The Best Flooring Options for Homes with Pets

by Rob McKechnie

Choosing the right flooring option for your home is a vital part of the makeover process and there’s lots of different options, with their own pros and cons, to consider.

However, if you’re a pet owner, this decision becomes even trickier as you will need to choose a pet-friendly flooring option that is both resistant and durable whilst at the same time remaining stylish.

It’s for this reason that we are focusing today's article on analysing a number of different flooring types from a pet-suitability perspective to guide you on your purchasing path.

Whether you’re looking for the best flooring for dogs or cats, the best flooring for pets that have accidents or the most comfortable option for your pampered pooch, we have all angles covered!

What Properties Must My Pet-Friendly Flooring Option Have?

When deciding on the best flooring option for pets, consider the following...

Your flooring option must be resistant to:

  • Scratches

One of the most common causes of flooring damage by pets is due to their long nails causing scratch marks on the surface.

  • Accidents

We all expect our pets to be perfectly house trained from the day we bring them home, but we also have to live in the real world! Pets, especially younger ones, will sometimes have accidents in the house and you need a flooring option that makes it quick and easy to get rid of without leaving any traces (or smells!).

  • Other Damage

Whilst scratches and scuffs from a dog or cats claws amount to a lot of the damage to flooring, there are other issues our pets cause. Whether it’s from bigger dogs pulling appliances off worktops whilst jumping up or adventurous cats brushing pots and pans onto the floor whilst exploring your kitchen, your flooring needs to be up to the test!

Pet-friendly flooring also offers:

  • Traction

    Pets traction on differing flooring types often gets overlooked but choosing the wrong option can leave your dog looking like roadrunner when you put their food down or tell them they’re going for a walk! This is especially important with cats who find it particularly tricky to walk across particular surfaces.

  • Comfort

    Finally, consider the comfort of your flooring when you come to make your choice. Will the flooring be too cold for when they’re lying on it? Will it be too hard if they were to land on it from a height?

How to Prevent Pets Damaging your Flooring

Before we look at the individual flooring types and the pros and cons of them for your pets, let’s consider what proactive steps you can take to prevent flooring damage in the first place:

  • Clip your pets nails

    The simplest and easiest tip to carry out and the one that should prevent the majority of flooring damage is clipping your pets nails.

  • Wipe up accidents ASAP

    To stop permanent flooring damage when your pet has an accident you will want to act as soon as you can. It’s not just a matter of speed, you will also want to use the right products for the right flooring to ensure there’s no long lasting effects.

  • Invest in a feeding mat

    A waterproof mat for underneath food & water bowls can stop a lot of mess from going on your floor.

  • Get a doormat

    While your at it, get a doormat to stop pets traipsing mud and dirt inside from when you’ve let them out. This is vital for those rainy and muddy months.

Pet-Friendly Flooring Options Pros & Cons

  • Real Wood Flooring

Real Wood Flooring looks delightful but is not always the best option for a pet. If you’re going to go with solid wood, make sure you choose hardwood rather than softwood to limit scratches and dents. Although real wood doesn’t trap dirt unlike other flooring options, it is very prone to scratches and stains and can also be quite slippery.

  • Engineered Wood Flooring

Whilst Engineered Wood Flooring is a great flooring option, it may also not be the best for those with pets. Whilst you can sand down Engineered Wood Flooring similar to Real Wood if your pet scratches it, you only have a limited number of times you can do this before the other components of the flooring are exposed. It is very easy to clean though.

  • Luxury Vinyl Tile (LVT)

Luxury Vinyl Tile (or LVT) is arguably one of the most pet-friendly flooring options for a number of reasons. Not only is it very durable and scratch resistant, but it’s also water resistant / proof meaning it ticks all the boxes! It’s also not slippery unlike wooden alternatives and, despite not being the most comfy option for your pet, the positives far outweigh the negatives.

  • Laminate

Laminate Flooring is also water resistant and easy to clean and the limited scratches you will get with this surface are typically less distinguishable. Cons: It’s slippery meaning pets will be less stable on their feet and it’s not as everlasting or as timeless as hardwood.

  • Tiles

Whilst tiles can add a rustic, authentic look to your home, they are very cold compared to all other options and there’s no one who this will affect more than your pet who loves to sleep on the floor! Tiles are also very slippery, although they are scratch-resistant and easier to clean.

  • Carpet

Last, and probably least, is carpet! Whilst your kitten or puppy will love the warmth and comfort of carpet, it’s notoriously hard to maintain. Carpet isn’t a slipping hazard either, which is a positive, but the sheer amount of dirt that it traps, hairs it attracts and also ticks and fleas that it stores should be enough to make any pet owner steer clear!

So there you have it, what to look for when selecting a pet-friendly flooring solution, how to prevent flooring damage by pets and a run down of the best, and worst, flooring options for them! Did we miss anything out? Let us know in the comments below.