Pet Friendly Flooring Guide
on August 1, 2020
They say that a house is not a home without a pet. Pets become beloved members of our family and we do all kinds of things for their happiness and well-being. Whether your pet is older, rambunctious, or an over-eager baby they can still cause damage around the home. They don’t mean it, so we forgive them. (I mean, who could stay mad at that face?) But if you’re doing some renovations or planning a new build, there are options available that will keep a smile on your face and a wag in their tail. We have assigned different flooring categories ‘paw ratings’ 1 to 4 paws, with 4 paws being our top rated pet-friendly products.
There are so many colors, finishes, and different styles of hardwood available and it has become increasingly popular. Something to keep in mind is that while hardwood provides great resale value, as a pet owner you need to know that it can scratch easily under claws and is more absorbent of smells and stains than some of the other options. There are, however, a lot of distressed product lines on the market that help to mask the wear and tear that claws can cause. It is wise to opt for a hardwood that ranks up there on the Janka scale (hardness factor); hickory is an excellent option for pet owners, it is incredibly hard and has grain to distract from wear and tear.
Laminate is an affordable hardwood alternative; it is quite durable, but is susceptible to moisture. The surface of a laminate floor is resistant to staining, but you need to be diligent about wiping up spills and accidents as soon as possible to prevent swelling. Standard moisture tolerance for a laminate floor (before swelling) is usually half an hour max. There are even a few new ‘waterproof’ laminate floors on the market which reduce the issue of swelling. Some pets find laminate floors slippery and seem to have a tough time gaining traction. The 3 major benefits of laminate floors is their budget friendly price point, DIY-friendly installation and the ability to change out damaged boards without calling in an expert.
Carpet offers sound insulation which can be handy if your pet loves to play at night. It has come a long way in the last decade, many new features are available including stain-resistant and odor-resistant options. Shaw Flooring offers a moisture proof blue backing upgrade on many of their carpets, this prevents moisture from wicking through the backing and into the pad or subfloor below. Carpet provides good grip for paws to run and play, and is an excellent product to use on your stairs. Careful with your choice though, some cats just looove to sink their claws into a berber style carpet. Make sure that you have a scratching post available, so that your kitties won’t take it out on your flooring. Carpet comes in a wide range of price points and there is something available for every budget.
Durable and stain resistant, tile will maintain its look and value for a long time. However, some tile can be slippery for paws and can be tough for pets with mobility issues. A great product when it comes to wiping up spills and messes, tile is extremely easy to care for. Tile can be a bit cold on the paws, but there is always the option to heat your floors. To offset the hardness and coolness of your floor, you can always add soft area rugs to offer some reprieve for your furry companion to lounge on.
Moisture resistant, stain resistant and more forgiving in terms of hardness; vinyl is one of the top-rated products for pets. Vinyl comes in a wide range of options varying from plank-style hardwood looks, to tile-look, as well as sheet vinyl (often referred to as lino). There are also a wide range of prices and quality levels. Your pets will appreciate the warmth underfoot, grip/traction should not be a problem and you will appreciate the ease of cleaning when you opt for vinyl.
Flooring is an important element of your home; it not only has to look great, but encounters more wear and tear than any other finish. Selecting the right product for your home will help to maintain resale value, and offer comfort to your entire family (including your four-legged family members). Be sure to mention your pets to your sales person when shopping for flooring, there are always new innovative products entering the market that are designed with our furry friends in mind.
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