The Best Flooring Options for Pets and Their Owners

Your pets are as much a member of the family as your children, and you can’t imagine your life without them. They are little packages of unconditional love, something all of us could benefit from. But your furry family member will spend most of its life on your floors. Well, except for the time that they sneak into your bed. So if you’re contemplating updating your flooring, or are moving and want to take your tiny friend into consideration, what are some of the best flooring options for your pets?

Hardwood flooring. Hardwood has a gorgeous look, and adds value to your home. But it can easily be damaged by the overzealous scampering of your family dog or cat. So make sure you choose a hardwood that is durable. There’s an easy reference, called the Janka Hardness Scale that you can use to find the best option. If you want bamboo, an older one will be the way to go. Or if you’re set on a softer wood, think about finishing it in a modern style. A distressed or hand-scraped finish will make any pet scratches more difficult to see.

Laminate flooring. Laminate is quick and easy to install, and quite inexpensive versus other flooring materials. It’s generally water-resistant, causing less worry over the occasional accident, and often comes in scratch-resistant models. There are also many new styles that imitate the look of more expensive flooring, like wood and stone. Laminate is a solid, worry-free option for pet owners.

Ceramic or porcelain. Ceramic or porcelain tile is durable, and won’t be damaged by pet accidents. But on the comfort scale, your dog won’t be ranking it very highly. It’s always cold, and most ceramics are difficult for them to walk on, leading to many hilarious but potentially dangerous slips and slides. Consider installing a radiant heating system under the tile if you just can’t go without this look.

Vinyl tile. Another solid option for the tile lover, and easier on your pet than porcelain or ceramic. It tends to stay warmer, and is much softer on your little one’s paws. It’s also cheaper than ceramic or hardwood, and nearly as durable as laminate. Vinyl will also stand up to accidents and it’s an easy, painless option for flooring your home with a pet in mind.

Carpeting. At first glance, carpet would seem like a winner. The warmest option, it’s also easy for pets to walk on. But those random accidents can be a huge problem in a carpeted home. There are some carpet brands that are pre-treated to resist pet accidents, but even so, moisture that’s not caught quickly can soak through to the carpet pad beneath, get into the flooring and cause expensive damage. If you’re committed to carpet, make sure you splurge for a carpet pad designed for pet owners. Carpeting will also hang on to pet hair like no other flooring, so if your favorite furry friend is long-haired, consider avoiding shag or high pile styles that will make cleaning difficult.

Replacing the flooring in your home is a tricky proposition. There are so many variables. What is Ipe hardwood, and how will it work in my home? Is ceramic worth the investment with two dogs running around? Is it possible to keep carpet from destruction under my cat’s claws? If you have the ability, think about your pet’s personality and choose flooring that works for them, is easy for you to maintain, and won’t break your home renovation budget.

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