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Pet-Proof Flooring – The Options Available and How to Choose Which is Best For Your Home

If you have pets, plan to have pets, or plan to rent your home to anyone who may have pets, pet-friendly flooring is a must. Even the most well-behaved pets have accidents, get sick, or damage flooring in their most heavily used areas of the house.

Pet-Proof Flooring For Your Central Florida Home

For all their furry-loving hearts, pets can do serious damage to flooring over the course of their lives. From puppyhood to the senior years, there is only so much scratching, paw-happy scrambling, or unintentional accidents certain flooring types can take without showing their wear.

The Worst Flooring for Pets

Sometimes, it’s best to work in reverse when selecting furnishings for your home. By eliminating the worst options, you can focus your sites on the best samples for your household.

When it comes to pets, several flooring options just don’t make sense unless they’re installed in areas restricted from pet access or rooms rarely occupied by pets.

  • Marble or limestone
    Marble and limestone flooring is gorgeous, but it’s also soft, porous, and slick. It’s vulnerable to scratching, stains easily, and can be dangerous for larger or older dogs that are more prone to slipping into splayed leg positions that hurt at best and injure them at worst.
  • Carpet with higher pile or shag
    Carpet offers a soft, warm place for humans and dogs to lie down. However, the higher the pile or shag, the worse option it is for pets. Repeat accident clean-up sights show up over time. This type of carpet also harbors odors, fur, dirt, mites/fleas, and dander, increasing allergen triggers for animals and humans. Finally, cats love to use carpets as a scratching/kneading ground, doing tremendous damage. Certain low-profile carpets do work for pets, so we’ll discuss those below (see #5).
  • Natural hardwood
    We love the look of natural hardwood. However, like marble, it’s also prone to staining and scratches. Instead, we recommend taking advantage of manufactured flooring products that look just like wood but are ultra pet-proof and require far less maintenance.
  • Polished concrete
    This flooring option is a hit for contemporary home design fans but is not ideal for pets. What seems like it would be so easy to maintain isn’t. Concrete itself may be durable, but the stains and finishes on top are vulnerable to scratching.
    So that rambunctious puppy, the tried-and-true dogs that like to play and wrestle together, or that excited fur-baby who scrambles up and runs like crazy when you get home will all scratch the finish.

Our Top 5 Pet-Friendly Flooring Recommendations

When you’re in the market for pet-friendly flooring options (which also work well for families with children!), prioritize selections that are:

  • Scratch and stain-resistant
  • Easy to clean up (even if you don’t find an accident until hours or days later)
  • Low-maintenance

With those requirements in mind, here are our top five flooring recommendations for pet owners.

1. Porcelain Tile

Porcelain tiles are incredible now that modern manufacturing innovations can replicate any natural stone or wood look you might desire. So, if your heart was broken when you read marble/limestone is a no-go, this news should buoy your spirits.

We have porcelain tile options that look just like marble, travertine, and other natural stone options. Stylish tiles are a win-win for pet owners who want the luxurious look of a natural stone without any risk of damage or the need for surface sealing year after year.

2. Tile That Looks Like Natural Wood

This is quickly becoming our best seller. Cut into plank-sized shapes, “natural wood” tiles look remarkably like the real thing. The faux-wood tiles come in virtually any wood species you’d choose from natural wood floor options, complete with unique wood-grain patterns and texture. Wood plank tiles provide the visual warmth of wood but the durability and ease of maintenance that tiles are celebrated for.

Plank tiles can be laid traditionally, but you can also get creative and lay them on the diagonal or using popular chevron or herringbone patterns.

3. Water and Pet-Resistant Laminate Floors

If you love the look and feel of hardwood, laminate floors are another pet-friendly option. Laminate patterns are more realistic than ever before, offering every type of wood species you can find in the natural world – and with a bit of texture too. Laminate is often a preferred alternative to wood tiles, especially if you want something with a slightly softer landing or warmer touch.

Keep in mind that, as with any flooring product, quality matters. Cheaper vinyl products won’t stand up to the rigors of pet and family life regardless of what advertisements may say. Lower-grade brands have less durable finishes, so they’re more prone to scratching and don’t have the water-resistant laminate features you’ll want if you have cats or dogs. Let your flooring specialist know you have pets from the get-go so they steer you toward the options that deliver long-term durability.

4. Luxury Vinyl Flooring Options

We can assure you that luxury vinyl options have nothing to do with your grandma’s vinyl – so don’t rule it out. Along the same lines as tile products, vinyl options are incredibly diverse in colors, patterns, and realistic representations of natural products. They use the same innovations that allow tile manufacturers to produce flooring that looks like authentic natural materials.

So, depending on your style preferences, you can find luxury vinyl patterns that look like marble, granite, slate, limestone, various wood species!

5. Low-Pile Carpet

Just because we don’t recommend higher-profile or shag carpets doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have carpet in your pet-loving home. The key is to be careful about your carpet selections.

Pet-friendly carpet options are:

  • Durable (often using words like “high-performance” or “pet perfect” in their description).
  • Have the toughest stain-guard protection on the market (keep moisture and other pet-related stains from settling into the carpet fibers or the underlying carpet pad).
  • Have a low profile so there’s less to harbor fur, dirt, dander, and other debris.
  • Have minimal to no loops to prevent being caught on paws and claws (which can cause damage to both the pet(s) and the carpet).
  • Using a pad that has a moisture barrier is the best choice for homes with pets and kids, which keeps spill and pet accidents from going down into the pad and makes it easier to clean the area more efficiently.

We also recommend choosing carpets with varying colors and textures rather than a solid color. Even a little bit of fiber color variation is better at hiding paw tracks or small stains until you have a chance to clean them up.

Make the Right Pet-Friendly Flooring Choice with Creative Floors

When you work with the flooring experts at Creative Floors, we guarantee you’ll wind up with flooring that suits your lifestyle, can take a beating from your pets, and will hold up year after year.

Schedule a design consultation with us in our showroom or an in-home appointment where we bring the samples to you during a free home estimate. Either way, you’ll have the opportunity to see, feel, and stand on samples – as well as view them in your home. This is the only way to know for sure whether or not you’re making the right choice for existing design features.