Choosing the right flooring when you have a pet

Choosing the right flooring when you have a pet

Choosing the right flooring when you have a pet doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice home style for durability.

By Shelby Deering

Dogs, cats, and stylish flooring can go together when you choose the right materials and features. We know that you love your pets. We also know that you love beautiful designs for your home. Nowadays, you don’t have to simply accept those scratched-up floors from a rambunctious pup or carpet stains from dirty paws. There are flooring options out there that are hard-wearing, well-made, and fashionable.

Marketing Director Michelle Niemeyer says, “Most flooring products can live harmoniously with pets. Flooring manufacturers understand that people want to live in their homes and their pets are part of the family.”

Niemeyer has suggestions for materials that are ideal for households with pets, and they include vinyl, polished concrete, tile, and laminate.

She says, “Vinyl is durable and it’ll be easy to clean from any accidents that may occur. It’s fairly soft underfoot, there are many styles and patterns to choose from and it’s fairly inexpensive.”

There are positives and negatives to polished concrete, but mostly, it’s a pet-friendly material. Niemeyer explains, “Polished concrete is durable and easy to clean as long as the floor is sealed. However, it’s hard and it can be quite cold in a cooler climate.”

Tile is a good choice if you have pets. “It’s durable, easy to clean and maintain and there are many colors, shapes, and patterns to choose from,” Niemeyer says. She adds a couple of considerations, saying that tile can be hard and cold unless radiant heat is used and can be expensive if a subfloor is needed.

Laminate is scratch-resistant (but not “scratch-proof,” as Niemeyer says), there are many style options available and it’s less expensive than tile or hardwood. The largest downside is that it can be slippery for a pet.

People believe that it’s challenging to have hardwood flooring with the pitter-patter of paws and nails, and carpet can be a pain when it comes to pet-related stains. But it’s actually easier than you think. It just requires a bit more maintenance.

Niemeyer advises, “It’s possible to have a pet and hardwood flooring. But it’s important to understand that dogs tend to do the most damage to hardwood flooring. There will be damage from everyday wear and tear on the hardwood. A pet’s nails can do a fair amount of damage, especially if it’s a large-breed dog. However, keeping nails trimmed can help. Steer away from ‘soft’ woods and try to stick with harder species, or possibly look for distressed or reclaimed wood. That style already has blemishes and scratches, so your pet will just add to the beauty of a floor you already love!”

As for carpet, Niemeyer suggests a quality carpet with a warranty that’s specific to pets. “Many manufacturers now make carpet specifically with pets in mind,” she says.

Niemeyer summarizes her pros and cons, saying, “The reality is, if you have pets, nothing is bullet-proof. Accidents happen, especially with pets. But the flooring industry as a whole is leaning toward busy family and pet-friendly options, and there are more and more options when it comes to having a floor that can be ‘lived’ on.”

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