How to Choose The Best Pet Friendly Flooring

It is said that more than 50% of U.S. households have a pet as a family member. Those of us who own pets know how hard our furry family members can be hard on our flooring. Fear not – there are plenty of pet friendly flooring options on the market that are both stylish and practical. 

I’ve reviewed some of the most common flooring options on the market, and have provided the pros and cons of each.  Let me help you decide which pet friendly flooring option works best for you and your home!

 

Things to Consider:

Scratch Resistant

One of the biggest concerns when picking pet friendly flooring is durability. Even if you keep your pets nails perfectly trimmed, scratches happen. Choose a flooring that is scratch proof, or at least scratch resistant, which will reduce the likelihood of damage to your new flooring.

Waterproof

Hey, accidents happen. Even housebroken pets can have an occasional accident. Not to mention, pets spill from their bowls and can be messy. Take into consideration the potential for your new flooring to stain and absorb unwanted odor. 

Easy to Clean

Inevitably, your pets will bring the outside elements in. Mud and dirt can cause quite the mess. Oh, and let’s not forget about the hair. When picking pet friendly flooring, consider how easy they are to clean. Quick and easy clean up will save you time and money.

Stylish

Just because you’re picking pet friendly flooring, it does not mean you have to sacrifice style. No matter what your personal home decor style is, there are plenty of flooring options that fit your design wants and needs. 

What is the best Pet Friendly Flooring?

1. Luxury Vinyl Flooring

Luxury vinyl flooring (LVF) is a great solution for pet owners – not only is it durable, it is also very affordable (costing as little as $1.29/sqft.)

LVF is known for being a long lasting flooring solution. Vinyl flooring is praised for being scratch, and dent resistant. Many brands are even waterproof eliminating risk of buckling and swelling in the case of prolonged moisture exposure. 

Luxury vinyl flooring mimics the look of natural stone, tile, and hardwood flooring. Similarly, it can come with a textured surface that not only convincely adds to the aesthetics but also adds to slip resistance for your furry friends.

Finally, LVF is very easy to install, requiring minimal use of power tools and creating less mess. Often, vinyl flooring can even install it over current flooring if necessary.

2. Tile Flooring

Another pet friendly flooring option is porcelain tile. Tile is highly resistant to pet nails and when sealed correctly it is waterproof too. It’s important to mention, you need to make sure your tile is sealed correctly in order to ensure the longevity of your tile floors.

Porcelain tile imitates a variety of materials, such as natural stone and wood, keeping you from sacrificing the design element of your home. With that said, porcelain is cool to bare feet – even more than luxury vinyl flooring. 

Unfortunately, the down side to tile is it’s expense. Installed, tile flooring can cost upwards of $9.00/sqft and is not always easy to install yourself.

 

3. Bamboo

If you’re looking for real wood options, look no further than bamboo. Bamboo flooring is stain resistant, scratch proof, and is one of the most-durable wood option on the market. 

Bamboo is easy to clean and even has natural components that fight mold and bacteria. It’s also environmentally friendly as it is easily sustainable. For those reasons,  bamboo makes a great pet friendly flooring option.

Oh, and if you’re concerned about noise, bamboo doesn’t hide pet (or human for that matter) noise. Bamboo does feel warm on bare feet and provide warmth to the look and feel of your home.

Buyer beware, not all bamboo is created equal. Make sure you purchase high quality bamboo flooring, and review the suppliers warranty. 

 

4. Cork

If your concern is noise, than cork flooring is your solution. Cork flooring absorbs noise, has anti-slip qualities, feels warm and comfortable to bare feet. Additionally, cork has microbial properties to it just like bamboo. 

Cork flooring can be an inexpensive alternative to other pet friendly flooring solutions, priced from $2.00 to $4.00 a square foot on average. As a result, this makes cork flooring is a viable flooring solution for you and your pets.

Overall, cork is known to scratch easier than other flooring options. Choosing a lighter color of cork flooring will lessen visibility of scratches and debris.  

On the negative side, cork will discolor over time – this will affect the longevity of the flooring.

5. Stone

If you’re looking for scratch resistant flooring primarily – nothing beats natural stone. While stone is cold to the touch and is not as easy to clean, it is very durable. It is important to mention, natural stone will stain if not sealed properly, as well as the grout lines

The downside to stone is it can be very expensive and even more so to have it installed. At $5.00-$9.00/sqft on average depending on the stone and quality, price may be a factor. 

Furthermore, you will need to reseal your stone and grout every few years, depending on location and traffic patterns. 

If cared for correctly, stone can be one of the best options for longevity.

What about Hardwood?

 Hardwood flooring is one of the best floors for home resale value, however it is not commonly considered pet friendly. 

Often pet nails can scratch and score real hardwood flooring and will eventually wear away at the finish. By the same token, pet accidents can cause real wood to warp and stain when interacting with the moisture. 

If you’re just driven towards hardwood floors in your home, there are a few things to keep in mind.

Avoid soft woods like pine, cedar, cherry, or walnut. They scratch and dent more easily than other types of wood. Engineered hardwood flooring elminimates some of the issues real wood flooring presents, as it offers more resilience against pet damage.

When selecting a wood finish, consider choosing a distressed or a matte finish. Comparatively, both finishes reflect less light and will hide scratches and disguise dirt and/or pet hair.

Lastly, be mindful of the traffic patterns in your home. Use area rugs where appropriate to minimize risk of damage in high traffic areas.

Can You Have Carpet with Pets?

Typically, having carpet with pets is considered a no-no. Pet stains and soiling is a constant worry.

Although this may have been true at one time, thanks to advancement in manufacturing technology, carpet is a viable flooring option, even with pets. Newer carpet options have stronger soil and stain fighting protection. 

The average cost for this high quality stain resistant carpet is $5.00-$8.00/sqft. so I wouldn’t consider it a more cost effective flooring solution.

Keep in mind, layering area rugs on top of carpet in high traffic areas can minimize damaged by foot traffic and exposure to your furry family members. In addition to layering, applying and reapplying spray protectant to your carpeted surfaces will keep them looking like new.

 

New flooring is exciting for you and your furry family members. I hope you both will be satisfied with your upgrade!

Doing your homework before choosing your new pet friendly flooring will save you money and minimize your frustration in the long run. Weigh all the pros and cons of each flooring option before making the plunge – and enjoy the creative process!

Till next time.

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