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Best Flooring for Dogs

Updated on January 6, 2015

Does flooring for dogs even matter?

If you're in a lucky position of remodeling your house or apartment, and already have the pet who you know well, then finding best flooring for the dog would be a smart move in more ways than one.

Not only are dogs harder on flooring than their owners, but cleaning certain flooring types can be a nightmare if they are covered in pet dirt and dander. Additionally, owners can also compromise for the sake of keeping the house clean and ensuring a healthier dog due to well-researched choices.

So what are the top flooring options for people with pets, and how can these impact your and your dog's life? Let’s look at the pros and cons of many different flooring for dogs options to help you make that decision.

Hardwood flooring

If you currently own or are planning to get a puppy, you may want to reconsider hardwood flooring for pets.

Hardwood floor may be the most preferred type in a modern home of today, but it's still far from being the best flooring for dogs or any other pets. People are usually sold on how good hardwood looks before they get it, but it can end up looking completely opposite after less than a year of living with a puppy.

Depending on the kind of urethane that the flooring is coated with, the surface of hardwood floor could be easily scratched or stained. Moisture will also heavily affect this type of flooring, causing it to swell and contract.

As I'm sure you already know, pet urine is great at staining hardwood floors and it leaves behind that pungent odor. Even if it is cleaned up quickly, some of the urine may still seep into the wood.

Unlike washing carpets, in order to remove stains and odors from hardwood you would need to strip, sand, and refinish the boards. In fact, sometimes salt crystals in the urine can even cause the stain and the odor to reappear after you cleaned everything out, at which point the only way to get rid of it would be to replace the wood itself.

Another reason why hardwood is far from being the best flooring for dogs is your pet's water bowl, which can easily be an adversary to beautiful hardwood flooring. If water is spilled or drooled onto the floor and is not cleaned up quickly, it can soak into the wood causing it to swell and contract. This could cause a deformity in your flooring over time.

One more enemy to hardwood floors are obviously pet’s nails. They can cause gouges and scratches on the flooring. Although this can be a great motivation to groom your dog on time!

Vinyl flooring

Vinyl flooring is an excellent way to cover your floors if you have pets.

Unlike hardwood, luxury vinyl could potentially be one of the best flooring for dogs due to its strong resistance to scratches and stains. Furthermore, it's easy to maintain, easy to clean, and very quiet to walk on (when done properly).

Vinyl is a cheaper alternative and also great for families with children and busy lifestyles. It holds up to tough wear and tear and we all know pets, especially dogs, can be very hard on your floors.

Laminate flooring

Laminate floors are a decent choice for pet owners on a budget.

Normally, this type of flooring is significantly less expensive than hardwood but still give that "expensive feel" of a décor that most homeowners are looking for. Laminate is also much harder than hardwood flooring so it will not show scratches as easily and it will be much more simple to clean all the mess of your pooch.

The downside to laminate flooring is that it can be very slippery, both for you and your dog. To avoid putting too much strain on your dog's legs and prevent possible dog joint health problems, throw rugs are highly recommended for pet owners with laminate flooring so that dogs don’t slip and slide around and hurt their legs or hips trying to get up or lie down. So while laminate isn't perfect, you can definitely consider it as a viable option among best flooring for dogs, but don't rush -- there's more!

Bamboo flooring

Bamboo is actually one of the best flooring for dogs you can buy today.

Bamboo is also harder than the hardest of hardwood floors, so it will withstand more traffic and wear. It is also stain resistant which means you wouldn’t have to worry about accidents or spills.

Additionally, bamboo is a renewable resource which can be replenished after a certain time period, so it's a definite winner among homeowners that like to be green.

Cork flooring

Surprisingly, we're not running out of okay choices here!

Cork is another decent choice of flooring for dogs among environmentally conscious dog and home combo owners.

Cork is antimicrobial, meaning that it reduces the growth of allergens and mold. And just like bamboo, it maintains a strong resistance to scratches and is great for absorbing sounds. Although it is water resistant, spills should still be cleaned up quickly because it is a natural product and will eventually soak it all in, which isn't a big deal most of the time.

The only disadvantage to cork flooring is that it will become discolored over time when it is exposed to direct sunlight.

Stone, ceramic and other tile flooring

If your home can be fitted with stone-type of flooring, then you have a great option on your hands. But everything comes at a price.

Stone does not scratch easily and if it does get scratched, it doesn't show as easily as it would on hardwood or laminate flooring. Likewise, if your puppy has an "accident," there is no need to worry about how it will affect your floors.

However, while these floors are great for pet owners, they are not as great for their pets. Even if its cool surface is perfect in summer, certain dog breeds find it cold and uncomfortable to lie on the rest of the time, and often look for a more comfortable solution. In those cases, area rugs are a great idea for these types of floors, or you could consider buying your dog his/her own bed or even a doghouse.

Ceramic, porcelain, or stone tile can be considered as one of the best flooring for dogs options by homeowners who are looking for a type of floor material that can withstand the abuse of their furry pals. It has all the same advantages and disadvantages as stone tile; however, it is usually a little cheaper.

Carpet flooring

Finally, we come to one of the most common yet possibly the worst flooring for dogs choices on the list.

Carpet gets ruined faster than any other flooring options we have discussed here, even if you don't have any pets or kids. It is normally the most cost effective choice and comfortable for your feet, but ultimately it will cost you a lot more to clean, maintain, and possibly even replace carpeting in the long run.

All kinds of your puppy's messes can stain carpet and it is nearly impossible to get rid of the smell if it soaks down deep into the carpet and the padding. Dirt is also much more noticeable on carpet flooring and significantly harder to remove.

Remember that shedding problem dogs have? It can be nearly impossible to get all the pet hair out of a carpet. With most other flooring options, a broom and a mop can get your floor very clean, but unless you have the money for a top notch vacuum cleaner and carpet washer - sometimes even a professional cleaning service - it is a completely different story.

If carpet is your only option, the best thing that you can do is buy a carpet that is as dark as possible so that the dirt won’t stick out as easily. Try to find one without loops that your dog's nails can accidentally snag and pull.

Another thing to consider is that the plusher a carpet you buy the more space dirt, hairs and other mess have to sink down in and the harder it will be to clean.

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What type of flooring for dogs do you use?

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Conclusion: What's the best flooring for dogs then?

There are many factors to consider when you are looking to get only the best flooring for dogs in your new or old home. Normally, your budget and the ease of installation should probably be your first two priorities, but for homes that have dogs (and especially puppies), you also need to consider their needs and what will be the easiest option to maintain.

Cutting corners on flooring may seem like a good idea at first, but in the long run it could actually end up costing you more. Splurging on a better quality product, and one that meets the demands of the wear and tear that your dogs and other pets will inflict, may be the better choice after all. Take a look at those above, consider pros and cons and make your pick.

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    • Ashley LeAnn profile image

      Ashley LeAnn 14 months ago

      I work for a flooring company & in most cases I would recommend a laminate flooring over hardwood to pet owners. Some home owners prefer carpet, but feel that it's not the best option with pets. A great solution to that problem is carpet tiles. This article explains the benefits of carpet tiles, which are especially relevant for pet owners & those with children: http://madisondesignhome.blogspot.com/2016_07_01_a...