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Your Guide to the Best Flooring for Dogs (or Any Other Furry Friend)

June 2, 2021
By the Vevano Home Team

Ready to upgrade your old or outdated flooring but worried about how it will hold up with your furry family members? Good news! There are plenty of flooring options available to both fit your home’s aesthetic and hold up against the inevitable wear and tear that comes from having pets. The guide below will help you choose which pet-friendly flooring option is right for you.

Pet-Friendly Flooring Features

The best flooring for dogs (and other pets) have one or more of the following characteristics:

  • Scratch resistant
  • Stain and water resistant
  • Slip resistant
  • Comfortable for your pet
  • Easy to clean and relatively low maintenance
  • Cost effective

With these features in mind, luxury vinyl tile is one of the best flooring options for pets, with laminate and tile flooring coming in close second and third. That’s not to say flooring like hardwood and carpet don’t have their perks, but they may not be the most suitable for your furry friend. Let’s take a closer look at which pet-friendly features are available for each type of flooring.

dog looking up at camera on hardwood floor

Laminate Flooring

Love the beautiful look of hardwood but want something with less maintenance? Laminate flooring is a great way to go. It’s exceptionally durable and versatile enough to fit almost any home’s style because it can mimic most wood or natural stone looks.

✅ Scratch Resistant

Though the flooring’s stone or wood look may seem easy to scratch, laminate flooring has a transparent, protective wear layer that makes it highly resistant to wear and tear from your pet’s claws.

Laminate flooring’s dense fiberwood core is also dent-resistant.

✅ Stain and Water Resistant

Between the top layer’s protective coating and the resins found in its fiberwood core, laminate flooring is fairly resistant to water and staining.

However, it’s worth noting that traditional laminate flooring is still susceptible to water damage from the subfloor. If spills are not cleaned within a timely manner, water can seep into the planks and cause the base layer to swell.

Unless you opt for waterproof laminate flooring, you’ll want to clean up any pet accidents or liquid spills within 30 minutes.

✖ Slip Resistant

One of the major downsides to laminate is that the surface is slippery, making it more likely for your pet (or you) to sustain an injury. To counteract this, try finding textured surface options to keep your pet from slipping and sliding around your home.

✅ Comfortable

Compared to hardwood and tile flooring options, laminate flooring has a softer underfoot and is more comfortable to walk on. That being said, luxury vinyl tile is even more comfortable than laminate. Consider keeping rugs or dog beds around so your pet has a comfortable place to relax!

✅ Easy to Clean

Laminate is relatively easy to clean. Use a damp (not wet) mop with a laminate flooring cleaner or a solution of one teaspoon unscented dish soap and a gallon of water.

✅ Low Maintenance

You don’t need a lot of specialized cleaning products or know-how to care for laminate flooring.

However, once the laminate flooring is damaged or worn, there isn’t much you can do to fix it except to replace your flooring. You can’t refinish or repair laminate flooring like hardwood.

✅ Cost Effective

It will cost you about $1-$5 per square foot for most laminate flooring options.

If laminate flooring sounds like the perfect fit for your home and pet, we suggest checking out the following pet-friendly laminate options:

laminate flooring taupe
oak laminate flooring
grey laminate flooring, ideal for dogs

Luxury Vinyl Tile

Luxury Vinyl Tile (or LVT) is excellent for pet lovers! Like laminate, LVT can also mimic almost any wood, stone, or tile. However, LVT offers even more durability and less maintenance.

✅ Scratch Resistant

LVT is extremely resistant to scratches.

✅ Stain and Water Resistant

Pets are going to have accidents (especially when they are young), but LVT is resistant to stains and warping from water damage. Unlike (most) laminate flooring, LVT is entirely waterproof!

✅ Slip Resistant

The hard surface of LVT can be slippery at times, but protective coatings and additional texture can help with traction.

✅ Comfortable

LVT offers a more comfortable underfoot and softer surface than laminate and other flooring. The extra cushioning also helps regulate the floor’s temperature and absorbs the noise of footsteps and paws upon its surface.

✅ Easy to Clean

Simply sweeping and mopping your LVT floors regularly will keep up with pet hair and most other messes your pets might leave behind.

✅ Low Maintenance

LVT requires minimal maintenance, though it may dull over time. Look for a thick top layer with aluminum oxide coating to help your floors last.

Additionally, because LVT are sold in planks and tiles instead of a roll, it’s much easier (and cheaper) to replace damaged sections of LVT flooring.

✅ Cost Effective

It will cost you about $2-$7 per square foot for most LVT options.

LVT is one of the best (if not the best) flooring options you can get for your pet. The following pet-friendly luxury vinyl options are guaranteed to look gorgeous in any home: 

dark brown lvt, best for dogs
beige LVT flooring
grey luxury vinyl tile

Hardwood Flooring

There’s no doubt about it—hardwood flooring is the top choice if you’re looking for something classic, elegant, and timeless. But before choosing hardwood for your home, be sure to keep the following considerations in mind—especially if you have a pet.

✖ Scratch Resistant

Hardwood floors scratch easily, so consider using harder varieties like Brazillian walnut, bamboo, or maple. Incorporating rugs into your decor in highly trafficked areas can help keep your floors scratch-free longer.

✖ Stain and Water Resistant

Water and other moisture can quickly warp or destroy hardwood flooring. Be sure to wipe up your pet’s messes quickly to avoid damage. It is possible to refinish and restore your hardwood if it gets damaged, but it’s costly.

✖ Slip Resistant

Like laminate flooring, hardwood can be slick when it doesn’t have a textured surface. Keep this in mind when choosing your variety.

✖ Comfortable

With little give or cushioning, hardwood flooring is not always the most comfortable for pets.

✖ Easy to Clean

Because hardwood is more susceptible to water damage and scratches, it’s important to take extra precautions with the way you clean your flooring and the type of equipment you use.

To keep hardwood floors looking great, it’s best to clean dust and crumbs from the floor at least once a week while periodically deep cleaning with your mop. 

✖ Low Maintenance

Hardwood flooring requires regular maintenance if you want to make it last. Scratches and other blemishes can be fixed through refinishing, but the refinishing and restoration process can be expensive and time-consuming.

✖ Cost Effective

For most hardwood flooring options, it will cost you between $3-$15 per square foot—considerably more than other flooring options.

dog and cat on tile

Tile

Looking for durable flooring that also offers a lot of diversity throughout your home? It’s worth checking out tile. Not only can it mimic stone or wood like laminate or LVT, but it also comes in a variety of other patterns that can become a statement piece of your home—plus, it looks great for years!

✅ Scratch Resistant

Tile is one of the best options for resisting the wear and tear of clawed feet. However, be mindful that tile is prone to cracking if a heavy enough object is dropped on it.

✅ Stain and Water Resistant

Because of its non-porous surface, tile won’t be easily stained or damaged by water. Additionally, tile flooring can improve indoor air quality and deter dirt, dust, pollens, and animal hair!

✖ Slip Resistant

Tile can be slippery, especially if water or other moisture gets tracked inside.

✖ Comfortable

Tile is very hard and can get cold (especially during winter months), making it hard for pets to feel comfortable lying on its surface. To help, consider scattering rugs and beds throughout your home to add comfort for your pet.

✅ Easy to Clean

The smooth, non-porous nature of tile may make it slippery, but at least it makes it easy to clean! Simply sweep first and then mop with warm water to keep your tile flooring pristine. Be sure to use a microfiber mop, which will pick up dirt and grime that sponge mops would push into the grout.

✅ Low Maintenance

Tile is the epitome of low-maintenance flooring, so you can spend more time with your pet!

✅ Cost Effective

It will cost you between $1-$15 per square foot for most tile options.

dog and cat on carpet

Carpet

Your pets will love napping on soft, plush carpet all day long (and your feet will love it, too!). However, there are many features to consider before choosing carpet, especially if you have dogs or cats who shed a lot.

✖ Scratch Resistant

When it comes to carpet, there is the possibility your pet’s claws could snag on the threads and cause damage. Avoid shag carpet and opt for short fibers that won’t catch easily.

✖ Stain and Water Resistant

Carpets will quickly soak up moisture and easily stain, so it’s essential to have well-trained pets and be prepared with stain removers for clean-up.

✅ Slip Resistant

Your pets can run free on carpet without the fear of slipping.

✅ Comfortable

Carpet is soft and cushioned, making it the most comfortable option for pets.

✖ Easy to Clean

Carpet is relatively straightforward to clean but takes more effort than hard, non-porous flooring. Regular vacuuming is important to keep up with pet hair. Spot-treating accidents and spills will prevent stains, but you will need to periodically shampoo your carpets to keep them looking fresh.

✖ Low Maintenance

Between the loose threads and easy staining, keeping carpet in good condition—especially with pets—requires a lot more effort than other types of flooring.

✅ Cost Effective

It will cost you about $1-$4 per square foot for most carpet options.

Ready to upgrade your flooring? Shop pet-friendly flooring options on Vevano, or talk to an interior designer today about the best flooring for your home and style!