids on wooden floorings is crucial and becomes essential if you own a dog. 

The best thing about this floor is the strength provided by SPC (Stone Plastic Composite) and HDF (High-Density Fiberboard) cores that makes this hardwood resistant to puppy puddles and any accidental spills during play fights. 

2. High-Density Hardwood Floors 

Water damage is the biggest enemy of hardwood floors, but another enemy is compression. When your dog makes claw marks on the wood floor, they’re not just scratching off the finish but compressing the wood itself, which can cause permanent damage. 

The combination of a hardwood floor and aluminum dioxide with a light-cured polyurethane that you’ll find in high-density hardwood floors makes for a resilient, dent-resistant floor—and the best flooring option for those with larger dogs.

3. The Brazilian Walnut

Exotic woods are famous for their high Janka ratings, and with a Janka score of 3684, the Brazilian Walnut (sometimes referred to as Ipe) is no exception. This wood is strong enough to be used as an outdoor patio option because, apart from the apparent strength, it’s also moisture-proof. 

The only downside to this is its price point, but when you consider the strength and moisture-proof benefits, it seems like a no-brainer. If you’re thinking about installing this type of flooring to help protect against your canine buddies, you have my full support!

4. The Classic Oak

Oak has been a cult favorite for hundreds of years and is considered to be one of the best types of wood floorings. With 1300-1350 on the Janka scale, oak’s hardness, easy availability, and classic look make it easy to love and a great choice for pet parents.

When choosing oak, you can either opt for red or white. Red oak has an auburn, rust undertone with a warmer color, while the white oak is a cooler undertone with hints of gray and green. White oak has fewer variations as compared to red oak but they’re both good flooring options for high-traffic areas and pets due to their hardness.

5. Santos Mahogany

This exotic and popular wood needs no introduction. It’s more durable than oak with a Janka rating of 2200 and is an excellent choice for a hardwood floor for a house with furry friends. 

6. Maple

Apart from making a delicious syrup for our pancakes, maple is also a reliable wood, famous for its strength and used to make the floors of basketball courts. If maple flooring can withstand professional athletes stomping on it for hours every day, I’m pretty sure it can stand even the most playful pup.

7. Hickory

Hickory is famous for its light and dark contrasts that add personality and character to your floor. Not only is this full of color and detail, but it ranks higher than oak on the Janka scale (1820) in its rating and is quite a solid option for someone with rambunctious dogs.

8. Honorable Mention: Bamboo

Yes, we know that bamboo is grass and not entirely wood. But, in the flooring industry, bamboo is often classified as wood and is also subjected to Janka testing. Because of its hardness, durability, and strength, it deserved an honorable mention in this category since its Janka scores surpass 3800 on the scale, which is higher than any wood we’ve mentioned above.

It’s also an excellent option for people who have dogs because the bamboo is incorporated with hard resins, giving it a hardwood-like texture and strength.


What is the best wood flooring for dogs?

The best floor for dogs includes hardwoods like oak, maple, and hickory. These are great options that protect your floor from scratches and give your house some character.

What is the most scratch-resistant hardwood flooring?

Among the wooden flooring options available in the market, exotic woods like Ipe have proven to be the most scratch-resistant. Other hardwoods like hickory, maple, and oak are also less susceptible to scratches. 

Is engineered hardwood durable for pets?

Engineered hardwood is durable enough for pets. It’s a great option for someone with dogs who also enjoy the warm and cozy appeal of a wooden floor. The scratch-resistant ability makes engineered hardwood a great investment.

Hardwood You and Your Dog Will Love

There are several options for the best hardwood flooring for dogs and I hope I’ve helped make this experience slightly less overwhelming for you. 

At the end of the day, it’s all about what fits your needs best and which floors give you that added strength without forcing you to compromise on your aesthetic. 

Which hardwood for dogs are you picking out for your floors? Let us know in the comments below.

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Joe McGuinty
I’ve been working with floors for over 12 years. I started as a flooring contractor, primarily in materials selection. Then, I switched careers into accounting, so my wife and I began buying, renovating, and re-selling homes on the side. You’d be surprised how much value you can add to a home simply by adding new floors.

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