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Flooring and big dogs

Post in 'DIY and General non-hearth advice' started by jeff_t, Apr 6, 2012.

  1. jeff_t

    jeff_t Minister of Fire

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    We ripped up the old carpet a couple of months ago, with the intention of installing hardwood. After looking at what has happened to the subfloor, from the big dogs' claws, I'm not sure hardwood is a good idea. They are far from rambunctious. This is just everyday living for a couple of 150 lb dogs. We are thinking about a lower end laminate floor for now, to see how that goes. Or maybe carpet tiles.
    Anybody have any thoughts?

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  2. fossil

    fossil Accidental Moderator Staff Member

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    I put laminate flooring down in my kitchen in Virginia, and my dog (not nearly as large as yours) hated it...she didn't damage it, as it was very dense stuff, but it was slippery as all get out. She didn't even like walking across a bit of it to get out the back door.
  3. semipro

    semipro Minister of Fire

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    We have two 100 lb + dogs and a variety of floor surfaces.
    Our experience:
    • Ceramic tile, of course, works great except that its slippery for old dogs. Also, they can "dirty" the grout with accidents. Dogs like to lay on it when the weather is warm.
    • Laminate: the one we put in is not high end but has resisted scratching very, very well. However, we've found it to be a bit noisy when the dogs walk on it sounding a bit "hollow" since its a floating floor. Think twice about the noise before installing in a bedroom.
    • Real wood: You've probably read that the factory finishes are better. We've found that to be very true with dogs. We refinished our hardwood oak floors with multiple layers of a highly-recommended polyurethane containing aluminum oxide (the same stuff they use in laminate finishes). Its holding up pretty well but we are seeing evidence of dog claw scratches. The laminate appears to resist scratches better. Also, it can be slippery for old dogs. Consider a satin finish if you go this route.
    • Factory finished engineered hardwood. This can be floating or nailed. We have floating and it has held up better than anything other than ceramic tile or laminate. It may be holding up just as well as the laminate but its been installed for a shorter period. We were concerned about dog nail noise on this but put in a premium underlayment advertised to minimize noise and it seems to work well.
    • We have vinyl tile also but not in areas that dogs frequent.
    • Carpet - my only comment here is that we've found that dog smells really only get absorbed into soft materials like carpet, rugs, upholstery. As we've gotten rid of those and installed hard surfaces the doggie odor has decreased dramatically. We use washable dog beds for them to lounge on.
    We're finishing out our basement and are leaning towards a waterproof laminate product called "Allure". I'd bet this would be great for dogs.
  4. Eatonpcat

    Eatonpcat Minister of Fire

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    My dog weighs in a hair under 100# and she is a holy terror on our Bruce hardwood floors. Laminate in one bedroom (Chick Cave actually) seems to fair much better than the hard wood!
  5. ColdNH

    ColdNH Minister of Fire

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    Our dog is only 75 pounds, our old house had a variety of flooring, carpet (the worst) but it helped to own a steam cleaner. Ceramic tile was the best, we also put in a med-high grade laminate wood floor down which was indestructible and very resistant to scratches, but the dog did not like walking on it. (tough chit)

    Currently our entire house is oak hardwood floors and ceramic tile, the hardwood is holding up better then i expected, but we have only been in the house for 8 months. I think his drool when panting and his drooling after drinking will cause more issues with the hardwood then his nails because we are not good about following him around and wiping up the little drips everywhere.
  6. PapaDave

    PapaDave Minister of Fire

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    We pulled the carpet up about 3 years ago and had a local guy put down sheet vinyl in the 3 rooms. Good stuff, not cheap.
    The only dog that has a problem is the big old Newfie. None mind walking on it, but she has trouble trying to get up.
    VERY easy to clean, which is why we did it. Got VERY annoying steam cleaning the carpets, and once that smell gets in carpet, it NEVER comes out. The dogs know it.:mad:
    Laid ceramic tile in the stove room in 2010, and the kitchen has old linoleum. Kitchen will be reno'd at some point down to the studs and subfloor, and not sure what we'll put back in, but it will have to be easy care.
  7. nate379

    nate379 Guest

    Laminate floors in my place and it's held up great to the dogs. The brand is Kraus. I'm not sure where it was bought as the builder installed it, but I know it has a long warranty, 27 or 30 years I believe.

    I dropped a 20oz claw hammer from about 10ft when putting up some molding and it only made a small dent in the floor... it's pretty tough!

    Right now I just have one, a lab that is around 75ish lbs. The click clack of nails on the floor is a bit annoying though it's not too bad if I keep up on trimming them. I rough rough and play catch with his stuffed toys and I haven't noticed floor damage. When I do that in the yard it tears up grass so he dug dig in.

    The only damage I have seen beyond a bit of wear and tear is one area that he had an accident that stayed on the floor for a while and it seeped into a seam. Puffed the floor up a little bit in at the seam. It is difficult to keep clean as well. It's a textured satin finish and it shows everything to include footprints from the dog, people (walking barefoot) any water/drool dribbles, etc.
  8. jeff_t

    jeff_t Minister of Fire

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    My sister has Pergo laminate in her kitchen/entry, and it has held up very well. Not necessarily dogs, just in general. I would expect it to hold up well to the dogs, but one of my big concerns is them being able to get up as they age. They're already six. My plan is to do half of the living room in carpet, where we sit and watch TV, and the other half where the stove is, as well as the hallway, with laminate. We have vinyl peel and stick in the kitchen, and they do well on that.

    And then there is the hair...
  9. greg13

    greg13 Feeling the Heat

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    Most Laminate flooring is one step from bullet proof. HOWEVER, when it comes to dogs it might as well be glare ice. Dogs will slip & fall on it, with the possibility of injury. We use throw rugs for the high traffic areas.
  10. Hoot23

    Hoot23 Minister of Fire

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    Laminate holds up pretty good with the scratches, but my 3 year old is really putting to the test. Gonna install factory finish 3/4 inch stuff when he gets older. Our floors are almost 8 years old.
  11. billb3

    billb3 Minister of Fire

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    Some plywood subfloor, despite having a great deal of structural rigidity, has a rather soft and easily damaged surface.
    For the same reason, I might avoid a cheap laminate, especially the foam backed stuff that is (supposed to be ) easy on the feet.

    Our mastiff is about 165lbs and the only problems we've had with floors is all the dog hair.
    She has traction problems with hard surfaces relative to her zeal for car rides. Her arthritis appears to be non-affected by the jingling of car keys.
  12. mrfjsf

    mrfjsf Member

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    Our dog goes about 120#, we ripped out our old carpet and went with a laminate hardwood from Home Depot. It was Pergo, 10mm with the underlayment already attached (highly recommend this over laying your own underlayment). We love this floor. Its not very noisy, or hollow sounding. Very easy to install, full floating, cleans up really easy. My dog slides around on it some. It doesnt appear to affect his mild arthritis tho. We had real hardwood in our old house and he absolutely destroyed them, this floor has been down for 3 years and not a scratch on them. Highly recommend them.
  13. Retired Guy

    Retired Guy Feeling the Heat

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    Put in Alloc laminate commercial line in the kitchen. Dog has no problems walking on it, has held up quite well. Only issue is that the dog licks everything and leaves a slime on any hard floor.
  14. nate379

    nate379 Guest

    The dog has no trouble on my floors other than when he is running around, then he will slide a bit.. (it's kind of funny actually). He's only around 6... still acts like a puppy ;lol
  15. save$

    save$ Minister of Fire

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    I have two labs, both about 100 lbs, they behave a whole lot better on slippery floors. I put the Allure product on the cement floor of our raised split ranch.(had carpet down, change it several times because it will start to have an odor during the summer.) The allure only has been down a year, no noted problems. I first put some in the foyer at the entrance. That one is a fake wood. But not being next to real wood, it is fantastic. No hollow sound. I do have the hollow sound on the allure on the cement. I think the plastic liner under it contributes to that. My daughter put Pergo in her living room and hallway over ten years ago. She had two labs who failed to damage it. Only thing you might want to avoid is walking on it with just socks on (unless you have no issues with falling). We put laminate in the kitchen and dining room. My wife has fallen a few times. If you step on anything left on the floor, it will act like a skate under your foot. Last time she stepped on a jar lid she didn't see. In the areas you have that slippery floor, consider a small area carpet. The dogs will go to it and lie down and get up there. If it gets soiled, small is easier to clean and replace. So much more easy to dust mop than get the noisy vac out.

  16. richg

    richg Minister of Fire

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    A big dog will simply destroy hardwood floors and there isn't much you an do about it. I put white oak in my house seven years ago and regret it, because now I want to get a big woofy German shepherd but that would spell doom for the floors. I put Pergo Select in the rec room and sunroom and that stuff is tougher than tank armor.
  17. kettensäge

    kettensäge Feeling the Heat

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    Tavern grade american cherry prefinished here with a 65lb boxer. No marks unless the dog wants to run around. There are no instances where the original finish was scratched completly through. The marks can only be noticed in certain light and don't really detract from the floor. Orange Glow or Bona floor care stuff hides some of them also.
    When the dog goes to the happy hunting ground I'll have them redone, no big deal. I enjoy the dog more than the floor.

    A better grade of prefinish on a harder species of wood is your best bet, along with some discilpline training, and a few rubber backed area rugs in key locations.
    The brother in law bought the best red oak prefinished you can buy. Has 1 small and 1 medium and both very high strung dogs that run constantly, there isn't a mark on the floor.


    Tha laminate we tore out was matte finished not at all slippery, very tough and scratch resistant. Looked very fake once the real stuff is installed.:)
  18. save$

    save$ Minister of Fire

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    You know, I think I can deal with fake looking or hollow sounds. I've fought the battle with carpeting for years. We have replaced our living room, hall and stair carpets at leat four times in 37 years. Had 4 kids, many dogs and cats. Now not dealing well with trying to clean this burber carpet. Carpet is in good condition but hard to get clean. I have pulled the carpets in the downstairs area, replaced with some sort of waterproof composite stuff that looks lie ceramic tile. A few area carpets and I am much better off. Much more easy to cean. Thought I would have issues with cold floors, but remembering to wear slippers took care of that. I would like hardwood floors, but I like the dogs much more. Looks like the fake floors are much more dog friendly and affordable.
  19. bfunk13

    bfunk13 Minister of Fire

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    I often wondered this as well. We have carpet in our living room. Tile in the entryway, and laminate in the kitchen. Our big guy likes to lay on the tile as it is cool. But has a tough time getting up on the tile and laminate. Any playing in the kitchen and he is slipping and sliding around. Probably not a good thing on hips and joints etc. For me i think carpet is the best. I know it will not last forever and gets dirty with dogs. My wife has several carpet cleaning contraptions and uses them daily. But i couldn't imagine having slippery surfaces throughout the house.
  20. ironpony

    ironpony Minister of Fire

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    we installed hickory and oiled it instead of poly
    can touch it up and marks show less
    St Bernard and Rottweiller
  21. Hector James

    Hector James Guest

    I have laminate flooring. The wear layer of a laminate floor protects the material from stains and some spills making cleaning and maintenance relatively easy.
  22. Gary_602z

    Gary_602z Minister of Fire

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    I would be beefing up the floor joists with them two!:)

    Gary
  23. save$

    save$ Minister of Fire

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    Since my last post, we had our livingroom, hallway and stairs redone. No more stinky carpet. I had stains that would not come out. The carpet cleaners said their cleaning would only last 3 months. My worst issue has been the stairs. We now have laminate in all those areas. Found some 14 mm thick carpet with attacahed pad. Very quiet. We have a few creeking sounds in the hall that only makes it sound like real wood floors.
    One of my labs got real paranoid and wouldn't use the stairs unless I walked along side of him while he climed them. So we went out and found some carpet pads and have a system where we can take them off and was them. I did buy several replacement pads should cleaning fail. Looks good to us, and the dog now goes up and down with no issue. I put indoor/outdoor carpet on the stairs to the deck and from porch area. Then covered the ramp to the lower deck with a long rubber runner. No more slipping, easy to clean.
  24. bubbasdad

    bubbasdad Member

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    We have 2 boxers, and we have to have carpet runners so they can walk around. It's hard on old dogs in particular. Next house, it's gonna be carpeted, and replace it every 5 years or so. Just part of having dogs.
  25. jebatty

    jebatty Minister of Fire

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    Dogs, love 'em, and what they do to solid wood floors is called "character." We have 9" fir flooring, well worn and scuffed after 23 years, most of the finish is gone, won't bother to refinish it, and love the character and love the dogs. I don't want to live in a plastic world anymore than I have to.

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