Dog’s Toenails Scratching Wood Floors



Is there a finish(poly,epoxy ect.) that will hold up against dogs toe nails. I currently have carpeting over hardwood floors and would like to go back to hardwood, but I am concerned about the dogs toenails scratching the finish. What if any finishes will hold up against this? Possibly gymnasium floor finish?

Your comments would be appreciated.


Dear Jeffrey

No, not really. You can try the most durable gym floor finishes on the market called catalyzed water based finishes, and your dog will still put scratches in the finish, and even rents in the wood itself. Street Shoe by Basic Coatings and Traffic by Bona Kemi are two examples of this type of finish. They are rather pale finishes and don’t look good on darker woods or darker stained floors. They will also pale more over the years, but are the most scratch resistant finishes now on the market.

Now, all that said, why don’t you finish the floor with a floor finish that you will feel comfortable touching up and recoating yourself. For a water based finish try the newer oxygen cross linking finishes like the Dura Seal 1000, and both afore mentioned companies have similar products. These have a better color to the film and you will find it safer and easier to use. Be sure to read my article on the Dura Seal 1000 in the Floored News.

Or you can use the standard oil modified polyurethane, that’s what has been on my floors for 21 years, and they do get scratched, but I recoat the floors every 10 years. I have written a long article on this finish and how to apply it without the bubbles and pits. It’s part of the Pro Series meant for the WWW directory guys, but we send out copies by email for a small donation. This finish has a longer track record than the water based finishes, and I still use it for 90% of my jobs. Dogs or no dogs.

Oh, and epoxy finishes are not used much because of the toxic fumes and extreme amber color, and lack a flexibility. Moisture Cured Poly has up to 7% toluene, the stuff that’s been killing glue sniffers for years. And Swedish acid cured finishes (glitsa and synteko) emit formaldehyde for 3- 6 months after application, so this is out.

As always your Most humble servant, Joseph, the Wood Floor Doctor.