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At GJP, we’re never surprised by how reluctant our dog-owner customers to opt to spend money on something that is inevitably going to get scratched. Only mans best friend could poop on your favourite rug with a smile, wag of the tail and not even a hint of remorse. The same goes for your beloved hardwood floors unfortunately. The sound of an excited clatter of doggy nails scraping along your newly refinished floorboards is enough to make you cringe but don’t sacrifice style for your pooch. GJP are here with their advice on how to protect your hardwood floor from dogs.

Polyurethane

This is our first recommendation. Finding a good polyurethane finish will provide you with the most robust seal on the market and can protect your floor from things like urine stains and even small scratches but like anything, it’s not 100% effective!

Scratches

The first tip up our sleeves is nifty and doesn’t cost very much. You can hide your scratches using a stain-filling marker available at your local, London-based hardware store. Going over the tiny lines in the surface of your floor will conceal the look of them. It’s worth keeping in mind though that a stain marker will only work for the superficial marks and anything deeper will require a different approach. Luckily, there are wood fillers to help you. To use a wood filler you’ll have to sand down the area of wood that is scratched and stain it back so it matches the original shade of wood. The best way to start this is lightest first. It’s better to choose a stain that is a couple of shades too light and work your way down than go too dark and be left with a smudgy shadow on your floor.

The downsides of a wood filler however, are that they’ll still only work on deep marks that cover just a small area but don’t worry, we still have more up our sleeves! For huge scratches, there are a number of sanding and re-staining processes that you can carry out to repair the battered boards. Once you’ve finished, reseal the boards with polyurethane, or the same finish that is present on the rest of the boards. For a more even finish, we recommend carrying out this process and then refinishing the entire length of the board, even if the damage is only on a certain area of it. This technique provides the best results as the end finish can look blotchy and uneven otherwise.

Stains

More specifically, dog urine is the next most common cause for damaging floorboards after scratches. It is pungent and can attack your wood even through the fiercest of seals. This causes a discolouration to the wood that will indicate what your cause of action may be. Darker stains are more problematic as they indicate that the board will need replacing. A lighter coloured stain is better news as you can fix the affected wood by scrubbing them down with a strong wood bleach. This will be available at your nearest London-based wood supplier. Remember to refinish once you’ve completed this process!