Helping Homeowners Choose Flooring Solutions That Make Pet Ownership a Breeze
While pet owners know that few things are more rewarding than sharing a home with a companion animal, there are always some compromises to make. Pet stains, dander, and fur create cleaning challenges that can be exacerbated depending on the flooring type you use in your home.
There are several factors homeowners should take into account when shopping for pet-friendly flooring materials, such as:
- Stain and scratch resistance
- Pet comfort and safety
- Ease of cleaning and maintenance
Fortunately, there are several options available that are both pet-friendly and easy for owners to clean, including:
Hardwood consistently ranks as one of the most popular flooring options for homeowners, even though it is not ideal for pets. Pet owners are recommended to look into woods with a Janka Hardness Scale rating of 1,250 and over, and no lower than 850. For added security, get your hardwood finished with a urethane coating.
Recommended woods include:
Pet owners should avoid softer woods like pine, cedar, redwood, fir, and birch.
Bamboo is a quality option for homeowners looking for hard flooring that is eco-friendly. However, despite being reasonably stain-resistant, it does not respond well to significant weight, high traffic, or scratches. If you own fish or birds, bamboo might be a good option, but cat and dog owners may benefit from a different type of flooring.
Homeowners who want a wood floor look without the drawbacks are sure to appreciate laminate’s forgiving nature, especially pet owners who are currently house-training a dog or cat.
The caveats of laminate flooring include its potential slipperiness and vulnerability to damage if spills are frequent. Pet owners who want to prevent slips and falls are recommended to get laminate with a textured finish.
Carpeting & Carpet Tiles
Carpet is a challenge to maintain when you have pets. Not only does it absorb liquids and wear down quickly, but it also collects hair and dander, which can be troublesome for owners or guests with allergies.
However, that does not mean it is impossible to have pets in a carpeted home. Pets love carpet and find it very comfortable overall. If you get carpet installed in your home, choose one with a weave that won’t catch on a dog or cat’s claws.
This hypoallergenic flooring option is stain-resistant, scratch-resistant, and antibacterial, making it a reliable, eco-friendly choice for pet owners. Cork is also warm, soft, comfortable, and quiet, which is great for both pets and owners who appreciate the comfort of soft flooring.
Cork has a few drawbacks, however. A smooth finish can make it very slippery, and heavy furniture can leave permanent dents in it due to the natural softness.
Vinyl is one of the most recommended choices for pet owners because it is:
- Comfortable for pets
- Highly scratch- and stain-resistant
While vinyl is stain-resistant, spills can travel underneath the flooring and potentially cause mold growth. This risk is easily mitigated with some quick spot-cleaning, however.
Ceramic and stone tiles are similar in that they are resistant to scratches and stains. Maintenance is cost-effective and takes minimal effort regardless of whether you choose ceramic or stone unless you use a softer material like marble.
However, this hard, cold flooring can be uncomfortable for pet paws. Area rugs and pet beds can mitigate this drawback by adding some extra cushion back to the floor.
Additional Tips for Treating Floors
- Clean accidents and spills quickly. The faster you clean it up, the less likely it is to leave behind stains and odors.
- Consider flooring alternatives. If your flooring is soft and porous, it is more likely to retain stains, odors, and potential damage from pet accidents. Research hard or nonporous flooring options instead.
- House-train pets. A cat that is conditioned to use its litterbox, or a dog who consistently tells its owner when it needs to go outside, can go a long way toward minimizing damage to floors.
There are plenty of choices out there for pet owners looking for easy-to-maintain floors, as well as methods for preserving flooring types that are more vulnerable to stains and odors. Research carefully and choose what is best for your needs and budget.