Whenever you are upgrading your flooring, there are always many factors to consider when making your choice. Also a pet owner? Making sure that you choose the best flooring for cats and dogs should be near the top of your list.
Pets can get heavy on the floor. Their nails can leave scratches. Accidents can stain and produce odors that don’t just go away. Spilling means the floor needs to be cleaned regularly and thoroughly.
So, unless you’re planning on dumping your best friend in the backyard and if you don’t want your new floor to break quickly, you need to invest in the best flooring for pets.
To help you find a floor that you like and that is resistant to the damage your pet can cause, we’ve created a list of the best types of flooring for pet houses.
Each option has pros and cons, but with a little bit of persistence, you’ll find the perfect floor for your home. 5 Best Pet-Friendly Flooring Options
(1) Waterproof (or at least waterproof)
No matter how well trained your pet is, accidents can happen. And accidents aren’t the only way pets carry water into the home. Food and water can spill out of their bowls, they can carry mud on their feet and legs, make a mess after bathing or swimming, and don’t forget that some dogs drool a lot.
Waterproof, or at least a floor with a high degree of water resistance, is necessary for every pet home.
Unlike our nails, our dogs and cats touch the ground when they walk. This alone can scratch the brittle floor because the nails are much harder than yours. Plus, it’s the natural scratching and scratching instincts of cats and dogs, and both can make for short jobs on soft floors.
Pet friendly floors need to be scratch resistant because there is no such thing as scratch resistant. This usually means a hard floor. It’s also a good idea to find a floor with a strong protective layer on top so it can be polished. Also, it’s a good idea to choose a design where the strokes will blend rather than stand out.
With these criteria in mind, here are our picks for the top five types of pet friendly flooring.
Tile & Stone Flooring
Waterproof, stain resistant, and easy to clean, tile and stone floors can hold anything out of your pet’s plate. This is one of the best options when it comes to pet friendly flooring.
Tiled and stone floors are suitable for pets of all ages. Whether you have a new puppy who is still learning to potty train, or an older dog who has trouble controlling his guts, this floor is very forgiving.
Tile flooring can be very affordable, costing from us only $ 1.00 per square foot, although good quality tile can set you back as much as $ 30.00 per square foot.
Now, the downside is that while tiles (including wood tiles) and stone are comfortable for you, they are not the most comfortable flooring for your pet.
The floor is hard and cold
Cats can easily find a comfortable sofa or chair to rest on. However, if you have a dog, make sure that they have a soft rug or dog bed somewhere in the house for them to lie down on.
And if you live somewhere that gets cold in winter, you might also want to consider installing a glowing underfloor heating system. Radiation heating will add warmth to both you and your pet.
Tile and stone flooring is definitely our top choice if you are looking for the best scratch resistant flooring that is also waterproof.
Very scratch resistant
Easy to clean
It can be cold under the feet and draw warmth from the room in colder climates
It is attractive, resembles a hardwood floor, and also microbes.
So, even if you want to clean it up quickly, if you don’t find an accident right away, you can still safely remove it.
Another benefit of cork is that it absorbs sound. If you love your pets, but you are not a fan of the sound of feet because they run noisily in your home, a cork is a good choice.
Cork is also scratch resistant. However, this doesn’t mean it won’t get scratched. It’s still a good idea to groom your pet’s nails.
Choose a lighter cork floor color to minimize the appearance of scuff marks. And be sure to finish with a finishing product that is strong and scratch resistant.
Cork is also a very affordable flooring option, costing between $ 2.00- $ 7.00 per square foot, and you may be able to find great options online for even less.
While cork flooring isn’t completely “pet resistant”, it is an option that provides a natural warmth similar to hardwood floors, but is more resistant to many of the pet-related flooring challenges.
Microbial resistance to bacteria and fungi
Scratch resistant, but less than select tiles and stones.
So, you can feel good when you see your pet running across your new floor.
Make sure to choose the right bamboo flooring because not all bamboos are created equal.
Choose one that has a high hardness rating according to the Janka test. Strand woven bamboo flooring holds up better than other types of bamboo flooring.
While Bamboo flooring can be purchased for as little as $ 2.00 per square foot, though you may need to spend between $ 4.00 and $ 7.00 per square foot for good quality bamboo flooring.
Bamboo flooring is also easy to care for. So anything your pet is dragging from the outside into the house is easy to clean.
Food and water spills or pet accidents will not damage this floor if cleaned properly.
Overall, bamboo flooring is an excellent, reasonably priced choice for homes with pets, as long as you choose one that is tough and durable.
Stain and scratch resistant
You need to be careful when choosing this type of floor because the quality of bamboo floors can vary widely.
Luxury Vinyl Flooring
Luxury vinyl comes as luxury vinyl plank (LVP) and luxury vinyl tile (LVT).
LVP and LVT work well with pets for a variety of reasons.
First, luxury vinyl is very durable.
If you use a good quality product and put it up properly, it can withstand many of the challenges that come with pets. And it won’t be scratched or torn.
It is resistant to accidents and spills of food or water bowls. Most luxury vinyl is waterproof, and some varieties are even waterproof.
Easy to care for and easy to clean.
Plus, it’s soft under the feet. So you and your pet will be comfortable walking and resting.
So, if you are looking for a budget-friendly flooring that you and your pet will enjoy, luxury vinyl is an excellent choice.
More affordable than other pet friendly flooring
Scratch and water resistant
Less desirable in terms of resale value
Engineered Hardwood Floors
While any type of hardwood flooring is not recommended for pets, if you must have hardwood, use engineered hardwood.
Make sure to pick one that ranks highly on the Janka test such as Brazilian cherry or white oak.
If your pet scratches the surface, use a plank that has a thick coating. If the top layer is thick, you can sand it and smooth it several times.
Another way to help hide scuff marks is to choose a floor that already has a “rough” or distressed appearance. This model is looking worn out, and the scars will naturally come together.
Also, remember to clean up any accidents or spills immediately to protect your floors.
So, if you don’t mind spending a bit of money on high-quality engineered hardwoods, pet and hardwood flooring might coexist in your home.
While you can expect to get standard engineered hardwoods for $ 4.00- $ 7.00 per square foot, but if you’re looking for the best quality, expect to pay $ 7.00- $ 12.00 per square foot.
Desirable when considering the resale value of the home
More waterproof than traditional hardwood floors
Not waterproof or scratch resistant like other options
Flooring To Avoid With Pets
If you are planning on installing a new floor, and one of your goals is to be pet friendly, some flooring types should be avoided.
Now, if your heart is set on one of these floors, you can still have it. Remember that you may have to compromise or work extra hard to keep it up.
The first, and perhaps the most obvious, is the carpet. Especially thick and luxurious rugs, unless you choose a rug specifically designed for pet owners.
Carpets stain easily. Plus, cats love to scratch and dogs like to chew them.
Solid hardwood floors should also be avoided. A pet accident or spill can damage and permanently bend it.
Plus, they can get scratched easily. So, if you insist on hardwoods, you are better off using engineered hardwoods.
It can warp if it gets wet unless you manage to get hold of one of the most recently produced waterproof laminate options.
Plus, the texture can be slippery for pets. This can be troublesome, especially for dogs prone to hip injuries.
However, recent technological advances in the industry have prompted us to review several dog friendly laminate flooring options.
Maintaining And Cleaning Your Pet-Friendly Floors
No matter what type of flooring you choose, it’s important to keep it clean. Animals track dirt and debris in the house. They also leave behind fur and pet dander.
And even if you have a cat that never leaves the house, it can leave litter trails that can damage your floors.
tips to help keep your floors clean:
- Create a routine to vacuum your pet’s hair, and sweep it frequently.
- Mop hard surfaces regularly (although less frequently).
- Immediately clean up accidents such as pet pee. Use homemade remedies or buy special pet products to neutralize them.
- Place a mat under the food and water bowl to prevent the spill from coming into contact with your floor.
- Some floors need to be re-polished every six months to a year. Mark your calendar and stick with it to protect your floors.
With regular regular maintenance, you can keep your floors in good shape, even with pets.
What Is The Best Waterproof Flooring For Pets?
If you know your pet is prone to accidents or likes to bring mud and water into the house, you may decide that you need a waterproof floor. Tile and stone floors are the best waterproof options, as they won’t break or leave stains.
But tiles and stone aren’t attractive for everyone to look at, and it can get pretty cold under the feet, especially if you live in a cooler climate.
Luxury vinyl flooring, which can be purchased to look like hardwood, is a good alternative. But while these are generally promoted as affordable floor mats, don’t look for the cheapest item. You’ll have to pay extra for the waterproof option.
What Are The Best Luxury Vinyl Plank Flooring For Pets?
Luxury vinyl plank (LVP) flooring can be an excellent choice for a pet-friendly household. But you have to be careful about which LVP you choose.
While LVP is promoted as an affordable flooring option, you will want to look at high-end LVP flooring options if you have pets at home.
First, although most LVPs are waterproof, you will need to pay more for them. This is very valuable. Most LVP floors will be fine if you clean up the spill within 30 minutes. But the fact is, if your dog has an accident, it’s usually when you are outside, so it can sit there longer.
You will also want to choose an option with a thick layer of wear. It is the top layer that determines how durable, stain and scratch resistant a floor is. If you have pets in the house, you are probably looking for 20 million or more layers of wear.
What Are The Best Hardwood Floors For Pets?
In general, solid wood floors are not recommended as they are pet friendly. But engineered hardwoods perform better than other types.
Solid wood is not recommended as these flexible floors are prone to damage by pet nails, and any kind of spill can cause permanent damage and stains. If the spill is large enough, the floor may even become warped.
But if you do have a heart for hardwood floors, engineered hardwood is a possible option. Instead of being a single plank of wood, the layers of hardwood are engineered into a thinner plank of wood.
This makes it better at handling moisture, as it doesn’t warp and flex easily from moisture.
What is the best floor for pet urine?
If you are worried about pet urine, then it is worth considering waterproof floors.
This floor should not be permanently damaged or stained with pet urine, nor should it leave any unpleasant odors.
Is Laminate Or Vinyl Better For Dogs?
Laminate may seem like a good choice on paper because it appears to be easy to clean, but in reality, laminates can seriously warp when wet. Several new waterproof options are slowly becoming available on the market.
Also, the laminate can get very slippery under the dog’s paws. This could result in an accident. In addition, they are more likely to stick their nails into the floor to calm themselves down.
Vinyl flooring should feel secure under both you and your dog’s feet. Most vinyl flooring options are waterproof, and if you’re willing to pay a little more, you can also get waterproof options. This is a much better choice for dog owners.
While there is no such thing as pet resistant flooring, there are definitely better options in pet-friendly households.
Which one suits you depends on your taste. Since you want your home to be pet friendly, it should still be your home. You want it to reflect your style and preferences, and be within your budget.
If you want the easiest and most durable flooring for pets, ceramic or stone tiles may be your best choice.
For a green option that can accommodate your pet, cork and bamboo are great choices. But don’t skimp on materials; the cheap version of this floor is easily damaged.
The most budget-friendly and easy-to-care flooring for pets is luxury vinyl. However, this option may not help you with the resale value of your home, so if you are planning to move out in the near future, keep this in mind.
Hardwood floors are considered the best for resale, but they are not the most pet-friendly flooring. If you do want hardwoods, look for engineered hardwoods that can better handle pet challenges.
Whichever option you choose, remember that accidents will happen. And scratches are always possible on certain types of floors.
Try to keep your pet neat and trim its nails frequently.
With regular floor and pet maintenance, you can get great flooring in a pet-friendly home.