Before you bring a new four-legged fur-baby home for the first time, you may want to consider whether your house is ready for the new addition. The biggest question may be, what is the best kind of flooring for pets?
The answer is that there are several great options available that will help protect your home as well as give your little fluffers a great environment to live and play in. But before we delve into which flooring options work best for pets, let’s take a look at a few that don’t.
Carpet: A Sponge for Bacteria
Even without pets, carpets collect all kinds of nasty stuff, from dirt and grime to parasites and bacteria that can cause illness. Add the accidents an un-potty-trained newborn puppy or kitten is bound to make, and the problem only gets worse.
Even if you have your carpets regularly cleaned, some of the cleaning chemicals can be dangerous and even deadly to animals, especially cats.
Replacing your carpet with a solid flooring option will create a healthier environment for everyone in your family—including your pets.
Although it may be tempting to consider hardwood as an alternative to carpet, true hardwood also has a number of disadvantages when it comes to pets. Real wood absorbs water and moisture, so those first few accidents (and their odor) could easily become a permanent part of your hardwood flooring, especially if not cleaned up immediately.
Not to mention, hardwood scratches quite easily, so it doesn’t take long before those claw marks add up and destroy your floor’s look and feel. Hardwood restoration is a time-consuming and expensive process, so if you’d rather spend the next few years enjoying your time with your pets, it’s probably best to investigate other options.
Walking the (Luxury Vinyl) Plank
A relatively new innovation in flooring called Luxury Vinyl Plank combines the classic look of hardwood with the resilience and durability of synthetic materials. A high-quality professional installation can ensure the floor is waterproof, so spills and animal accidents don’t seep through to the subfloor.
Not only is cleaning up a breeze with LVP flooring, it can withstand some pretty tough treatment, too. Most scratches can be buffed out relatively easily, and regular sweeping and mopping with safe, nontoxic cleansers is all that’s needed to keep it looking brand-new for years.
One of the advantages of LVP flooring is the limitless possibilities. Not only are there LVP panels that mimic every imaginable type of hardwood, you can also choose from tiles that imitate natural stone, textile or brick.
Classic Rock You Won’t Find on the Radio
If manmade surfaces aren’t to your taste and you want the strongest, most pet-proof material on Earth, natural stone never goes out of style. Humans have been creating natural stone floors for thousands of years for a reason: they last.
There are several varieties of natural stone flooring available, including marble, granite and limestone/travertine. Each has its own pros and cons, but one thing remains true for all of them: they’re among the hardest materials on the planet. Animal claws are simply no match for natural stone tile.
Less expensive (but also less durable) tile options include ceramic and porcelain. These materials are manufactured from natural substances, making them semi-manmade. Although more resilient than natural wood, they’re not as strong as natural stone and are more likely to crack and break, which can increase their lifetime cost.
Get Quirky with Cork or Bamboo
Finally, there are a couple of options that offer the rustic, natural look of hardwood but are durable enough to withstand pets andare 100 percent natural: cork and bamboo.
Cork is exactly what you’re thinking of: it’s the same stuff used to plug wine bottles and post notices on at work. It’s a spongy, naturally resilient lumber product (it actually comes from tree bark as opposed to the trunk) that, although not impervious to damage, is far more forgiving than true hardwood.
Cork is available in a reasonable variety of colors and designs, most of which don’t resemble bulletin boards at all. It’s relatively inexpensive and easy to install and will last at least until your puppies or kittens have matured enough to tread more lightly on it.
Bamboo is considered an ecologically friendly “green” product because it grows so quickly. One interesting quirk about it is that the lighter it is, the stronger it is, due to the heat used in the tinting process damaging the fibers. So if you prefer a lighter, airier style, bamboo floors might suit your preferences quite well.
Another benefit of bamboo is the price. Often costing around 50 percent of what you would pay for hardwood, bamboo can be an economical alternative that will stand up to pet traffic.
You want the best for your family (including your fur-family). That’s why it’s important to hire the best in the business, and at Flooring Masters & Professional Remodelers, we’re pretty sure that’s us. Flooring Masters & Professional Remodelers have extensive experience pet-proofing floors across Indiana and Kentucky. Our certified installers have the ingenuity and know-how to assist you in choosing the right floors for your home. Call or email today for a free consultation and let us guide your next project.