Whether you are purchasing a new home or renovating your current home, it is important to know what type of flooring are best when you have dogs. Pet-friendly flooring is essential for any household with pets. Imagine paying thousands of dollars for a beautiful real hardwood floor only to find that your dog urinated on it and ruined it.
Finding flooring that meets your style preferences and can hold up over time to the clicking and clacking of paws on its surface, it vital. While it may seem like a challenge at first as you review the many different options, there are, fortunately, many stylish and affordable options out there that will work for homeowners with pets.
Below, we will discuss what the best and worst types of flooring are if you do have dogs in your home. On a side note, if you do not have a dog currently, but you may want one in the future, it wouldn’t hurt to familiarize yourself with the best and worst floor types, so that you can be best prepared when you do add a dog to your family.
What to Keep In Mind When Choosing Flooring with Dogs in the Home
Flooring has come a long way and there are plenty of options out there that allow you to accommodate having a dog in your home and meet the aesthetics that you want for your flooring. Before you start to shop around though, you want to know what you should be keeping in mind as this will give you an advantage as you shop.
Stain and Water Resistance: We all know that dogs can have accidents and this rings true especially if you have a puppy. It is important for you to find flooring that is both stain and water resistant. You should look for flooring that can hold up to spills over time and not become ruined by the occasional accidents that can and will likely happen.
Scratch Resistance: The paws of a dog can do quite the damage when it comes to your flooring, so it is recommended that you look for flooring that is able to withstand this type of daily wear and tear.
Traction and Comfort: You want to be comfortable and safe on your flooring and you want the same for your dog too. Choosing flooring that offers both traction and a higher level of comfort will make you and your pet happy.
Upkeep: Floors that are a hassle to maintain will only cause you a headache and become one of your most hated things to do when it comes to chores. To avoid this, choose flooring that does not require a lot of upkeep.
Cost: You want to look for flooring that offers all the above but also does not come at a cost that is too high or too cheap. You want to be able to get a good return on investment and you want your floors to last you a long time too.
By keeping each one of these factors in mind as you shop, you can look for flooring that meets your needs, your pets needs, and narrow down your choices at the same time. Once you know exactly what you are looking for, you can head to the store and start to see some options in person.
BEST Flooring Options for Homeowners with Dogs
Below, we will review some of the best flooring options for homeowners who are also dog owners.
Vinyl flooring is an excellent option because it is waterproof, durable, and extremely cost-effective for homeowners. The vinyl flooring options that are available today look much better than you may have remembered them many years ago. You can choose vinyl that looks just like stone and even hardwood. In addition to being waterproof, vinyl is also scratch resistant and you can expect it to last for many many years in your home.
When it comes to vinyl flooring, you have two main options. The first one is luxury plank vinyl, which is flooring that looks just like planks, similar to the look of hardwood. The second option is luxury vinyl tole, which is designed to mimic the look of traditional tiles in a square shape.
This flooring option is one of the most often chosen options as it is affordable and does come in a variety of colors and designs to meet your needs. This flooring is also extremely easy to upkeep and does not take much to get it clean.
- Waterproof and water-resistant options
- Mark and scratch resistant
- Many colors and styles to choose from
- Quiet underfoot
- Cool in the summertime
- Skid resistant
Tile has always been a safe and timeless option in homes and it is a winner for dog owners too. Many people who do have pets choose tile because it is so versatile. Tile flooring is able to withstand dog accidents on the floor and also any spills that may occur.
Today, tile comes in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors, so customization is really whatever you can think of. You can even get tiles that look like hardwood or natural stones. When you combine the tiles with the grout, you will find that it gives enough traction for your dog, so he is not sliding around everywhere.
There are three popular types of tile available. The first one is ceramic, which comes in many beautiful designs and can have added texture to really make them pop. The second is porcelain, which is lovely for high-traffic areas. The porcelain is water-resistant and very durable. The third option is natural stone. It has a beauty to it that many homeowners fall in love with.
Tile is known to be on the more expensive side of flooring, but it is worth the investment as you can expect it to last one or two decades.
- Long-lasting material
- Very durable
- Cool for pets
- Easy to maintain and keep clean
- Timeless and classic styles available
- Scratch resistant and water-resistant
You have likely heard of laminate flooring and it is well-known for its ability to ward off scratches, dings, and more. It is a great option for homeowners who have large dogs or dogs that are very active in the home. Laminate has a look closely related to vinyl but it looks more like a distressed wood in its texture and surface design.
Smoother laminate flooring options tend to have less traction than some of the textured options, so you will want to keep your eye for this. It is not waterproof but is water-resistant. If you do spill anything on it, you do not have to worry. Cleanup is easy too.
- Mark resistant
- Stain resistant
- Easy to clean
If you are someone who is looking for an eco-friendly or green option, cork floors are an awesome idea and they check off the boxes for being dog friendly too. You will find that cork is an antibacterial material and it is also hypoallergenic making it a great choice for any home.
This material is naturally resistant to mildew and mold, so it can take on spills and a good amount of moisture without you ever seeing an issue arise from it. It is important to note that if you do spill something on your cork floor, you want to clean it up quickly, as the floor can stain.
Cork is very comfortable for both humans and dogs due to its softness. With that said, it can be prone to dents, damage, and punctures from sharp dog nails.
- Eco-friendly option
- Absorbs sound
- Mildew and mold resistant
- Little maintenance required
- Comfortable and soft
For homeowners who want the look of hardwood floors, engineered hardwood is a great alternative and one that is quite cost effective at the same time. This flooring is made with a natural hardwood layer on top, so your floors look like they are real hardwood.
Engineered hardwood can withstand some moisture and spills, but they should be cleaned up quickly to avoid damage. You will have a variety of different finishes, colors, and styles to choose from as well. It is not as scratch resistant as some of the other options on this list either, so do keep that in mind.
- Raises home value
- Looks like real hardwood floors
- Some scratch and water resistant properties
WORST Flooring Options for Homeowners with Dogs
As you get ready to shop around for new flooring, keep in mind that there are some flooring options that are just not ideal when you have dogs in the home. These are some options you definitely want to AVOID.
There are several alternatives to hardwood, so if you are going for that look or do not want to sacrifice it, you do not have to. Solid hardwood floors are not a good choice when you have dogs, as they can quickly become damaged.
Solid hardwood is beautiful, but it does not hold up well to moisture or spills. In fact, the boards will warp and your floor will become severely damaged. In addition, it stains easily. You will find that it holds onto scratches and buffing those scratches out is not an option.
If you do want hardwood floors for your home, it is possible to have them refinished several times over their lifespan, so you can go that route, but it can be an expensive route.
- Darker colors show pet hair and dander
- Can stain easily
- Does not do well with water or moisture
- Hard on feet
- Scratches easily
Carpet feels good on the feet, but it is not an ideal choice for homeowners with dogs, especially puppies or dogs that are not potty trained. This is because carpet is prone to staining and will hold onto odors. You will also find that it can damage easily from your dog’s nails and even if the dog chews on it.
If carpet gets wet, you must clean it promptly. Allowing water or moisture to remain can lead to mold issues, which is a health concern. You will also find that carpet makes a great home for pet dander, fleas, and ticks.
Should you find that you definitely want carpet in your home, you can have it. But look for options that are water-repellent, stain resistant, and even odor blocking. You may even find some options that offer pet stain warranties on them as well.
- Water damage can happen
- Mold can develop
- Stores pests and allergens in the fibers
- Regular cleaning and upkeep needed
- Can hold onto unpleasant odors
Flooring Based on Your Dog’s Size
Check out this quick guide on which flooring works best given your dog’s size.
Heavy, Large Dogs That Are Active
- BEST: Porcelain Tile
- WORST: Laminate
Heavy, Large Dogs That Are Inactive
- BEST: Cork
- WORST: Tile
Light, Small Dogs That Are Active
- BEST: Vinyl
- WORST: Laminate
Light, Small Dogs That Are Inactive
- BEST: Engineered Hardwood
- WORST: Solid Hardwood
Dogs Who Are Potty Training
- BEST: Porcelain Tile OR Vinyl Tile
- WORST: Carpet AND Engineered Hardwood
How to Best Protect Your Floors
No matter what type of flooring you choose for your home, you will need to take extra precautions and steps to ensure it is fully protected. Keeping your floors looking pristine takes some time, especially if you do have dogs in your home.
Follow the tips below to help you keep your floors protected as best as possible.
1. Trim Your Dog’s Nails
Keeping your dog’s nails trimmed will help protect your floors against scratches. If you do choose to have carpet, you will find that keeping their nails trimmed will prevent snags and tears of the carpet fibers.
2. Clean Up Spills Right Away
If a spill or accident happens, make sure to clean it up immediately. While there are flooring options that are more waterproof or water-resistant than others, it is still best practice to clean up the spills right away.
3. Keep the Dog’s Food and Water Area Clean
Your floors are likely going to be exposed to water and slobber where you keep your dog’s food and water bowls. You should take steps to protect this area by using a pet mat or some type of mat to keep the bowls off the floor. The mat should be absorbent to catch any spills and prevent water from sitting on your floor.
Your Flooring Matters
Now that you have this information, you can look for flooring that meets your style preferences, is ideal for your pup, and fits into your budget.