---Thanks to a good customer of ours for this update on her wood floor with an OSMO hardwax finish, which was installed 10 years ago and has survived floods, puppies, and family life beautifully!
..It has been incredible! I am so glad that we went the route of solid wood & hard wax instead of laminate & plastic coating! ...
My flood was several inches deep all over our kitchen/livingroom. The basement ceiling had to have holes drilled into it in order to release the water that poured down from behind the kitchen cabinets. All my neighbours came over to help move outside all the furniture from both the main floor and the basement so that we could get rid of the water and dry the surfaces out. Everyone expressed condolences, feeling so sorry for me, everyone thinking that I would certainly lose my wood flooring. When the water was washed away and the floor dried with towels, we all stood back expecting to see the floor distort, buckle, split or otherwise come apart...and nothing happened! The entire expanse of wood floor looked completely untouched! It still matches 100% the identical wood flooring at the end of the hall and in the bedrooms where the water hadn't reached (when the water reached the air vents it flowed down them to the basement). You cannot see where the flood stopped and started!! There were those who warned that it might take a few weeks for the floor to start to buckle or rise - but a full year later, you still can't see any evidence of a flood, you would never know that there had been a flood in the house!
In addition to this, until this year, my husband and I bred & trained service dogs - one of the breeds weighing well over 100 pounds. And I have to admit that although I am a good dog trainer, I stay on top of my puppies, and I work hard on their training using positive proactive methods, there have still been a few bathroom accidents with all the puppies we've raised over the 10 years that we've had this flooring. Now, we would certainly recommend that any accident be cleaned up as soon as it happens - but no matter how careful you are, when you raise puppies in a very under-foot, home-raised, environment (for the benefit of the dogs and their eventual owners) you are ultimately going to have the occasional accident. So, yes, there have indeed been a few times when we've entered a room to find a puddle already sitting there, timing unknown...but, in all of these "surprise" situations, we've been relieved to see that no sign of the accident once the liquid was mopped up...nothing, no stain, no darkened wood, no roughened or raised wood fibres, no mark at all!!
Wear and tear? Well, even with several giant breed dogs (Leonbergers) and several small breed dogs (Shiba Inus) running around loose in the house...romping after toys, playing fetch with children, chasing each other around the house on rainy days, jumping on and off dog furniture and kids' beds...we have very few signs of damage! We have received many appreciative comments on our floors...and many questions about how in the world our floor has managed to survive so many dogs for so many years without showing any wear or tear! There have been some scratches, but the few scratches that have been put into the wood by the dogs have been minor in nature and easily sanded out by hand with medium/fine sand paper. The only gouging that has occurred was caused by Salvation Army workers when they picked up three heavy pieces of wood furniture that I had donated to them. If I had been quicker, I would have slid a towel or piece of cardboard under the furniture, but I was trying to stay out of the worker's way as they struggled with the heavy pieces so there are a few gouges in the wood in the doorway. No matter, since I've already had success with sand paper, I know that I can sand out even these deep gouges, get right down to perfect unmarred wood, and then refinish the damaged areas without having to refinish the entire floor. That’s the beauty of solid wood flooring!
I am certain that had we purchased laminate flooring 10 years ago instead of reclaimed solid wood, we would currently have a very scratched, gouged, stained, marred, and raised fibre floor that would have to be covered up with rugs or completely replaced. I can clearly remember back when we were trying to decide which type of flooring to go with. All we knew for sure is that we weren't going to buy wall-to-wall carpet with 10 dogs in the house - no matter how clean the area, how good our training, we would likely have to replace the entire carpet within a few years. After what I have experienced in the 10 years since the build, I am now convinced that laminated wood is the "wood equivalent" of wall-to-wall carpet. Laminate would have required total replacement after the flood and after 10 years of 10 dogs and puppies...but solid wood permits us to refinish one individual area of damage instead of pulling everything out and starting over.
The choice of using solid wax as a finish was also fortuitous. It is beautiful to look at, it stains the wood a subtle warm tone, and it gives a smooth but not overly slippery surface. It looks wonderfully smooth and shiny, but yet our dogs can walk and run on it without slipping, spinning out, or doing the splits!
In addition to the benefits that wood offers to families with dogs in the home, wood also has benefits for humans. Wood has a warmth to it, it's not "stone cold" and thus it's far more comfortable to bare or socked feet. It also has "give" to it, it moves ever so slightly when weight is applied. With my bad spine I don't experience the spinal fatigue or pain from spending time on it the way I do when spending too many hours on harder surfaces such as stone, cement, marble, granite, or ceramic tile. As a recent widow with a spinal disability, I don't fear falling on this wood floor the way I do when walking on other hard surfaces...having fallen on both surfaces, I am relieved to have wood in my home!