Homeowners designing a new home or renovating an existing one look for flooring that is durable, comfortable and lets them express their personality. But, choosing the right material can be difficult when you own pets, as it is easier to adjust the flooring to the pet than the other way around. Even if you trim their nails and fur, they can still leave marks. Pets tend to shed and sometimes forget they are housebroken, potentially leaving “accidents” anywhere. The good news is you can find the right flooring, with patience and research. Remember, the best flooring will make your house look and feel comfortable both for you and your pet. Before we look at some popular flooring options, let’s go over some important factors to take into consideration before choosing the best flooring for your pets.
Factors to Consider Before Choosing Pet-Friendly Flooring
The primary things you should remember when buying pet-friendly flooring are:
Safety and Comfort
Your pet’s safety and comfort should be a priority when choosing flooring for your home. Certain materials offer very little traction which can result in slippage and injury, especially for older animals.
For younger pets who haven’t yet been housebroken, it is vital to have a material that doesn’t stain easily. However, even older and well-trained pets can have accidents.
Certain dog breeds have sharper nails than others and can easily damage flooring, especially when they are playing. Remember, pet-friendly flooring should be scratch resistant to avoid damage.
5 Best Pet-Friendly Flooring Options
Hardwood is perhaps the most popular flooring option among homeowners but isn’t recommended for homes with children or pets. Most hardwoods don’t perform well against spillage. They also wear more easily when there is more than one pet or one large pet around. Hardwood also stains easily on repeated exposure to spills. But, if you must choose it, go for harder ones as they are better at resisting scuffs and scratches. Some of the most durable hardwoods are maple, oak, cherry, elm, mahogany and hickory. Avoid redwood, birch, cedar, fir and pine as they are too soft for your needs and cannot withstand much abuse from pets.
Even the most durable hardwood needs to be protected. Coating the entire floor in urethane makes the surface more scratch resistant and minimizes damage caused by liquids such as urine.
This is one of the toughest and most durable flooring materials available. Producing bamboo flooring involves infusing it with resins which results in its durability. Your cat or dog will love the warmth it offers, especially during the colder months; this reduces the need for underfloor heating. Bamboo flooring is useful if you have a pet who isn’t house-trained yet. It does not stain easily and is easy to clean. As its production does not require pesticides or fertilizer, bamboo is considered an eco-friendly material with a low carbon footprint, thereby having a positive impact on the environment.
This is a great option for any room and comes in a wide variety of options. It looks like natural stone, concrete or hardwood – and all at a fraction of cost of the real thing. Laminate is resistant to water and scratches, so you need not worry about your pets tracking water. Just be careful to wipe up spills as soon as they occur. Remember to steer clear of surfaces with a shiny finish as this may result in your pet sliding or slipping as they won’t be able to get a very good grip.
Porcelain and Ceramic Tile
Both materials wipe down easily, and unlike water-averse laminate, tile can tolerate large amounts of water during cleaning. Its underlayment is made with cement board, resulting in a flooring that is solid from top to bottom. But its shiny surface can make it difficult for your pets to gain traction, making it harder for older pets to move around. This issue can be handled with thicker grout lines, as these offer some traction.
Vinyl has become a popular choice for homes with pets as it offers all-round benefits to homeowners while being low maintenance and affordable. Pet owners generally worry about scratches on their flooring, but vinyl is scratch resistant. Another benefit is its stain resistance, so there’s no need to worry about your dog urinating or spilling water. If you do notice spills, though, it is best to clean them up to prevent mould or mildew. Your dog will be especially pleased with the flooring as the material is great for them to both lie and walk on. It is a low-cost flooring that can be installed in any part of your home.
For most of us, pets are members of the family, so it makes sense that you should take their needs into account when thinking about flooring. Whether you share your home with a dog, cat or other furry or feathered friend, keep your pet and family happy by selecting the right flooring. While laminate and vinyl are both affordable and sturdy, wood flooring is expensive and timeless. Neither tiles nor wood flooring are suitable if you have pets. Make sure you think about your pet and yourself when deciding on the flooring.