When it comes to choosing the right flooring for your home, there are many different things to consider. However, if you are a pet owner then choosing the right flooring option is even more important. Pets can be heavy on floors, with scratches, stains and odours being a problem. Unless you plan on banishing your pet from the room, you will need to choose the right type of flooring for you and your pets.
Fortunately, there are several pet-friendly flooring options to choose from that will keep everyone in the house happy. We have written this guide to take you through some of the options available and listing their pros and cons to help you determine which pet-friendly flooring option is right for you and your pet.
What to Consider When Choosing Flooring
There are four main things to consider when you are looking for the best pet-friendly flooring options.
- Resistance to scratches
- resistance to damage
- pet traction
- pet comfort
Thankfully, with so many options available, you won’t have to compromise on your style and aesthetic when choosing pet-friendly flooring.
1. Cork Flooring
Cork is an excellent flooring option for pet owners that resembles hardwood flooring. Cork also has a range of beneficial traits to suit you and your pets. For starters, cork is naturally antimicrobial and antibacterial which means it reduces the growth of bacteria, mould and other allergens. This means that if your pet has an accident on the floor, you will still be able to remove it safely even if you don’t realise straight away.
Cork is also a great acoustic insulator which means it will absorb sound. Perfect if you aren’t keen on listening to the sound of your pet’s feet tap across the house. Cork flooring is also warm and pliant, making it comfortable for your pets to walk on.
In addition, cork is also scratch-resistant. Of course, this doesn’t mean it is completely scratch-proof and we still recommend clipping your pet’s nails often to keep from scratching the surface. However, thanks to its pliant nature, cork is a sturdy flooring option. Pick a lighter shade of cork flooring to help disguise any scratch marks that develop. Be sure to finish your flooring with a scratch-resistant finisher to help boost its resilience.
2. Bamboo Flooring
Similar to cork, bamboo is another great flooring option for those looking for a natural, pet-friendly wooden floor. Bamboo is extremely durable and scratch-resistant, allowing you to let your pets run across your floors without any worries. However, not all bamboo flooring is created equally. Be sure to choose one that has a higher rating for hardness. Strand woven bamboo floors are the most durable type of bamboo flooring.
Bamboo flooring is also fairly easy to maintain and is stain-resistant. Perfect for any mess that your pets might happen to make. Food & water spills or pet accidents won’t damage or stain your floors either if you clean them properly. Much like cork, bamboo is naturally antimicrobial which will keep your floors free of bacteria and mould in the event of any spills or mess.
In addition, bamboo is very sustainable and environmentally friendly as well as being very affordable. However, the price does go up for high-quality bamboo flooring. Bamboo is an excellent pet-friendly flooring option as long as you pick one that is hard and durable.
3. Tile & Stone Flooring
Tile and stone flooring is suitable for pets of all ages. From a new puppy who is still being potty-trained to an older dog who has started having trouble controlling its bowels, these floors are very easy to clean and are stain-resistant. Tile and stone floors are also very durable, so you won’t have to worry about your pets scratching them with their nails.
The downside to tile and stone flooring is while it is more convenient for you, it isn’t very comfortable for your pets. Tile and stone flooring can be a cold and hard surface that provides little to no comfort underfoot. While cats can easily find refuge on a chair or sofa, dogs aren’t as fortunate. Be sure to provide them with a soft rug or comfy dog bed for them to lie down on. Underfloor heating is also something to consider if you live somewhere that gets very cold in winter, for both your pets and yourself to enjoy.
Tile and stone flooring can be very affordable, however, higher quality tiles can be more expensive. Tile and stone flooring is easily one of the most stain and scratch-resistant flooring options. However, the comfort of your pets should also be a consideration.
4. Vinyl Flooring
Vinyl flooring is a great choice if you have pets as it is very easy to maintain and clean. Vinyl flooring holds up well against accidents and spills and most vinyl flooring options are water-resistant. Vinyl flooring can mimic the look of natural stone or hardwood flooring and is available at a more affordable price. This flooring option for your home and your pet is ideal if you’re on a budget.
Vinyl flooring is also soft underfoot and will be much more comfortable for your pets compared to stone or tile flooring. Vinyl floors also have traction, which is important for allowing your pets to get around easily, especially if they are older.
Vinyl flooring is also very durable and is scratch-resistant. If you use good quality vinyl you will find it is able to withstand many of the challenges that come with pets, such as scratches or tears.
5. Engineered Hardwood Flooring
We wouldn’t recommend any kind of hardwood flooring with pets as they are more prone to scratches, stains and water damage. However, if you are determined to have hardwood, we also suggest going with engineered hardwood. Specifically, choose an engineered floor that is scratch and water-resistant and ranks high for durability and hardness. In addition, we suggest using a tough, scratch-resistant finish on your engineered hardwood floor.
A good way to help disguise the scratches from pets is to choose a style that is meant to look worn or rustic. Reclaimed wood flooring is a good choice for this, however, it is more expensive. It is also important to remember to clean up any spills or accidents immediately to help protect your hardwood floors.
While there is no such thing as a pet-proof flooring, there are certainly options that hold up better in pet-friendly households. Which one is right for you depends on your taste and the final choice of which flooring option is best suited for you is one only you can make. Take the time to do some research and weigh up the pros and cons. Flooring is expensive and will be with you for a long time. Once you have given it some thought we are sure there will be one flooring solution that has an edge.
Whatever flooring option you decide to go for, just remember that accidents will happen. And scratches are always a possibility with certain types of floors. Make sure you finish it with a scratch-resistant finishing product and try to keep your pets groomed and trim their nails frequently. This will help protect your new floors for as long as possible and allow both you and your pet to enjoy your new floors with peace of mind.
About The Author:
Dan Baker is a Content Writer that works SPD UK, a family run cork supplier based in the UK.