Before you lay down your new floor, consider the following advice, which is designed for pet owners just like you. Follow along and we’ll help you find a flooring choice that is perfect for you and your furry best friends.
What is the Best Flooring for Pets?
When we talk about pet-friendly floors, there are levels to how well flooring will hold up. You may only have a tiny dog, and so you may only require protection against the occasional nail scrape. You don’t need your floor to hold up as much as a veterinarian would. A vet’s office would be better served by installing flooring that will hold up to pretty much anything. Vet clinics and animal boarding facilities can face damage like shedding, toenails, urine, and excrement, and would require flooring that is durable, stain-resistant, and easy to clean.
There are six pet-friendly floors that we recommend for your home or office.
Glazed Ceramic Tile
If you need a strong floor that will hold up to most abuse and one that is easy to clean, this is the go-to. Glazed ceramic is incredibly strong. Even if you have an overactive Great Dane, your floor won’t crack, chip, or break, no matter what abuse your pooch throws at it. The flooring is also water and stain-resistant due to the glazing process, which makes the surface impermeable to penetration by urine and excrement. All pet messes can be cleaned up in moments with simple soap and water.
As an added bonus, ceramic tile is considered a hygienic surface that is easy to disinfect.
The drawbacks to this type of flooring are that the grout joints can be susceptible to staining unless they are sealed, and the tiles can get slippery and cold. Choosing a high-gloss finish can make glazed ceramic less slippery for your four-legged friends.
Vinyl is also resilient as a flooring choice and some might go as far as saying that it is the best flooring for pets. You can purchase vinyl in tile or sheets, or as click-lock planks, which are also called luxury vinyl. This type of flooring is manufactured from man-made materials, and it not only looks fantastic, but it will hold up to liquids and stains. If your pet messes on your vinyl floor, simply wipe it away. You can sanitize vinyl with any standard commercial cleaning agent, allowing you to kill germs and lingering microorganisms with ease. This makes the flooring a favorite among pet owners everywhere.
Vinyl tile flooring is applied with adhesives that bond to the wood underlayment. The sheet variety of vinyl is applied by troweled adhesives or by using a perimeter bonding method that adheres the flooring to only the edges and seams. The latter method of installation has its drawbacks because the inside areas “float,” which means that there is a possibility of pet toenails catching on the loose vinyl, causing gouges. Using full-bond vinyl flooring can alleviate this issue.
Another drawback to vinyl is that the flooring can be thin, so the tiles or sheets tend to adopt the characteristics of the subfloor underneath. If the vinyl is installed on a hard surface like concrete, it can hug the concrete closely, preventing animal claws from getting purchase and damaging the outer layer.
A primary benefit of vinyl flooring, aside from the water and stain-resistant qualities is that vinyl is much cheaper than ceramic tile, although it doesn’t last as long.
You do have the option of choosing luxury vinyl flooring (LVF), which gets installed in semi-rigid planks that go together with click-lock joints. This type of flooring is very attractive, although the cracks between the planks can be a problem if pet urine seeps into them. Some LVF manufacturers offer pet-friendly options that are impervious to pet stains and scratching, even at the corners and sides.
Pet owners appreciate linoleum for its ability to withstand staining and scratches, but also because it’s eco-friendly to boot. The all-natural flooring option is manufactured with a wear layer that repels harmful substance like urine and feces. Linoleum is easy to care for, simple to clean, and can handle the rigors that come with picking up after pets.
Unlike the other floors mentioned, linoleum is made from linseed oil, and other readily renewable and Earth-grown materials. The floor is low impact, lightweight, and doesn’t have the problem of emitting volatile organic compounds or VOCs that sometimes occurs with vinyl.
Linoleum is an excellent choice for pet owners who want a strong floor that is also “green.”
If you are looking for flooring that is both pet-friendly and inexpensive, concrete is the way to go. Concrete flooring is also ideal for basements where a concrete foundation slab is already present. If you do have a concrete subfloor, you’ll have to treat it with a water-resistant sealing agent to make it suitable for pet-friendly flooring. The sealant will also protect the concrete floor from stains and make it easy to clean.
Some pet owners are apprehensive about choosing concrete as a flooring option because they think it means their space will look dreary and “industrial.” It’s only when these home and business owners learn about all the coloring, polishing, and etching techniques that can be used on concrete that they become excited about this flooring option once more.
In truth, concrete floors are practical, but they really are best when used on concrete sub-floors. If you have a wood platform construction, you may require expensive structural reinforcement, which could prove to be cost-prohibitive.
Rubber flooring is found in locations where safety, comfort, and relaxation are paramount. This is why you often see rubber floors in gyms or playrooms, but they can also be used for areas frequented by pets.
Rubber flooring is stain- and liquid-resistant and is so durable that your pets will have a difficult time tearing or gouging the material. Yet rubber floors are soft and comfortable. They are also quiet, which is important when creating a soothing interior space for animals. For safety’s sake, you will appreciate that rubber floors are slip-resistant as well.
The drawbacks to rubber floors include discoloration when exposed to harsh liquids like urine over long periods of time, and the cost, which makes rubber flooring prohibitive for many home and business owners.
Then there is the smell of rubber, which is unpleasant to some animals, though the odor typically fades with time.
While you may not be able to envision this flooring option in any room of your home or office, fake grass can be ideal for pet areas, like individual kennels or pet-specific rooms. Today’s artificial grass is attractive and comfortable for pets, and dogs love the feel of it under their paws while they play and lay around.
When you choose artificial grass for indoor animal spaces, choose a product with a solid urethane backing. This lets you know that the flooring is impervious to moisture and can be easily washed with soap and water.
You may find that your pets can’t distinguish between artificial grass and real, which is common. The downside is that this means you might be cleaning up more pet messes than usual.
The upside, apart from being resilient, is that artificial grass can be laid over existing subfloors, vinyl, or hard flooring just like carpet.
What About Cork Flooring as a Pet-Friendly Option?
We did leave out one type of floor from our list. Though it’s not as popular as the other flooring options, cork is naturally antimicrobial, which means it can protect your internal spaces from mold and allergens. These qualities make cork floors ideal for any home or office with pets.
The downside is that, while cork is stronger than hardwood, the flooring can still become scratched with vigorous clawing or scratching. Cork may also discolor over time if exposed to sunlight and is not suitable for rooms containing heavy furniture.
The upside is that cork is water-resistant. The flooring is not waterproof, however, so all pet messes should be cleaned up immediately to prevent staining. Cork also looks presentable, absorbs sound, and requires very little maintenance.
What Type of Flooring is Best for a Multiple Pet Home?
All of the flooring options mentioned will give you maximum resistance against pet odors and stains. However, glazed ceramic tile and concrete might hold up best, especially if you have major pet traffic or own several large dogs.
Which is the Best Flooring for Pet Hair?
All of the above options except for artificial grass will make cleaning up pet hair a breeze. Glazed ceramic, vinyl, linoleum, concrete, and even rubber floors will let you sweep up any pet hair left behind for a simple clean up job.
You know what flooring is not good for pet hair? Carpet. Stay away from carpeting if you have pets at all costs.
Can Dogs Scratch Laminate Wood Flooring?
It would take a lot for your dogs to scratch your laminate floors. The lamination process provides a protective layer that isn’t easy to penetrate, even with sharp nails and claws. As long as the laminate is bonded to the floor all around, you should be able to keep annoying scratches and gouges at bay.
How Do I Keep My Dog from Scratching the Wood Floors?
Wood floors look beautiful, but the finish can become scratched in places with extra frisky pets. You can try treating the wood floors with a laminate that will keep your pets from marring the surface. Another option is to keep your pets outside or at least prevent them from entering that room.
If you have vinyl flooring that looks like a wood floor, you shouldn’t have to worry about scratches at all. That’s one of the best things about this flooring option. Vinyl holds up to pretty much anything.
What is the Best Laminate Flooring for Someone with Pets?
Laminate flooring is great for any room of the house. With the appearance of traditional hardwood, natural stone, concrete, or metal, and the durability of vinyl, you get a pet-friendly surface that is as tough as they come.
We recommend that you avoid smooth or high gloss finishes unless you want your pets slipping and sliding all around the living room or kitchen. Ideally, you will install VisionGuard™ laminate floors, which have an added outer layer that protects against scuffs, scratches, and stains.
Even without VisionGuard™ technology, laminate flooring makes cleanup a breeze. You can dust the floor, mop it up, and vacuum it regularly, any sanitization method you prefer.
Got Pets? We Have Multiple Flooring Options
A pet is a member of the family and so, when it comes to flooring, you always have to think of your furry children when picking out the perfect floor. If you have a heavy pet area, like a vet’s office, glazed tile is the way to go. Rubber can also work, if the animals can get over the smell.
But for homes with one or two pets, you now have a variety of flooring choices to make any room your own. Call Minuteman Floors in Manchester, New Hampshire, where we can help you choose a flooring option that delivers the durability and attractiveness you want. Call now for a free estimate on your pet-friendly floor installation.