If you are in the process of remodeling your home and have a dog, now is the time to find a better and more durable flooring that's pet-friendly. For your needs, it should offer scratch resistance, sound absorption, and cleanability. Your dog will appreciate a floor that offers traction, which is key for older dogs that may have a tougher time trying to stand up. Here are various types of flooring and how they will fare in your home with your pooch.
Vinyl flooring is low cost and DIY-friendly. Vinyl flooring designs and durability have both vastly improved, which is great news for you.
Your dog will also love the cool surface during the summer and the warmth during the winter, especially if you install radiant heating underneath the finished floor. Most importantly, your dog's slick pads and claws won't ice skate across vinyl flooring. The material has just enough grip for your dog to feel comfortable and safe when trotting across the surface.
You may be surprised to learn that laminate excels when it comes to scratch resistance. It is easy to determine how well a prospective laminate can resist scratches by checking out the specs section of the product description. Abrasion Class (AC) Ratings go from AC 1 to AC 5:
- A floor rated AC 1 and AC 2 may be too light and not well suited for dogs.
- A floor rated AC 3 stands up well in a room with moderate traffic and it's dog-friendly.
- Floors rated above AC 3 are designed for use in commercial settings; though they'll resist scratches, you may not find as many design options.
Your dog may not like the slick feel of laminate under its paws. The transparent wear layer of a laminate floor may be smooth and unfriendly to claws, but it's there to ward off scratches.
Go for Extra Thickness
If you choose laminate, go for a thicker 12 mm floor with underlayment so you can eliminate much of the hollow click-clack sound that the dog's claws create.
Bamboo flooring is considered a wood flooring although the organic material is a grass. Some types of bamboo flooring, specifically strand-woven bamboo, is off-the-charts in terms of durability on the Janka flooring hardness scale. The hardness comes from the infusion of resins during the production of the flooring. Your dog will like the inherent warmth of bamboo during the cold months; there is little need to install radiant heating, though bamboo does allow for it.
Ceramic and Porcelain Tile
Ceramic and porcelain floor tile certainly wipe down easily (think muddy paw prints). Unlike water-averse laminate, tile holds up under wet mop cleanups. Because tile has a cement board underlayment, there are no hollow spots that will echo the click-clacking of your dog's claws.
Your dog may not like the slick feel of a tile floor, and an older dog may have an especially difficult time gaining traction when standing up from a prone position. It may be worth it to lay tile with thicker grout lines to help with traction. Some tiles have a better grip than others so check the coefficient of friction specs when purchasing your flooring.
Consider using epoxy grout on your new tile floor. Its up-front cost is higher than that of traditional grouts, but you may save money on grout repair in the long run. Epoxy grout is particularly good at keeping stains and surface scratches to a minimum.
You may love carpeting, but you'll do more than your share of vacuuming up pet hair and potentially cleaning up after incontinent older dogs. You and your dog will both love carpeting for its softness. Best of all, your dog's claws can gain maximum traction on the fibers. Opting for a lower pile carpet can satisfy all needs; it's comfortable for dogs and easier to clean up than plush rugs.
You love hardwood's beauty and your dog will love hardwood's warmth. But your dog's claws will likely end up gouging solid hardwood. However, the harder the wood, the longer you can go before sanding the problem spots. Harder woods such as ipe and hard maple are expensive, but you may regret installing softer red or white oak if your dog has long sharp claws.
Engineered Wood Flooring
Engineered wood mimics the elegance of hardwood such as mahogany at a reasonable cost. A couple of years after installation, your dog may create deep scratches on the floor and you'll need to contact a flooring pro to lightly sand and fix the problem. Your dog will find engineered wood to be as warm and comfortable as solid hardwood.