Hardwood Floor Refinishing - Northbrook

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floor refinishing for pet owners

Hardwood Floor Refinishing for Pet Owners:Guide

As a pet owner, you understand the joys and challenges that come with having furry companions at home. While pets can bring immense happiness, they can also pose unique challenges, especially when it comes to maintaining your hardwood floors. From scratches to stains, pet-related wear and tear can take a toll on your beautiful hardwood floors. However, fear not! With the right knowledge and approach, you can keep your floors looking stunning while enjoying the company of your four-legged friends. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into hardwood floor refinishing for pet owners.

Understanding the Challenges for Floor Refinishing with Pets:

Pet-related wear and tear on hardwood floors typically include:

pets on the hardwood floor

Scratches: Your pet’s claws, especially those of larger breeds, can leave unsightly scratches on the floor surface.
Stains: Accidents happen, and pet urine or spilled water bowls can lead to unsightly stains and discoloration.
Dull Finish: Over time, your floors may lose their luster due to foot traffic and pet activity.

Preparation Is Key:
Before diving into refinishing, it’s crucial to prepare your home and your pet for the process:
Clear the Area: Remove furniture, pet bowls, and any items that could obstruct the refinishing process.
Protect Your Pet: Find a safe and comfortable place for your pets to stay during the refinishing project. Ensure they won’t have access to the refinished areas until they are fully dry. It’s always better to keep the pets away, as they leave the hair that could later stick in the finish.
Choosing the Right Finish:
Selecting the appropriate finish is paramount for pet owners. Here are some options to consider:
Water-Based Finish: This finish dries quickly and is more environmentally friendly. It’s also less likely to yellow over time, making it a good choice for pet owners. It is also harder, however more slippery.
Oil-Based Finish: Oil-based finishes are durable and provide a warm, amber hue. However, they take longer to dry and may emit fumes during the curing process.
Satin or Matte Finish: These finishes can help conceal minor scratches and are often preferred by pet owners because they don’t show wear and tear as readily as high-gloss finishes.

The Refinishing Process:

Now, let’s explore the steps involved in refinishing your hardwood floors as a pet owner:
Professional Assessment: Consult with a professional hardwood floor refinishing expert. They will assess the condition of your floors and recommend the best approach, taking your pets into consideration.
Surface Preparation: Sanding is a crucial step in removing scratches, stains, and imperfections. Dust containment systems should be used to prevent wood dust from spreading throughout your home.
Stain Removal: Pet stains can be challenging to remove completely. The refinishing process should include treating stained areas with specialized wood bleach or stain removers. For example, when having pets with carpets, and wanting to remove them and install another type of flooring it’s good to treat it with KILZ Restoration Interior Primer, which works like a maximum stain & odor blocker 
Application of Finish: Apply the chosen finish evenly across the floor’s surface. Ensure the recommended number of coats is applied, allowing sufficient drying time between each coat.
Curing and Drying: The finish needs adequate time to cure and dry completely. During this period, keep your pets away from the area to prevent paw prints and damage. Cure time: Allows for really light foot traffic in 3 hours (when using water base finish and 8 hours when using an oil-based finish, normal traffic after 24 hours.  Full cure takes about 5 days but furniture can be set after 72 hours and we recommend area rugs in 10-30 days. Although rugs can be set in as little as 5 days.

Maintaining Refinished Floors:

After refinishing, there are steps you can take to maintain your pet-friendly hardwood floors:
Use Rugs and Mats: Place rugs and mats in high-traffic pet areas to protect the floor from scratches and spills.
Trim Your Pet’s Nails: Regularly trim your pet’s nails to minimize the risk of scratches.
Clean Accidents Promptly: Accidents happen. Clean up pet accidents immediately to prevent stains and odors.
Regular Cleaning: Maintain a regular cleaning routine to remove pet hair and debris. Use pet-friendly hardwood floor cleaners like EcoMe floor cleaner, Bean & Lily floor cleaner, Aunt Fannie’s Vinegar floor cleaner, Puracy natural carpet and upholstery shampoo, Better Life Naturally Dirt-Destroying Floor Cleaner, 

Now, on to the simplest DIY cleaner: (According to familyhandyman.com)

  • 1/2-cup white distilled vinegar;
  • One gallon warm water.

Mix them in a bucket and make sure the floor is swept before mopping.

If you want to get a little fancy, or if the vinegar smell disagrees with you:

  • Add a few drops of essential oil. Once the vinegar evaporates, the fresh scent of the oil will remain.
  • For particularly grimy jobs, add a few drops of natural dish soap.
  • Some people also like to add a quarter cup of baking soda to the mix. If you do that, go over the floor a second time with fresh water for a better shine.

Source: https://www.familyhandyman.com/list/pet-safe-floor-cleaners/

Scheduled Inspections: Periodically inspect your floors for any signs of wear and tear, and address issues promptly.

Refinishing your hardwood floors as a pet owner is a proactive step toward preserving the beauty of your home while accommodating your furry family members. With proper preparation, the right finish, and regular maintenance, you can enjoy both your lovely hardwood floors and the company of your beloved pets for years to come.

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