Most people consider their pets as family members and let’s face it, they’re generally the most spoiled of any member of the family. Therefore, the choices a homeowner makes often take into consideration their pet’s needs, along with their own. When it comes to flooring, making the right decision is even more critical as pets will undoubtedly cause more wear and tear over time. From scratches, to stains, to hair, our furry friends can be problematic. The good news is that you can keep your pet and retain a beautiful floor at the same time.
When determining the best pet-friendly flooring options, there are three factors to consider: resistance to scratches and damage, resistance to stains, and pet comfort and safety.
- Resistance to scratching – some breeds tend to have long sharp nails that can cause permanent damage to some flooring options.
- Resistance to stains – it’s important to have a floor that doesn’t stain easily, especially for pets that haven’t been house broken or could have an occasional accident.
- Comfort and safety – this should be a priority when choosing a floor. Options that provide traction and help eliminate slipping and injuries are the best choices.
There are a variety of options that address these factors and that will keep you and your furry friends happy.
Tile is a great option for people with pets due to its long wearing durability, moisture resistance and ease of maintenance. It’s both scratch-resistant and easy to clean, making it one of the most popular flooring choices. However, a downside to tile is that it can be hard, cold and slippery for both pets and humans.
Vinyl flooring is an excellent option for pet owners. It’s not only durable and waterproof, but incredibly easy to clean. Vinyl has a protective top coat that make it scratch- and scuff- resistant to your pet’s nails. Vinyl is also great for a pet’s comfort and safety, as it is comfortable to walk and lie on, and it provides a significant amount of traction reducing the risk of a pet slipping on the floor and sustaining an injury.
Laminate is an artificial wood product that is extremely strong. The sealant layer makes it scratch- and scuff- proof, giving it the ability to resist a pet’s nail scratches. However, laminate can be damaged by liquids if they sit for too long. Additionally, it tends to be extremely smooth and slippery, making it difficult for pets to walk on. If choosing laminate, consider a finish with some texture to help your pet with traction and reduce the risk of injury.
Hardwood flooring is an extremely popular option for many homeowners, but it isn’t the best choice for those who own pets. Most types of hardwood tend to wear easily and perform poorly against spills and stains, especially with pets in the home. If solid wood is a must, it is recommended to choose harder woods such as
cherry, maple, oak, hickory, mahogany, teak and elm. Harder woods perform better at resisting pet scratches and scuffs. Coating the wood floor in urethane can further improve its resistance to scratch and stains, and minimize damage from liquids such as urine.
The general consensus is that carpet and pets don’t mix due to fur and dirt that get trapped in the carpet, and urine stains that are difficult to clean. This being said, there are carpet options that are suitable for pets and that can resist stains and accidents. It’s best to choose a carpet with nylon fibers, as nylon is the most durable and stain-resistant when treated with stain protection. Choosing a woven design will help reduce the chances of a pet’s nails easily snagging the carpet. An upside of carpet is that is provides pets with a comfortable place to walk and lie on. When considering carpet, it is best to choose a neutral that won’t show dirt as quickly and it’s important to vacuum frequently to keep the floor clean and the fur from building up.
Tips to keep floors in tiptop condition
There are a number of things that homeowners can do to keep pet-friendly floors look newer longer and to help prevent or minimize damage. They include:
1. Clean up pet accidents as quickly as possible. Be sure to reference the manufacturer’s cleaning instructions for your specific flooring, as some require specialty detergents while other need just soap and water.
2. Trim your pet’s nails regularly to reduce the possibility of scratching or snagging.
3. Place mats underneath pet bowls to reduce scratching and to catch excess water.
4. Designate an area rug as the play area where pets can play with toys.
5. Keep pets well-groomed to reduce the amount of damage and mess pets can make indoors.
Wayne Wiles offers a vast selection of pet-friendly flooring options and never sacrifices quality for low cost. From carpet to hardwood floors, the Wayne Wiles team can offer advice on the best choices for your needs and provide estimates for a variety of brands and products. Contact us to schedule a free flooring estimate at (239) 204-5700.