True life at Floors To Your Home HQ: Many of us are pet owners. We have cats, dogs, fish, and our very own Hayley in the sales department used to have a skunk.
More than 83 million households in America have a pet as part of the family. Having an animal friend presents unique challenges to the normal household environment. Dogs like to chew. Cats like to scratch. Birds are notoriously messy. Rodents and reptiles don’t always recognize appropriate bathroom areas. Accidents happen.
When choosing a new floor for a household with pets, it’s important to take into account several factors:
• Where is the floor going to go?
• How much traffic will it get?
• How big is your pet?
• How does your pet’s behavior impact your existing floor?
• How would your pet’s habits affect your floor?
It really is possible to have gorgeous durable flooring in a house that sees both paw and foot traffic. So, pet owners, how do the different flooring materials measure up against each other? Let’s look.
If your heart is set on hardwood, look for solid hardwood. Solid hardwood’s durability makes it more resistant to impact, dents, and scratching. It’s important to remember that neither solid nor hardwood is resistant to moisture. Be sure to use waterproof mats underneath food and water bowls to prevent spills.
Cat owners will be all too familiar with litter pieces trailing all over the house. Clay litter looks and feels like small pebbles and can cause the same scratching damage when caught in shoe treads or in the paws of larger pets like dogs. Waterproof mats are again your friend with litter boxes; some litter mats available at pet stores resemble shaggy Astroturf, but a carpeted bathmat will work just as well to trap moisture and litter particles.
(pic of litter box)
It’s important to be diligent about quick accident clean up. Standing moisture, whether it’s water, wet pet food, urine, vomit, hairballs, or fecal matter, is not good for hardwood flooring.
In addition to moisture, the biggest concern for hardwood is impact damage. Dog toenails can be the bane of hardwood; if your pooch likes to zoom around the house at top speed, scratching is almost inevitable.
Laminate is a very popular choice and makes a wonderful floor for pet owners due to its high durability. It’s resistant to impact, staining, scratching, and wear, and can take a real beating from an active life with your animal friends. As with hardwood, you don’t want to let spills or accidents sit for long periods of time, but laminate has a much higher moisture resistance than both solid and engineered hardwood.
Another big draw for pet owners is how easy it is to clean and maintain laminate floors. Shedding is easily swept up, messes can be cleaned up without too much fuss, and most stains can be removed. Laminate can also match the look and texture of stone and wood and are easy to clean. Life with pets means a certain amount of unpredictability. Laminate will stand its ground against almost anything you and your pet toss at it.
Today’s vinyl tile and planks are waterproof and very strong. Some, like the Supreme Elite Freedom Gold Series, even feature thick wear layers for extra strength and durability. Both click together and loose lay vinyl are great choices for pet owners.
The newest innovation is vinyl technology is WPC flooring. WPC material is a unique 100% phthalate free virgin hybrid composed of wood and plastic that combines the best qualities of laminate and vinyl! Pet owners should absolutely take a look at WPC; it’s waterproof like a vinyl, tough like a laminate, and warm underfoot.
Carpet is not recommended for pet owners. Even the best maintained carpets can all too easily become an idyllic retreat for fur, dander, litter particles, dirt, and allergens. Pet accidents can also leave unsightly stains and unpleasant odors, leading to expensive cleaning and equipment rental. Smaller animals like ferrets and rabbits also run the risk of getting their nails caught in the material.
Porcelain and ceramic are excellent choices and hold up nicely against demands from pets of all sizes. They’re durable, waterproof, and very easy to clean in the case of a spill or accident.. Scratching doesn’t pose a threat either. Modern porcelain tile also keeps up with the trends, and can even mimic the look of real hardwood!
– – – –
Meredith Foster is a content writer at Floors To Your Home. Away from the office she’s a published author, hockey fan, music lover, and mom to a vampire-fanged rescue cat.
Follow Team Floors To Your Home on Pinterest