There is no such thing as a “best” floor for everyone but there is a best floor for you.
It really comes down to your requirements, what kind of underlay you need, what subfloor you already have, what your decor already looks like, what your budget is, what does your significant other think, do your kids have specific needs and desires too?
Then it comes down to your pets: What requirements do they have? If they could speak, what kind of flooring options do they need? Even though they often don’t get a vote, the floor you choose could have a huge impact on your pets.
The trouble with having so much to consider is that it can be overwhelming, so you end up never making any decision at all. The trick is in asking the most pertinent questions. That way, you can avoid unnecessary headaches and wasting money.
Below are some thinking points to consider when deciding on the best floor for your pets.
Solid Wood Flooring
Every pet has an accident on the floor at some point — even if you don’t get them when they’re puppies. Maybe your dog gets sick and spews all over your expensive new hardwood floor. Not only could it leave a stain but the smell can seep into the wood, making it very difficult to remove.
If you’re out of home at the time it happens and can’t clean up quickly, that stain will become pervasive and lead you to having to sand and refinish the damaged wood. And if the accident is larger in scope, dripping over several different planks? Then the entire floor may need to be repaired or replaced.
You’ll also need to keep your pets’ claws constantly trimmed so they don’t do too much damage to your flooring. But if you’re determined to have hardwood, then the best option is bamboo flooring. It’s become all the rage recently and it’s ideal for pets. Bamboo flooring tends to be harder and can put up with the stresses and strains your pets might exert upon it.
Laminate flooring is scratch-resistant thanks to its thick protective layer, and much cheaper than hardwood options. It’s also worth bearing in mind the kind of finish you might add to your laminate.
For dogs, running is a way of life and adding a high-gloss finish to your floor is not the best idea as your pet could slide across it and accidentally hurt themselves. If you do choose laminate flooring, try to get one with a textured finish as this will help your pets keep their grip.
Laminate can be quite hard, so for a more comfortable position to sleep on, it might be worth investing in a rug for your furry friends. Laminate is also water-resistant — if not fully waterproof — which makes spills less of an issue and much easier to clean. Just make sure not to let spills sit too long on the laminate as it will seep in deep and buckle the flooring if you’re not careful.
Bamboo is harder than even the hardiest hardwoods, allowing it to cope with any damage your pets might throw at it. Its added strength also allows it to withstand heavy foot traffic, no problem.
It’s also more eco-friendly than many other flooring types. Its hardiness also means it will need to be replaced far less frequently than other flooring options.
Stone Tile Flooring
Granite is the toughest of all floor tiles and is virtually indestructible when it comes to everyday use. Softer stones such as slate or marble will require more maintenance. It goes without saying stone tile floors are waterproof, stain-resistant, and virtually impossible to scratch.
However, stone tends to be very cold and harsh underfoot, so it’s a good idea to add a few rugs here and there.
Tiles flooring is another great option that has many of the strengths mentioned in the stone tile flooring section above. It’s also difficult to scratch and easy to clean.
Vinyl has a reputation for being cheap and nasty — and frankly, for good reason. However, modern luxury vinyl tile is a completely different beast. They are beautiful, embossed to mimic more natural elements while being extremely durable and hardwearing.
Vinyl is scratch- and stain-resistant, and completely waterproof. It’s also very soft underfoot and extremely quiet as it tends to deaden sound. This flooring option is great not only for pets but children too. It’s very cheap and low in allergen materials.
Due to its waterproof characteristics, it’s also ideal for wet rooms such as kitchens and utility rooms.
Carpet actually struggles with the kind of wear and tear it will be exposed to on a daily basis. It’s simply the way it’s made. If you add pets to the mix, it becomes a recipe for disaster. If you’re looking for a budget pick, go for vinyl. It’s a far superior option for homes with pets.
If you have your heart set on carpets, then at least choose one that isn’t loop pile as it will result in your dog hurting not only the carpet but themselves as well.
The above summaries bring us down to just a few potential options:
- bamboo flooring
- stone tile flooring
- ceramic tile flooring
- vinyl flooring
It’s still quite a few options but these can be subdivided further depending on a number of other variables:
- If money is not a problem then ceramic, stone, or bamboo are your best options.
- On more of a budget? Then go for vinyl. It won’t have the same appeal as trendier flooring options such as tiles or bamboo but it still looks gorgeous.
- If you have a home with pets, avoid carpets. If you already have carpet when you get your pet, then you need to be extra careful and consider replacing it.
- Carpet can be easily damaged, deliberately gnawed on and pulled, and stains are more easily hidden. The smell of unwashed dogs can also seep into the carpet, making it difficult to get out.
On the face of it, carpet may seem to be the cheaper option, but when you factor in how much extra time you need to put into maintaining and cleaning it, it might be better to make the smarter choice and avoid such difficulties.