How To Get Dog Scratches Out Of Hardwood Floors – This article was co-authored with Mark Spelman. Mark Spelman is a general contractor based in Austin, Texas. With over 30 years of experience in the construction industry, Mark specializes in interior construction, project management and project estimating. Since 1987 he has been a construction professional.

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How To Get Dog Scratches Out Of Hardwood Floors

How To Get Dog Scratches Out Of Hardwood Floors

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If you have hardwood floors, accumulating scratches is inevitable, even if you’re careful. Most scratches are caused by moving furniture, pets, and picking up small rocks from outside. Restoring your hardwood floor can be relatively simple, depending on the severity of the scratch. With a few simple steps, you can repair and hide dents and scratches on your hardwood, to extend the life of your floor.

This article was co-authored with Mark Spelman. Mark Spelman is a general contractor based in Austin, Texas. With over 30 years of experience in the construction industry, Mark specializes in interior construction, project management and project estimating. He has been a construction professional since 1987. This article has been viewed 852,075 times.

Before repairing scratches on hardwood floors, be sure to clean and rinse the scratched areas first. So, to repair shallow or superficial scratches, he applies a wood stain marker or a thin layer of sealant. You can also try rubbing wood wax into the scratches, then buffing the wax off and covering the area with stain or sealant. For deeper scratches or gouges, apply a wood filler that matches the color of your floor. Let it dry for a day, then use fine-grit sandpaper to remove excess filler before sealing the area. For more tips from our reviewer on how to repair scratches on hardwood floors, including how to clean your floors before you get started, read on! Floods are quite rare, but almost everyone has a dog, cat or rabbit that will eventually leave a puddle on the wooden floor.

If you take the puddle and clean it while it’s still fresh, the problem is minimal; Modern polyurethanes are designed to withstand accidents like this.

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But as the urine settles and decomposes, it becomes more alkaline and more corrosive and eventually you get the equivalent of undiluted ammonia burning through the finish and into the wood.

This tends to happen when there is carpet or rug over wood floors because it prevents the liquid from drying and allows it to remain in contact with the floor underneath as it breaks down.

If you discover a fresh pet stain on a finished hardwood floor and suspect it has been there for more than 4 hours, wet the stain with a mild acid such as vinegar, which will at the very least neutralize the ammonia (which is a alkali) that may have formed and will stop its corrosive ability. Allow the stained area to dry completely, which may take two weeks, before attempting any corrective measures.

How To Get Dog Scratches Out Of Hardwood Floors

The problem is compounded by the fact that pets, once they have marked a spot, continue to use it, which virtually guarantees that fresh ammonia will always form at that spot. Unfortunately, neither the wood finish nor the finish itself can withstand this onslaught.

Hardwood Floor Refinishing Tips For Pet Owners

For some reason, there is a persistent belief that stains like these can be easily removed by sanding or bleach. Unfortunately, this is simply not true.

The vast majority of pet stains need to be repaired; that is, damaged wood must be removed and replaced with new wood.

When a pet stain becomes dark or extensive like the ones shown here, the ammonia burn has penetrated deep into the hardwood, probably much deeper than you would want to sand.

You can at least try to sand the damage, just to be absolutely sure you don’t have to tear up the boards – use an aggressive sander with at least 36 grit so you can sand away the damaged wood fiber. Keep the sander moving; you don’t want to leave sander-shaped depressions in the wood!

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The smell is likely to be unpleasant as you sand, but if you see the stain lighten, there may be hope! Some cat accidents will likely smooth out or at least lighten considerably after smoothing.

Even when damage breaks through the finish and into the wood, it can usually be sanded away. But the bad news is that they need to be sanded, which costs time and money.

So, your first task as the owner of a heavy clawed animal is to understand that your hardwood floor needs more protective coating or more frequent maintenance (or both) if you want to minimize the appearance of scratches.

How To Get Dog Scratches Out Of Hardwood Floors

Even the hardest finishes can eventually become worn or scratched, and your energetic mastiff can do this just like a sander.

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If the floor is fairly finished, the scratches will be on the plastic of the finish, not the wood. And as long as the scratches are on the finish, not the wood, you can screen and coat the floor and significantly improve the appearance of the scratches.

If the original finish is thinner than it should be, pet nails can penetrate the wood, and the only way to remove scratches that deep is to completely resand the floor. Which brings us to the next tip:

If you get a deep scratch on the floor that goes all the way through the polyurethane coating and into the wood, there is no easy way to “fix” that damage. Despite all the Pinterest posts about rubbing scratches with a walnut or using a little lemon oil, that scratch can only be removed if you sand it. But unless you sand the polyurethane and sand the wood itself to grade, it doesn’t go away.

This means you will have to sand the entire room. And if that room intersects with other rooms, you’ll have a hard time finding a discreet place to stop the sanding madness.

Dog Scratches On Wooden Door And Wall Paneling. 🙁

Better to simply prevent the madness of sanding by making sure you use the strongest finish AND that you’ve used the recommended number of coats.

There are some brands of water-based finishes (Bona Traffic HD or Pall-X Gold are the two products we offer) that are catalyzed with cross-linkers that provide a tighter, more durable finish that is harder to scratch and harder to wear. .

It tends to be more expensive, but it’s still a fraction of the cost of re-sanding a floor.

How To Get Dog Scratches Out Of Hardwood Floors

You can repaint an existing finish, even if you’re not sure whether it was an oil- or water-based polyurethane to begin with, with one of these commercial catalyzed finishes.

Preventing And Restoring High Traffic Areas On Your Floors

And you can do it yourself if you read What the heck is a “screen and recoat”? Do it sooner rather than later.

You can absolutely use a penetrating oil (like Rubio Monocoat) for a more natural, low-shine look, but pets will increase the frequency of maintenance. Those penetrating finishes allow the wood grain itself to bear the brunt of life’s wear and friction. Dogs and cats increase this friction, so you will perform touch-ups at least quarterly.

The advantage of penetrating finishes is that maintenance can be done selectively, exactly where the damage occurred – often it is not even necessary to move the furniture if the damage does not extend there.

Place rugs in places your pets use most frequently or aggressively. If your pack of dachshunds heads at high speed for the door when the postman rings, use a runner along the route they use.

Doggin’ Around On Hardwood Floors

Read our blog article What’s the smallest thing that can cause the most damage to your finished floor?

We love educating people, but it’s expensive. And we feel uncomfortable answering questions about products purchased on Amazon.

The claws are very hard and do not need to be sharp to dent wood; that’s why even well-groomed puppies can cause harm.

How To Get Dog Scratches Out Of Hardwood Floors

The larger the dog, obviously, the more weight is placed on those claws, making them similar to stiletto heels. Dogs truly are man’s best friend. But if you have hardwood, you also know that these floors can be a dog’s biggest enemy. Some dog owners go so far as to avoid installing hardwood for fear that it will be ruined by their furry friend.

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The good news is that you can keep both your dog and your hardwood floors spotless with these tips.

One of the ways to prevent dog scratches on hardwood floors is to pet-proof them. Adding a layer of protection will not only prevent your dog’s nails from causing damage; it can also protect your floors from scratches and other types of damage. Make sure you wax your wood floors regularly because it creates a barrier between the wood and anything that comes in contact with it.

After waxing, if your dog is a little rough and leaves scratch marks, the marks are less likely to reach the wood.

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