What’s the best home flooring for pets?

December 23, 2014

You need to consider your options carefully when it comes to choosing the right flooring for pets.

What’s the best home flooring for pets?

If you’re looking to remodel your house or upgrade its flooring, find out what's the best home flooring for pets.

  • There are many types of floor materials, each with their own benefits and drawbacks when it comes to pet claws and fur (and occasional gastrointestinal oopsies).


Pets can be very hard on hardwood.

  • Just one "incident" can leave a stain or stink forever, even if cleaned up promptly.
  • Their nails can easily leave tell-tale scratches and nicks.
  • The water bowl’s leaks and splashes, not to mention drippings from a wet pet, are also detrimental to hardwood’s longevity.


Bamboo can be an excellent alternative to hardwood.

  • To all but the sharpest eye, it looks the same as hardwood.
  • Its durability is outstanding—it can survive animal nails and is both stain- and water-resistant.


Laminates are a very popular flooring option, as they tend to be more scratch-proof than hardwood. However, they’re also worrying for pet owners, especially the smooth, high-gloss options.

  • Their ice-like hardness can cause stress on pet’s limbs, as dogs and cats will often easily lose traction on it.
  • Fido’s slips and slides may look cute, but they are hard on his joints. As a result, over time he could develop chronic pain.
  • Luckily, embossed or textured finish laminates can prevent the paw from slipping and reduce joint stress.


Cork has many pet friendly attributes.

  • It’s not only scratch-resistant and naturally sound absorbent, but cork is also naturally antimicrobial, helping to fight mould and compounds that can trigger allergies.
  • A downside to cork is it can fade with exposure to the sun.
  • It also isn’t water-resistant like bamboo or high-gloss laminates.

Stone, porcelain or ceramic tile

These kinds of floors are tough, and tough is good when pets are around.

  • Scratches are rare on tile and when they do happen, they're virtually unnoticeable.
  • Pet accidents are a breeze to clean off as well.
  • A downside for pets is that tiles made of stone, porcelain and ceramic are cold and hard, so area rugs are needed to give your pet somewhere to relax and stretch out.


New, high-end vinyl flooring products are very good options for pets—and for small children, too.

  • They are engineered to be scratch- and stain-resistant, nearly allergen proof, are easy to clean, and quiet under foot or paw.


Carpet may be warm to the foot and eye, and budget friendly to install, but when it comes to dwellings with pets, it has considerable drawbacks.

  • It tends to absorb moisture and hold smells.
  • Fabrics containing loops tend to wear out especially quickly under dog and cat claws, which can sometimes get painfully hooked. If carpet is your only option, opt for loop-less designs.
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