Your guide to the best flooring for pets

10 Jan 2024

Creating a pet-friendly home often starts from the ground up, literally. When our furry friends share our living spaces, the right flooring choice can make all the difference in maintaining a beautiful, comfortable, and practical home environment. This comprehensive guide delves into the best flooring options for pet owners while also providing essential tips for floor maintenance and additional strategies to keep your flooring in top condition.

Hardwood flooring

Hardwood floors offer timeless beauty and can add value to your home. While some may argue that pets can scratch hardwood floors' surfaces, removing them is quite easy. For small scratches you can use a wood pen otherwise there is always the option of sanding back your floor and resealing it. When it comes to selecting the best types of hardwood flooring, choose hardwoods like oak which can better withstand the wear and tear of pet claws. If you are worried about the upkeep of hardwood flooring, opt for hardwoods with a more resilient finish and consider applying an extra layer of sealant for added protection.

Laminate flooring 

Laminate flooring is an excellent choice for pet owners. It's designed to be durable, scratch-resistant, and easier to maintain than traditional hardwood. High-quality laminate can mimic the look of real wood but at a fraction of the cost, making it an economical choice for pet-friendly homes. Most laminates are also resistant to stains and moisture, although standing water can seep through the seams, so it's important to clean up spills quickly.

Vinyl options

Vinyl floor planks are becoming increasingly popular in pet-friendly homes. Vinyl is also highly scratch-resistant and quiet underfoot, however, water can also seep through the seams causing the corners to curl. Hybrid flooring, combining laminate and vinyl features, offers the aesthetics of wood with the durability and water resistance of vinyl. This flooring type is suited to a home with pets but has the same issues with regards to standing water. Therefore cleaning up accidents or spills as soon as possible is very important.

Maintaining your flooring with pets

Routine cleaning

For all flooring types, regular cleaning is key. Sweep or vacuum frequently to remove pet hair and dander. For accidents and spills, immediate cleanup is vital to prevent staining or damage. A gentle floor cleaner should suffice for routine mopping.

Dealing with accidents

Pet accidents can be particularly damaging to floors. For hardwood and laminate, use a cleaner specifically designed for the flooring type to avoid damaging the finish. For urine accidents, an enzymatic cleaner can help neutralize odors and prevent repeat marking.

Preventing scratches 

Regularly trim your pet's nails to minimize scratches. Use felt pads under furniture and avoid dragging heavy objects across the floor. For added protection, place rugs or mats in high-traffic areas.

Additional tips for a pet-friendly home

Rugs and mats

Rugs not only add to your home’s décor but also protect underlying floors from scratches and spills. Mats placed at entrances can capture dirt and moisture from pets' paws, reducing the amount of cleaning required.

Choose pet-friendly bowls

Opt for heavy, non-slip pet bowls to minimize spills. Some bowls are designed to reduce splashing, keeping the area around the feeding station dry and clean.

Health checks

Regular vet check-ups can help identify any health issues that might lead to accidents inside the house. A healthy pet is less likely to have unexpected accidents that can damage your flooring.

Training matters

Proper training is crucial in preventing floor damage. House-training your pets and teaching them where to eat and drink can go a long way in maintaining the condition of your flooring.

Adapt your cleaning routine

Customize your cleaning routine based on your pet's habits. For instance, if your pet sheds a lot, you might need to sweep more frequently. Similarly, if your pet enjoys playing outside, extra attention might be needed to keep entrance areas clean.

Choosing the right flooring for a home with pets requires balancing aesthetics, budget, durability, and ease of maintenance. Hardwood floors offer durability and ease of cleaning, making it a great choice for busy pet households. Vinyl, laminate and hybrid floor planks present an excellent balance of durability and style however there is the issue of water resistance where standing water can seep into the cracks if not removed. Regardless of the choice, regular maintenance, accident management, and additional pet-friendly strategies are essential in keeping your floors looking great for years to come.