Quality flooring is key to any home improvement project, and the choice becomes even more important when you have pets. Even well-trimmed nails can gouge hardwood and rip up carpets, while toilet stains and smells are often difficult to remove.
The good news is that you can keep your pets happy and retain your floor’s beauty simply by choosing the right flooring.
Here, we help you choose the most pet-friendly flooring for your home and provide tips on how to prevent further damage to your existing floors.
Factors to Consider When Choosing Pet-Friendly Floors
- Resistance to scratches
Dogs and other pets with sharp nails can damage your floor, especially when playing, so always choose a flooring option that resists scratches.
- Resistance to stains
For pets that haven’t been house trained, or who have the occasional accident, it’s important to choose stain-resistant flooring.
- Pet comfort and safety
Always consider the comfort and safety of your pets when choosing your flooring. Some materials, like tile, for instance, offer little to no traction, which can lead to slipping and sliding.
Now that you know what to consider, let’s take a look at some flooring ideas that’ll keep you and your furry friends happy.
6 Best Flooring Types for Pets
Concrete is hard, easy to clean, resists scratches and dents, and doesn’t collect fur or allergens the way carpets do.
However, it can be a loud and cold surface that doesn’t provide much cushioning. A simple way to add comfort and reduce noise is to use area rugs.
If you live in a cold climate, you can also opt for radiant floor heating, while a pet bed gives your fur baby a cozy place to lay down.
One of the biggest worries dog owners have is their pet scratching the floor.
Vinyl flooring is scratch-resistant so prevents damage, even if they have long nails.
Another major benefit is its stain resistance. If you’re worried about spills, whether urine, food or water, vinyl is your best option. However, it’s important to clean it up immediately, failing which leads to the development of mould and mildew
Vinyl provides significant traction to prevent pets from slipping and hurting themselves, which is why it’s safe and comfortable for your pet to lie down and walk on vinyl floors.
The sealant layer (topcoat) of laminate makes it scratch and scuff proof, though it can be damaged by spills left unattended. It’s also way more affordable than wood, concrete and most tiles.
One major potential issue with laminate flooring is that its protective layer is very slippery. This could cause your pet to fall and possibly injure itself. If you’re leaning towards laminate, consider a textured finish to help provide traction.
- Ceramic/Porcelain Tiles
Ceramic and porcelain tiles are both scratch and stain-resistant, making them ideal for pets. They’re also easy to clean, requiring only regular sweeping and mopping (and occasional vacuuming).
The only downside is that tiles are hard and cold, making them uncomfortable for pets and other family members, especially if you live in a cold climate. Fortunately, you can address this issue with area rugs and pet beds.
Besides being hypoallergenic and antibacterial, cork resists scratches and dents well.
Its natural warmth and sound-absorbing properties make it a comfortable and quiet surface to walk on.
When it comes to stain resistance, cork performs well to a certain extent. In case of a spill, clean it up quickly to avoid permanent stains and damage.
Some smooth-finished cork floors can be slippery, making them a safety hazard for pets and people. They also tend to lose their colour and lustre over time.
- Engineered Hardwood
While hardwood is never recommended for pets, you could choose engineered hardwood. Just make sure the type you choose ranks high on the Janka test and has a thick, scratch-resistant finish. This way, you can sand and refinish them without damaging the wood beneath.
Another way to hide scratches is to choose a rustic or distressed design. Since it already looks worn, any minor scratches or dents will blend in.
Tips to Protect Your Floors from Pet Damage
- Build Dens
Pets, especially dogs, like to have comfortable, den-like spaces to retreat to for naps and relaxation. When they spend a lot of time in their den, it reduces the amount of time spent on your flooring.
- Trim Their Nails
Long pet nails can scratch flooring, especially if they love to run and play, so keep their nails short. The other option is to use soft nail caps for your pet, especially if you have hardwood floors, which are prone to scratches.
- Use Mats
Place mats beneath your pet’s food and water bowls. Also, use doormats at your home’s entryways to catch excess dirt and debris. This will minimize the damage caused by pets trampling the floor.
While there’s no such thing as pet-proof flooring, some options hold up better against scratches and stains than others. With care, consideration and precautions, you can enjoy great-looking floors for years to come.