Sunday, July 12, 2009

What's the best flooring if you have pets?

We get asked a lot " What is the best flooring if you have pets." I wanted to give our general take on this question and let you know our thoughts to give you some directions to consider. Be advised though, I will not be taking into consideration subfloor structure, what part of the country you live in, above grade or below grade (basement) and other issues separate from pet issues. Be sure to talk with your sales person, hopefully at 1-800-232-5537, and let them know as much as you can about your application. With that being said, here are my tips for some of the best overall around ideas for flooring if you have pets.

  1. Tile-Stone, Ceramic or porcelain. We don't do stone tile at Becklers Carpet so I can't fully and intelligently go in depth about stone, but it would hold up like a tank if you had it (probably though like other tile, very expensive install cost and probably higher material cost than ceramic and porcelain). Ceramic and porcelain tile are both great for pets as the surface is very hard and holds up well to most pet traffic. Tile also does well with pet accidents, water, liquids etc. Tile also can give a very elegant look as a side benefit.

  2. Luxury Vinyl plank or tile. Never heard of luxury vinyl before? It's a super heavy duty vinyl product that in most cases is even designed to hold up in commerical applications. The planks or tiles are glued down individually and give a real look that will blow you away. They are extremely hard surfaced and don't scratch very easily. They also do great with water issues. Kardean, Nafco, and Earthwerks are the major players in this market. If you have ever been in the clothing department at W**mart and seen the amazing floor that looks like wood you've seen luxury vinyl. It looks super and if it will hold up in that kind of traffic, your terrier isn't going to hurt it much. You can also do some great designs with this type of floor. As a summary, it doesn't scratch easily, looks great and does well with moisture issues and pet accidents. Install cost is less than tile but more than laminate.

  3. Laminate flooring. Laminate flooring does amazing when it comes to surface scratches. It is extremely hard to scratch. It does decent with surface liquid spills (pet urine) but need to be wiped up pretty quick. If a fair amount of liquid gets in between the seams it can cause a problem though with buckling. In review, laminate wears well for pet feet and nails but is so-so for pet urine and water bowl spills. Install cost is very low compared to other floors. Laminate can even be be a moderate do-it-yourself project.

If you will notice, I did not mention Hardwood or Carpet. Carpet can wear decently, but does horrible with pet accidents. Moisture can seep into the pad and the smell and stain is very hard to get rid of, even with newer stain products on the market. If you feel you have to have carpet, please, please consider a top end pad that has a superb moisture barrier, such as spillguard pad or stainmaster pad.

Hardwood floors are beautiful. Not so much though after several years of pet nails and traffic. If you think hardwoods floors are for you and you'll have pets in the house, consider one of the harder species on the Janka scale (scale that measures hardness and density of wood) such as Asian Walnut, Brazilian Cherry or Tigerwood. Oak probably isn't the ideal choice. I'll touch on Bamboo while I'm on hardwood. A high end, stranded Bamboo will probably hold up like the better woods. I would not consider a lower end bamboo or engineered bamboo as they are probably too soft. If the bamboo is much lower priced than the woods I mentioned above then it won't work. As a matter of fact, if they are priced about the same, you might as well go ahead with the hardwood because it will add value to the home. I'm still not a fan though of hardwood and pets together. A last tip, if you have hardwood and pets, use rugs and lots of em. They are much more replaceable than the wood. Just be sure to move the rugs around occasionally as a few species of hardwood floors can slowly change color over their life and the rug on top of it for a long period could affect the coloring below.

I hoped this helped! There are many other things that can be considered and I didn't cover them all. I do think flooring with pets is a tough decision that needs to be addressed at the onset of your project. Please give us a call at, 1-800-232-5537 and let us help you pick the right floor for you and your budget.

Also, if you are looking for a flooring dealer in Atlanta, GA, think about driving up to see us! We are only about an hour North of Marietta! Of course, we do ship all over the country!


  1. I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


  2. Hi,

    The different types of oak flooring include the solid oak flooring and engineered solid wood flooring. Solid wood or the solid oak flooring is considered as the most expensive option is many cases as well as the price but will differ according to the length, boards, thickness boards and width boards.

  3. Hello walton02,

    Actually Oak may not be the most expensive option. With some dealers it is, but not, We can actually sell 1st quality, warrantied Oak Hardwood Flooring for the same price range per square foot as Luxury Vinyl Plank and Tile.

  4. Hi
    Good article. I have 2 dogs and 2 cats and want to re-floor downstairs. I would love oak but not very practical and I have concluded that tiles (stone or ceramic) or something like Karndean will have to do - but cold on the feet!
    Jacquie Adams