Before you begin, there are three big considerations to remember when looking for pet-friendly flooring options: resistance to scratches and damage, traction, and comfort.
Avoid carpeted flooring with pets. It is easily the most difficult type of flooring for pet owners to clean, making pet accidents as well as shedding very stressful. Carpet harbors odors and stains that slowly build up over time.
Stone, Tile, and Concrete
Hard flooring options such as stone, tile, and concrete are the easiest to clean after shedding, a pet mess, or post-bath shake-off. However, flooring made of stone, tile, or concrete can get chilly during cold weather, and dogs may be uncomfortable relaxing on the hard surfaces.
Hardwood floors are beautiful, but tend to scratch easily; paws, pet toys, and water bowls can leave an ugly scuff mark on the surface. It is also prone to stains and water damage. If you have pets and want hardwood, opt for the hardest varieties, such maple or bamboo. The harder the wood, the more likely it is to resist scratching. Bamboo has the added bonus of being a more eco-friendly hardwood. Keep in mind when shopping that the color of your bamboo will indicate its hardness (and therefore scratch-resistance) due to the amount of heating used in its processing. The lighter the bamboo, the less it is heated and the harder and more durable it will be.
An excellent choice for easy cleanup, laminate floors offer the beauty of hardwood with less maintenance. Homeowners won’t need to worry as much about letting moisture linger for too long on the surface, which is ideal for those with accident-prone or water-loving pets. Laminate flooring’s disadvantage, however, is its slippery texture. A fast-moving puppy or heavy dog may end up skidding across the room.
Cork flooring is an excellent choice of flooring for pet owners. It resembles hardwood flooring and it is an eco-friendly naturally antimicrobial material. If your pet has an accident on the floor, it is less likely to lead to the growth of bacteria, mold, and other harmful allergens. Another benefit of cork is that it absorbs sound. If you are not a fan of the sound of your pet’s paws clicking and plodding through your house, cork is a good option. Cork is also scratch-resistant, warm and bouncy, making it comfortable to walk upon and can withstand foot traffic very well.