Are you a dog owner looking to renovate your home? Or perhaps you want to adopt but need to make sure your flooring will hold up.
In either case, there is such a thing as pet-friendly flooring. Let’s look at your options.
Top 7 Dog-Friendly Flooring Options for Your Home
What is the most suitable flooring for your dog? Here, we look at seven of the best options.
Hardwood is one of the most popular flooring options. But it’s not recommended for homes with more than one pet as most types don’t stand up well to spills and they tend to stain easily.
But this isn’t true for all varieties of hardwood. If you have your heart set on it, opt for harder varieties as they are better at resisting the scuffs and scratches that may occur from pet nails. A great idea is to cross-check the Janka hardness scale of the wood you’re considering before buying. It’s best to choose a hardwood with a rating above 1250; definitely avoid ratings lower than 850.
Some suitable hardwoods include mahogany, maple, cherry, elm, hickory and oak. Steer clear of softer varieties like redwood, fir, birch, pine and cedar.
Durable hardwood still needs protection. To that end we suggest coating your flooring in urethane to make it resistant to stains and scratches and minimize damage from nails and dog urine.
Vinyl is a suitable flooring material for dogs as it’s resilient.
It’s also one of the easiest materials to clean and maintain. This makes it suitable for allergy sufferers as it won’t trap any pet hair or dander. All you need to do is vacuum or sweep and mop.
Vinyl tiles and planks are stylish and cost-effective as well, making them a great option for every room. Additionally, your dog will love the cool surface provided by vinyl in summer and the warmth it offers in winter. It can also be paired with heated subfloors, offering even more comfort during the colder months.
Vinyl flooring also has enough grip for them not to skate across the floor or damage it.
If you don’t require waterproof flooring, you could choose a water-resistant option, such as laminate, which, when cared for properly, can last many years.
Although not waterproof, as is necessary for rooms that experience high humidity, like kitchens and bathrooms, laminate does offer ample time to clean up spills. This makes it a good choice for homes with puppies as there’s no need to worry about them peeing or spilling water.
We recommend choosing a thicker 12mm laminate with underlayment to eliminate the noise your dog’s claws can create.
A durable and stylish option for homes with pets, bamboo flooring is similar to hardwood in many ways.
It stands up well to wear and tear, resists scratches, and offers enough traction to keep your pet from slipping and sliding. It also retains heat, making it comfortable both for you and your furry friend(s).
There are many varieties of bamboo, but your best bet is strand-woven bamboo as it will stand up best to your pet’s nails. It’s also an eco-friendly flooring option as fewer pesticides are required to keep growing bamboo healthy and it requires no fertilizer when planted. Bamboo has a more positive impact on the environment than hardwood, allowing homeowners to reduce their carbon footprint.
Though wall-to-wall carpeting is one of the most comfortable flooring options for both homeowners and dogs, pets can be especially hard on it. This is because carpets trap odours, allergens and stains, and can be ruined by pet nails snagging on fibres.
If you still prefer carpets, it’s advisable to choose carpet tiles. These offer the advantages of carpet (ease of mobility, warmth, comfort) and if any section were to get soiled or damaged, they can be easily cleaned or replaced.
Cork is a great choice for homes with dogs because of its antimicrobial properties. This means that even if your pet has an accident inside, it won’t promote bacterial growth like mould or mildew, or develop other types of harmful allergens.
An added advantage of cork flooring is its ability to absorb sound, ensuring your pets can roam around noiselessly.
Cork flooring is scratch-resistant but not scratch-proof, so it’s a good idea to keep your dog’s nails trimmed. If you’re worried about scratches being visible on the flooring, choose a lighter shade to minimize their appearance. For added protection have your cork flooring finished with a tough, scratch-resistant finishing product.
Since cork is an affordable flooring option (being available between $2 to $7 per square foot), it can be installed throughout your home.
Porcelain and Ceramic Tile
Porcelain and ceramic tile floors are easy to keep clean by wiping them daily. Unlike other materials, cork holds up well to water and humidity, making it suitable for rooms like kitchens and bathrooms.
Since it requires a cement board underlayment, there’s no need to worry about hollow spots that may result in noises due to the click-clacking of your pet’s claws. Tiles may not be suitable for older dogs, however, as they may have a tough time gaining traction. In that case it’s better to install tiles with a thicker grouting line, or you can find varieties that offer better traction. Check with your flooring provider.
- Clean up pet accidents as soon as possible. Remember, even stain-resistant flooring can retain bad smells if the mess is allowed to sit. Follow manufacturer instructions to clean specific flooring types as some may require specialized products to keep in the best condition.
- By keeping your pets’ nails well-groomed, you can reduce the damage that they can do to your flooring.
- To reduce accidents, make sure your dogs are properly house-trained.
Choosing the right flooring will keep both you and your pet happy. Thanks to the wide range of pet-friendly materials and designs available, you can select flooring that suits your home’s decor while being comfortable for your pets.