Flooring For Pets – What’s The Best?
When it comes to picking your perfect floor, there’s a massive range of variables to consider. What kind of underlay do you need? What kind of subfloor do you have? What will fit with your decor? What will suit your room? What’s your budget?…
The list goes on and on, and pretty soon finding that dream floor can turn into a bit of nightmare. Even when you’ve made a choice yourself, what does the rest of the family think? Maybe the kids love it, maybe your partner hates it, but they’re not important… will your furry friends be happy with your choice?
Picking the right flooring for pets is essential, it’ll save you money and a slew of headaches in the long run. Maybe you’re stumped with the other questions – we can help with those elsewhere on our blog, but right now, it’s time to focus on the fur balls.
Solid Wood Flooring
Does not agree with pets, pure and simple. Even with the best behaved pets, you’re likely to have little accidents, and if you’ve got a puppy or a kitten then a solid wood floor is definately a no-no. Pet urine can stain a hard wood floor almost instantly, and it’ll leave a horrible smell that’d be tough to shift once it’s seeped into the wood.
No matter how quickly you clean up the whoopsy, the damage will be done. You might have to strip, sand and refinish the offending plank, but if there happens to be little spots all over the place, then you might need to replace the whole floor. With young tomcats likely to spray and excited dogs sometimes forgetting their potty training, a solid wood floor is a risk you don’t want to take.
You’ll need to keep pet claws trimmed to avoid damage to the floor and surface. Some owners might declaw their pets, but we don’t think it’s very fair to put them through this for the sake of your floor. Declawing a cat would be like having your fingers cut off at the first knuckle, and here’s 8 reasons why you should never declaw your poor kitty.
If you have to go hardwood, then we suggest you opt for Bamboo flooring. Bamboo is much harder than other woods, and therefore more scratch resistant, so better suited for a home with furry friends. Make sure you sweep your floor clean at least once a week for tip top maintenance.
Pet owners can turn to laminate flooring instead of solid, due to the hardness of laminate, and also it’s scratch resistant nature. It’s important to consider your pet in choosing the right style of laminate floor, however. A laminate floor with a high gloss or a smooth surface can cause pets to slip and slide, which can be uncomfortable and distressing for your poor pet. It can also cause them to damage your furniture or knock things over, which could be an extra hazard if glass is broken when you’re out at work.
For best results, get a floor with a textured finish, or a floor with a V-Groove finish. Not only do they look more like real wood, but they’ll also help your pets maintain their grip on the floor when they rush to the door to greet you. Due to the hardness of laminate, you might want to add a rug to your room as a spot for your pet to kip and camp.
It’ll make it easier to maintain the floor as well, as you can simply hoover and clean the rug as needs be. Laminate flooring hides scratches and scrapes well, and it’s partially water resistant, meaning that accidents are less of an issue. Just don’t let spills soak into a V-Groove floor, as it can get under the floor and cause it to warp and buckle.
As mentioned before, bamboo is excellent for homes with pets in the mix, if you’ve got the budget. Bamboo is harder than the hardest hardwoods. it’s the diamond of the flooring world, and makes ideal flooring for pets. It’ll easily stand up to traffic, it won’t wear out, it’s resistant to scratches and stains, and as an added bonus, it’s green, so if you want a floor that’s good for pets and good for the environment, look no further. Bamboo’s durability means the extra cost over a laminate or vinyl will be off set by the fact that bamboo will require much fewer repairs and refurbishings.
Stone Tile Flooring
Stone tiles are another prime choice. They’re nearly impossible to scratch, and they’re completely water and stain resistant, so any accidents your pets might have won’t be a problem at all. Granite is the hardest of all tile floors and will provide the most resistance, while softer floors like marble or slate will require a little more care, especially with a polished surface.
We recommend adding a rug or a few pet beds to a stone tile floored room, as the floor will be very cold and hard, and could be uncomfortable for pets to lie on. Though if you own a cat, you’ll probably find that they can make themselves comfortable anywhere!
Regular porcelain or ceramic tile floors are also ideal. They’re not easily scratched, and if your pet can’t make it to the litterbox or the garden in time, urine and other unmentionables won’t cause any lasting damage and can be easily wiped away.
While you might have some preconceptions about the quality and appearance of vinyl, modern luxury vinyl is just as gorgeous as a high quality laminate, while being extremely hard wearing and durable. Vinyl is water proof, scratch and stain resistant, and soft and quiet under foot.
Perfect for small children and pets alike, it’s low in allergens and economic price wise as well. It’s the ideal choice for flooring for pets on a budget. It’s perfect for bathrooms and kitchens too. For more on vinyl, check out our blog post on 5 Reasons Why Vinyl Flooring Is The Bees Knees.
Carpet just might be the worst choice you can make for pets, unless you’re planning on covering your floor with money or silk. Even normal wear and tear on a carpet happens much faster than other flooring choices, without adding pets into the formula. If you must opt for a carpet for budget reasons, consider vinyl flooring instead. They’re around the same price if you shop around – or have a look over at Discount Flooring Depot – and vinyl is a much better fit for a pet filled home.
If you must go carpet, make sure you choose one without a loop pile, as your pet might snag their claws in a loop carpet, hurting themselves and damaging your carpet in the process.
It’s clear that the best choices for pets are either bamboo flooring, stone tile flooring, ceramic tile flooring, or vinyl flooring. While that gives you quite a few choices, it’s easy to narrow it down to what would work best for you depending on your situation.
- If budget isn’t an issue, choose bamboo, stone, or ceramic, depending on what kind of theme you want for your room and what would fit with your existing decor.
- If you need to count the pennies, go for vinyl. It might be a little less stylish than bamboo or tiles, but it can still look gorgeous (check out these 7 bathrooms you won’t believe have vinyl flooring) and it’s much easier on your pocket.
- Avoid carpet. If you’ve already got carpet down in your home, take extra care around pets, but if you’re adding a new floor, anything but carpet is a good idea. Carpet can become saturated with pet hair, and their claws can tear it. If there’s a loose corner, your pet is also likely to start pulling and prying at it. Plus, any stains or accidents will quickly ruin a carpet, and if left all day while you’re at work or runnng errands, the smell and the stain will linger for a long time.
- There’s no point cutting corners with your flooring. Choosing flooring for pets is important and the wrong choice will undo everything you’ve saved by cutting back. It doesn’t matter how much cheaper laying a carpet was if you have to constantly clean and maintain it.
And remember, it’s worth the trouble and the stains to see their happy little faces…