Friday, September 14, 2012

wooden floors and pets – a match made in heaven?

One of the key reasons that many people go for polished wooden floors over carpeting (apart from the sheer beauty of a really well looked after wooden floor!) is ease of maintenance. In our increasingly busy lives we have less and less time for housework, but we still want our homes to look like the ones we see in the pages of interior design magazines. Cutting out the carpets and replacing them with polished wooden floors can save you both time and money. But if you have pets there are even more reasons for choosing wooden floors over carpets.

Putting your time to better use

Nobody wants to spend hours vacuuming every day but it can become a necessity, especially if you have pets. Dog and cat hair can mat into the fibres of your carpet, particularly if you go for a longer ‘shag pile’ style (of carpet, not pet!). No matter how thoroughly and vigorously you attack it with the Hoover, there will always be hairs that will bury themselves deep into the fabric of your carpet.

And not only are carpets great for trapping hair and dust particles – they’re also rather good at trapping odours too. If you have carpeting throughout your home and pets in the house, you can guarantee that the smell of your animals will linger, no matter how scrupulously you clean. Choosing the polished wooden floor option removes all of these problems at a stroke. Dust particles and hairs don’t have a chance to stick to the surface, as they are easily brushed or vacuumed up. And wooden floors certainly don’t trap odours either, so your home smells fresher and cleaner, even if you have half a dozen damp Cocker Spaniels bouncing around the place!

Unwelcome visitors

Wooden floors also help keep your pets healthier too. Fleas and mites can use the warmth of a carpet to breed and multiply rapidly, re-infecting animals that have already been treated with anti-flea products. If your animals suffer from unwelcome visitors, those fleas and mites can easily transfer into the carpet. A sure sign that you may have to treat your carpet as well as your pet for fleas are characteristic small red bites around the ankles and on the feet of human occupants. Treating a carpet for flea infestations can be very expensive and may involve the use of harsh chemicals that can result in further skin complaints or complications later on. Continual exposure to flea bites can aggravate skin complaints in animals, making life miserable for both you and your pet.

With a wooden floor, fleas and mites don’t have the chance to get comfortable, and they can be easily removed without the need for calling in outside contractors. All it takes is just a simple wash down with a damp mop, and there’s no hiding place for unwelcome critters! It also reduces the possibility of your pets becoming re-infested and in turn minimising the risk of skin reactions to continuous flea bites.

Scratching the surface…

There is one consideration that you may have to think about if you have dogs in particular, and that’s scratches on the surface of your wooden floor. While cats can retract their claws and pad about softly, dogs’ claws are permanently extended, and an over-excited Fido galloping around on your precious wooden floor can quite easily leave some scratch marks. However, these scratches will be very shallow, and can be easily buffed out. For slightly deeper scratches, your local floor sanding experts will be able to recommend products that offer an instant ‘touch up’ remedy to scratches that should make them practically unnoticeable.

So apart from the occasional scratch (which is an inevitable part of owning a wooden floor anyway!), polished wooden floors and pets really are a perfect match.

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