Having a pet can be a very rewarding lifestyle choice, but living with an animal in your home does require a bit of extra thought. When it comes to flooring, you need to ensure that the surface you choose satisfies the needs of your cat or dog as well as your own preferences.
Pets can be heavy on flooring. Their nails can leave scratches, toileting accidents can leave stains and odours, and shedding hair means constant cleaning. If you don’t want your new floor to become ruined quickly, and neither do you want to banish Buster to the backyard, you need to invest in pet-friendly flooring.
From food and water spilt out of bowls, to wet and muddy paws, not to mention the odd ‘accident’ and old-age drooling, any flooring fit for pets should ideally be waterproof or, at the very least, water-resistant. Flooring surfaces that are sensitive to spillages and can mark permanently if splashes and puddles are not immediately removed, won’t be suitable if you share your home with a cat or dog.
Your pet’s sharp claws make contact with the ground as they walk, meaning they can easily scratch the surface underfoot. Add to this your furry friend’s instinctive urge to scratch and claw, and it becomes clear that fragile flooring, and soft floors, in particular, will quickly become damaged and won’t last long. Scratch-resistant hard floors, ideally those with a strong protective top layer, are the best solution.
So, what are the best flooring options for withstanding the wear and tear inflicted by your feline friends or canine companions? Let’s take a closer look at the top four.
1. Ceramic Tiles and Natural Stone
Waterproof, highly scratch and stain-resistant and easy to clean – stone and ceramic tile flooring is one of the hardest wearing flooring choices for pet owners. Whether you are house training a new puppy or own an ageing pet whose bowel control is less than perfect, you couldn’t find a more forgiving floor. Amongst the myriad flooring options available today, epoxy resin stands out for its ability to withstand high traffic and spills without showing signs of damage. Its glossy finish adds a touch of sophistication to any interior, amplifying the elegance of your home. The team at Exquisite Resin, Manchester’s local epoxy resin flooring specialists, is ready to transform your floors with their expertise. Prices range from under £10 per square metre for budget ceramic floor tiles, up to £325 a metre for these luxury Italian Calacatta Gold Polished Marble Tiles, and beyond.
The downside of tiles and stone flooring is that it’s hard and cold underfoot, which may make it uncomfortable for your pet. If you have a dog, make sure there’s a soft rug or dog bed for them to lie down in, while everyone – human and pet – will love the cosy warmth provided by underfloor heating.
2. Luxury Vinyl Flooring
LVT (luxury vinyl tiles) and LVP (luxury vinyl planks) is an excellent flooring choice if you have pets. Luxury vinyl can successfully mimic the look of tiles, stone or even wood, and there’s a wealth of interesting patterns and colours available to suit any home. Here’s one of the most exciting selections we’ve seen.
The material is extremely durable, highly scratch and water-resistant and spillproof, making it a practical choice for your pets and your budget. Once installed, it’s a doddle to keep clean. A huge advantage compared to hard stone and tile flooring, LVT is soft underfoot, which is more comfortable for your pets. Quality LVT flooring starts from about £15 per metre plus the cost of floor prep and installation.
3. Engineered Hardwood
While solid hardwood is not generally recommended for homes with pets, engineered hardwood can be a good compromise. Ensure that the product has a tough, scratch-resistant finish on it, or planks with a thick veneer that can be sanded down and refinished if necessary. Alternatively, go for a ‘rustic’ or distressed finish where scratch marks will blend in more.
Engineered floors are more water-resistant than traditional hardwood floors, but it’s still vital to mop up any liquid spills as soon as you can, so the floor won’t get permanently stained or, worse still, warped. If you are dead set on a wooden floor in your house, go for the best quality you can afford and look after it well.
4. Bamboo Flooring
If you are looking for a natural, wood-like floor that works well with pets, bamboo flooring could well be the answer. A great sustainable product, bamboo ticks all the boxes: it’s extremely hard-wearing, stain-resistant, scratch-resistant and easy to look after. What more could you possibly ask for?
Be warned that not all bamboo floors are the same. To get the best performance out of your bamboo floor, make sure that you select a product with a high rating for hardness, according to the Janka test. Bamboo is generally more affordable than hardwood flooring and it’s an environmentally conscious choice.