Different types of flooring have their own pros and cons, it really comes down to what you’re going to be using the floor for. For instance, a soft, plush carpet in the basement rec room makes perfect sense when you want to cozy up and relax, but you wouldn’t want that in your kitchen because it’ll quickly get ruined.
It’s all about matching the function and purpose of a room with the correct flooring.
The same logic applies to choosing the best flooring for dogs. You want something that’s going to be comfortable for them, but still durable enough to not get all scratched up right away, so let’s go over some of the basics to keep in mind.
There are different options, and they’re all good for different reasons and situations, so we’ll do our best to describe the ideal scenarios for each type of flooring, who they may be best for, and then you can make an informed decision to choose the flooring type that will be perfect for your home.
We’ll get something out of the way right now: There is no singular, definitive answer as to which type of flooring is best for dogs. There are too many variables to say that there’s a one size fits all solution. You’ll really have to just learn a bit about the options and go from there, taking into account your own situation and needs.
To go over the specifics of your home and to find out what your best options are, it would be a good idea to find a reputable local flooring company who can give you estimates for some of the different options out there. (Note: It’s a good idea to speak with more than one company! Get a few quotes and opinions.)
Tile Flooring for Dogs
If you’re thinking of tiles like porcelain and ceramic, they have some advantages along with some disadvantages. On the plus side, they’re quieter than other options, which is a bit surprising.
They just don’t really leave any room for the sound to vibrate and echo as much as some of the other options. Also, they’re very easy to clean up, even using a mop with a lot of water, you don’t have to worry about damaging them the same way you might with other types of floors.
On the downside, your pup won’t get good traction on tiles. If you opt for smaller tiles, there will be more grout, which gives your dogs a little more area to grip onto and will be much-appreciated.
Stone tiles have similar pros and cons as other types of tiles. They’re hard and cold feeling, but with some rugs they should be a good option.
Laminate Flooring for Dogs
Laminate isn’t great for liquids (or dog pee), so it’s probably not the best choice if you have a young puppy, but if you have an older dog who isn’t running through puddles or bringing snow inside, it does have some advantages.
Keep in mind that older dogs can also become incontinent.
The level of waterproofing can vary by manufacturer and specs, and if you wipe things up ASAP it’s not as bad as leaving standing water. Laminate can be very affordable, and it generally has a layer of scratch protection on top.
However, the downside is that it doesn’t always give dogs the best traction. That’s the downside of the protective layer. Cheaper and thinner laminate flooring can also get kind of noisy when the constant sound of claws clacking against it.
The best laminate flooring for dogs is going to be something thick, with good moisture resistance.
Hardwood Floors for Dogs
Dogs love hardwood floors, but the floors don’t love dogs, unfortunately. It’s only a matter of time until your beautiful hardwood floor starts to get scratched and nicked by your dog.
You’ll have to sand/polish it a lot more often to keep it looking its best. Hardwood flooring that stays glossy is a rarity in homes with dogs, but it’s just another one of those trade-offs you’ll have to make to accommodate your four-legged friends.
Engineered wood is another option, but you won’t be able to sand it as often, so it’ll ultimately have a shorter lifespan. It’s more affordable, but people with dogs are going to be wearing out wood floors a lot faster than the typical household if they’re getting them sanded and freshened up often enough, so that’s just something to keep in mind.
If you already have a wood floor, there’s no sense in replacing it with something different – might as well ride it into the ground! If you’re thinking of having one installed, just remember that it’ll be taking more wear and tear than usual.
What About Carpets?
If you want to go all-in on what will be the most comfortable and favorite choice of your dog, then carpet is the way to go. It’ll stain, it’s hard to clean, it’ll collect tons of hair (you’ll want to get a pet hair vacuum) but your dog will be super comfy.
Older dogs will have the easiest time standing up from a carpet, compared to tiles that won’t give them a great grip.
From a practical sense, carpets can be all kinds of trouble, but from your dog’s point of view, they’ll love it. Rugs can be a good compromise.
A family friend of mine used to have a red carpet laid out for their dog that allowed him to easily get from room to room, while also protecting their beautiful, newly polished hardwood.
Vinyl: The BEST Flooring for Dogs
Vinyl flooring for dogs is probably the best overall option for you, your pets, and your wallet. It’s affordable, you can install it yourself, and as long as you aren’t getting the bottom of the barrel bargain stuff, it should be plenty durable to stay looking new for a long time.
Vinyl handles water better than laminate flooring does. Water damage is still possible, but just make sure you aren’t leaving it to sit for extended periods of time and everything will be fine. Also, you can fix and replace patches of the vinyl flooring yourself if worse comes to worst.
What to Look For from the Best Flooring for Dogs:
A few features that matter for dog-proof flooring are scratch resistance, water resistance, sound absorption, and traction.
Scratch resistance: This is important for cosmetic reasons, and the overall health and upkeep of your flooring. Ideally, you’ll want a floor that won’t get very scratched up, but in most cases you’ll have to sacrifice other features to achieve that, including your dog’s comfort! Part of this is just understanding that when you have pets, not all of your stuff is going to stay perfect. Thankfully with flooring, there are still come excellent options.
Water/moisture resistance: From accidents, to knocking over drinks, to bringing in water from outdoors, to splashing from their bowl, there are a lot of ways that dogs and a surface that is easily damaged by water and moisture simply don’t belong together. Moisture resistance is something very important to look for when choosing the best floor for your dogs.
Sound absorption: This is especially important if you have a basement that people spend time in, the constant tapping and clicking and clacking from your dog’s feet will eventually start to drive some people crazy. When you’re in the basement and the dog is upstairs, the sound can sound even louder than it does when you’re upstairs with the dog.
Traction: How is your dog going to be able to handle moving around on the floor? This is something that’s easy to overlook, but it can play a big role in their lifestyle! Some surfaces are simply not comfortable for dogs to walk on, and sometimes that’s due to a lack of traction. They just don’t feel like they have their feet under them, and you’ll notice how they walk with a bit of hesitation sometimes.
You’re the best kind of dog owner for even thinking about this and taking your floors into consideration in the first place, so we can already tell you’ve got a lucky dog!
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