The Best Flooring for Pet Lovers
Our dogs and cats are literally four-legged members of our families, which makes it frustrating when your best pal wreaks havoc on your flooring or uses it for their own personal outhouse or scratching post. Because pets are so important to their families, rather than remain frustrated and allow your good doggo or kitty to tear up the flooring, selecting the best flooring for pets (and for you!) can save hours of time and headache.
You wouldn’t select a pet that wasn’t a great fit for your family, and you should adopt the same rules for your floors. But what types of flooring work best for pets?
Let’s review the types and top choices for kitties, pups, and their families!
Vinyl Plank Flooring
This ain’t your mom’s sheet roll floor or the old stick-on tiles you had in your college rental. Today’s vinyl flooring is often found in slats or planks, mimicking the look of “real wood” flooring.
Three popular options for vinyl flooring materials:
- Luxury Vinyl Plank or Tile (LVP/LVT) - installed as a glue-down product, and has a water-resistant top wear layer
- Wood Plastic Composite (WPC) – the rigid core is made of a wood and plastic composite, and can come with underlayment padding attached
Stone Plastic Composite (SPC) – Stone and plastic composite rigid core, and may include attached underlayment padding
WPC and SPC Vinyl flooring is perfect for pets as they are waterproof and installed locked together as a “floating floor” – not permanently affixed to the subfloor – excess so moisture doesn’t penetrate through to the subflooring. In other words, when your furry best friend has an accident it won’t ruin the floor! Durable, scuff- and scratch-resistant, and low and moderately priced options are available. Many with DIY-friendly “click-lock” installation, if you feel like doing it yourself. Or drop us a line for your free quote, and let our professional team of flooring installers give you a hand!
One of the most durable, timeless and popular options is tile. Offered in a variety of styles, materials, and finishes, tile offers near endless options. Two of the most popular, and best flooring for pets are ceramic and porcelain varieties as they are sealed and glazed for extra protection compared to natural stone tile.
Once tile is installed properly – trust us on this one – it’s extremely difficult to damage or stain the tile itself. However, as a pet owner, you may consider a stain-resistant grout or additional sealing for your grout. It’s worth your investment to save future cleaning and staining from your furry friends.
If you want wood floors, but you’re looking to spend less, laminate may be a great option for your pet’s family. Laminate flooring is similar to the vinyl WPC or SPC flooring as they’re installed “floating”, however laminates are not typically waterproof. Laminate provides the look of real hardwood floors typically achieved with a digital “picture” of wood grain attached to a backer typically made of HDF composite materials.
Laminate plank flooring is top-layer moisture resistant, especially if cleaned immediately following a spill. Moisture or puddles left to sit on most laminates, however, will be absorbed and may cause the flooring to swell and buckle. So watch when housebreaking your new pup!
Solid Wood Flooring
This is the top of the woodpile, literally and figuratively! Hardwood floors are typically nailed down and finished on site. While the species of wood determines the grain/pattern, you can choose a stain color, which combined with a urethane finish forms a durable protective layer that can handle your dog's nails when he rounds the corner during his nightly zoomies session.
For those who are eco-conscious, a water-based polyurethane can be used as opposed to the traditional oil-based products. Excessive moisture will warp and ruin the flooring but they are resistant to surface moisture, spills, accidents, etc. As the solid wood is one plank of solid wood (compared to plywood-backed engineered wood), solid wood floors can be refinished multiple times if necessary, allowing the flooring to last lifetimes. Avoid softer wood species (bamboo, pine, etc) as they are highly absorbent and lack defense against your furry family member’s foot-traffic. Wood floors won’t tread lightly on your wallet, however, as they can run mid- to high-end of the price range.
Engineered Wood Floors
Another great wood flooring option, Engineered wood, gives you the best of both the laminate and solid wood worlds. Engineered wood floors actually include a thin layer of hardwood, as well as a “wear layer,” on top of a layered wood or poly-composite core. Some engineered floors with a thicker top-wood layer can actually be sanded and refinished if scratches or spills become problematic.
Engineered wood floors offer a diverse array of options for finishes, qualities, color, patterns and more. Surface moisture or small spills that are cleaned up quickly are okay on engineered floors, however, excessive moisture can permanently damage the floor. Many engineered wood floors can be scratched just like solid wood floors, but the right protective finish selection will withstand those nails no problem!
Many carpet flooring products manufactured specifically for pets are now available, offering added resistance to stains and soil. Buyer beware, however, as moisture and stains can still penetrate through the backing of the carpet and often into the subfloor. Cat owners who’ve tried to clean carpet know this struggle well, but it’s not unique to the feline.
Make sure you choose a pet-specific carpeting that features a moisture backing. Combine this with a moisture-proof pad for a more durable and comfortable option for humans and pets alike. Pay close attention to weave options as well, as Berber or continuous weave products like it can be unraveled by a playful pup or clawing kitten.
Carpet is a warm, traditional flooring option that can last many years with pets, however, it does have a short wear life and will probably need to be replaced every 10 years or so.
Gaining popularity in recent years is finished concrete flooring. Once limited to the industrial and commercial space, concrete is incredibly durable and resistant to stains, spills, and messes when finished properly.
Colored concrete flooring stain can be applied to brighten the look of the floor. While typically limited to foundation floors or first floor of timber-frame residences in many parts of the country, high-rise apartments or condominiums are often constructed with a concrete base for the floors. Acid etching, grinding or patching may be required to prepare the concrete for stain and finishing. And a water prevention layer should be applied like on a wood floor to prevent moisture absorption.
Concrete is probably the “coldest” and “hardest” of the flooring options but done properly can be a beautiful addition to your home.
While we’ve tiptoed around it a few times discussing the options individually, let’s talk dollars and cents.
On the scale from lowest cost to highest, here’s the rundown of the categories based on their entry-level options:
- LVP/LVT Vinyl Flooring
- WPC/SPC Waterproof Vinyl
- Engineered Wood
- Solid Wood
Review your options before making any flooring decision to determine which option offers the right combination of style design, durability, warmth, and price for your pups. The Good Guys are here to help with your design, selection, and purchase. Come visit us in person or reach out for your Free Quote today!
READY TO TALK ABOUT YOUR PROJECT?
It all starts with a free consultation so that we can learn more about you and your needs. Complete this simple form to get started.