The types of flooring you choose when building or remodeling your home can be a challenging decision. It can become even more of a challenge if you have pets living in your home. We are frequently asked what types of flooring are best for pet owners, especially those living with man’s best friend.
Dogs may be man’s best friend but they can be your floor’s worst nightmare if you don’t first consider the pros and cons for the types of flooring you may be considering. Innovation has changed the way that flooring is manufactured and recycled, creating several options that can withstand anything your pet dishes out. Check out some of the pet-friendly types of flooring we have sniffed out for you.
1. Hardwood VS. Wood-Look
We’ll tackle hardwood flooring first since this is one of the most desired types of flooring.
The bottom line is the best wood floor for your dog isn’t a wood floor.
Choosing hardwood flooring when you have a dog in the home is tricky unless your dog is well-trained. Otherwise, hardwood floors require a tremendous amount of attention and maintenance. Dog or cat urine can stain the hardwood and leave an undesired smell.
Even if you clean it up right away, there’s a good chance the smell will persist because the urine seeps down into the wood as the wood expands. The same is true for any other liquid that spills or drops onto a wood floor.
Hardwood floors also scratch easily. Dogs don’t have to have to have sharp claws for them to scratch the surface and affect the wood floor. You can lay out area rugs and runners down the hallway but their claws can still penetrate the sealer coat and ruin the hardwood.
There are other types of flooring that can achieve the same appearance if you are bound and determined to have the look of hardwood in your home. Wood-look tile is not what it used to be and it even can come plank-sized in a variety of colors and finishes.
Luxury Vinyl is one of the most used types of flooring for pet owners because it’s known to be one of the most resilient and durable options available. Luxury Vinyl flooring is scratch and stain resistant, low in allergens and extremely easy to clean.
It’s also very quiet to walk on which is a huge perk for those who frequently hear their dog’s nails click clack on the floor. Luxury Vinyl is a very affordable flooring.
The #1 reason pet owners love luxury vinyl flooring? IT’S 100% WATERPROOF! Seriously, waterproof. If you’re out of town and sparky has a few accidents and no one is there to clean it up, have no fear. You can easily clean it without leaving a stain, smell, or damaging the planks.
Bamboo flooring can be a sensible option for dog owners and a great compromise between hardwood and vinyl flooring. Bamboo has a wood surface and is the hardest of all hardwoods. Because of it’s durability, it stands up to foot traffic and can withstand scratches and stains better than traditional hardwood. Not only is bamboo flooring stain resistant but it’s completely renewable so it’s good for the Earth.
Not all bamboo flooring is a good option though, so be sure to do your research and look specifically for bamboo flooring manufacturers, like US Floors, who draw attention to the hardness of their floors. The bamboo flooring should be strand woven and not made from immature bamboo plants, otherwise, it will be quite soft and won’t stand up to the two and four-legged traffic in your home.
Laminate is another type of flooring that can be made to look like wood. Many dog owners turn to laminate flooring over traditional hardwood because it’s such an affordable way to achieve a wood look. It’s also strong and can be scratch and water resistant (not with every laminate) but there are other factors to take into consideration before choosing this option.
A lot of pet owners like wood-like laminate to provide the home decor they are looking for but it can be difficult for dogs because they slip and slide as they walk or run through the home. Another factor to consider is that although laminate is water resistant, any spills or accidents have the potential to seep through the crevices between the planks creating the potential for staining. I’ve also seen plenty of laminates scratch, so make sure it’s got a thick wear layer.
Stone tile is an amazing flooring option for pet owners because this tough surface doesn’t scratch easily and if it does, the scratches don’t show like they do on other types of flooring. When pets have accidents on the stone tile floor, there is much less reason to worry about how it will impact the condition of the flooring because any mess can easily be cleaned up. These two factors alone make it a valuable option for dog owners looking at different types of flooring for their home.
The downside of stone flooring is that it’s cold and hard so it’s very uncomfortable to lay on and walk upon. Granite is the hardest all natural stone and one of the better stone flooring options because it is low maintenance compared to softer stones such as marble, slate and travertine.
6. Cork Flooring
Cork is another eco-and-pet friendly flooring choice because it’s good for the environment and health of those in your home. Cork flooring is high on the dog-friendly flooring list because it’s hypoallergenic and antimicrobial so it will reduce the the growth of mold and other allergens that dogs may be responsible for.
It’s also scratch resistant and sound absorbent so not only will your floor not get scuffed and scratched up, but your four legged friend will move through the house like a stealth ninja.
Cork flooring is water resistant but since it’s a natural surface, spills and accidents should be cleaned without delay. The finish of most cork flooring is closer to a hardwood floor than vinyl or stone but it does have a tendency to discolor over time if it’s exposed to sunlight. Cork flooring is fairly expensive option but it is totally worth considering due to it’s overall lifespan, especially in a home with pets.
CoreTec is a luxury vinyl on steriods. COREtec is one of the most reputable LVT brands on the market, and it’s quickly becoming a first choice in homes with pets and kids. CoreTec Flooring has the rustic wood look of a hardwood floor but it is completely scratch resistant, 100% waterproof, quieter and softer than standard hardwood.
It has three layers with vinyl on top and a core made from recycled wood, bamboo, limestone and PVC. It’s so waterproof that it will never swell and the cork underlayment is backed by a lifetime warranty by it’s manufacturer, US Floors.
I hope this has helped you to better understand some of the pet-friendly flooring options that are available today. This is just a basic guide to some of the distinct pros and cons for each flooring type.
Ultimately most flooring types can be suitable for certain pets if you approach it with forethought. Whichever floor you choose, remember to keep your dog’s nails trimmed to minimize the impact on your floors.
Also, consider using floor mats around the entry ways to your home so dirt can be easily wiped down before your pet comes back inside. We are a pet loving company so don’t hesitate to contact us or leave a comment if you have any other questions.
Builders Surplus is a full service remodeling company with locations in Louisville, Kentucky, and Newport, Kentucky, which also serves Cincinnati, Ohio. We specialize in interior design, which comes as a free service to our clients. We sell building supplies ranging from unused surplus, to first quality in stock, to high end custom order and everything in between. We also provide measurement and full installation services. If you have any questions or would like to set up a free design consultation with one of our interior designers, we would encourage you to do so. Happy Remodeling!