As we all recently celebrated National Pet Day on April 11, it’s fitting that we recognize and honor our pets with an article today that focuses on their needs in the home. Founded in 2006 by Pet & Family Lifestyle Expert and Animal Welfare Advocate Colleen Paige, National Pet Day celebrates the joy pets bring to our lives and aims to create awareness about the plight of many different kinds of animals awaiting a forever home in shelters and rescues all around the globe.
Without a doubt, our pets play an important role in our lives, bringing happiness and joy. That’s why one of the things that pet owners prioritize when they’ve got plans for a home renovation or are building a new home are their pet’s–in this case, their dog’s–needs. On the human side, this means finding flooring that can hold up beautifully against the wear and tear that your furry friends will subject your floors to over time.
It’s important to consider factors like scratch resistance, sound absorption and ease of maintenance. On the other side of the equation, you’ve also got to make sure that the floors meet your pets’ needs, especially when it comes to traction, which can mean a great deal to older dogs that often, like people, suffer from weak knees and may have trouble standing up.
When meeting with your design-build contractor in Wayne PA, four primary considerations to remember as you look for pet-friendly flooring options are the materials’: 1) Resistance to scratches; 2) Resistance to damage; 3) Pet traction; and 4) Pet comfort. Make sure to keep these qualities top of mind as you shop around for different flooring options.
Look to this guide for the best flooring for dogs and pet-friendly flooring in general. Let’s examine the pros and cons of the different flooring types, as well as tips on how to prevent further damage on existing floors, so that you can make more informed choices for your family and pets. We also provide a graph of the most durable flooring types on the Janka Hardness Scale to guide you in your quest for the most suitable type of flooring.
We’re always on the lookout for things that can be a concern when it comes to flooring, like dogs’ nails, which could cause permanent damage to some flooring options. We also want to look for flooring materials that are durable, easy to clean and more resistant to urine damage.
A go-to flooring choice, hardwood boasts a clean, classic look–make sure to choose materials like cherry, maple, hickory, walnut, mahogany, sycamore and bamboo–but do consider too that hardwoods are more prone to stains and water damage. Nix softwoods, such as pine, chestnut, larch, hemlock and fir which are susceptible to dents and scratches and won’t work well in homes with larger dogs. The harder the wood, the more likely it is to resist scratches from a dog’s nails.
Hardwood used to be considered a poor choice for places such as kitchens, where moisture is an issue. However, any kitchen renovation company in Wayne, PA, will today bear out that hardwood flooring is undergoing something of a renaissance as a kitchen flooring material, thanks to modern sealers and polyurethane finishes that make it a much more durable and long-lasting choice.
The Janka Hardness Scale below can help you determine the hardness of wood. (The higher the number, the harder). Softwoods are generally rated at 850; you’ll need a rating of 1250 or more if you plan on using a hardwood for your flooring needs.
One additional consideration when purchasing hardwood flooring as a pet owner is to find an option that has a factory-applied aluminum oxide top coat that can resist scratches and dings best, or one that is coated with urethane, making your floor more scratch- and stain-resistant. Moreover, hardwood is an excellent choice because you can repair wood — just cut out and replace a whole section as needed.
While technically not a wood, bamboo is an organic substance that homeowners love. Popular for its natural hardness, bamboo is an organic substance that is stain- and scratch-resistant and is a customer favorite for sustainability. Owing to the infusion of resins during production, bamboo is off-the-charts durable on the Janka flooring hardness scale.
Bamboo’s inherent warmth during the cold months can render the installation of radiant heating superfluous. The material can withstand high traffic, is stain-resistant, resistant to wear and tear and is eco-friendly. It’s only drawback is that it can be rather expensive.
Cork flooring, just like bamboo, is both eco-friendly a naturally antimicrobial material that will reduce the growth of mold and other allergens to your benefit and that of your pet. A warm and pliant material, cork flooring can withstand foot traffic well. It’s water-resistant and needs little maintenance. It is also sound-absorbing, making it quiet underfoot. Its biggest enemies are sharp nails that can cause gouges in the material and sunlight, which can discolor it with exposure. Because it’s rather soft, cork can also be damaged by heavy furniture that can indent it permanently.
Laminate may be a somewhat questionable choice when it comes to moisture resistance, but it does very well in terms of scratch resistance. Resistance to scratches is measured by Abrasion Class (AC) Ratings, which go from AC 1 to AC 5. AC 3 floors are designed for residential use with moderate traffic–floors rated lower are too light for use if you have dogs, while anything rated above AC 3, which are best used for commercial purposes, may limit your design opportunities.
Laminate flooring closely resembles hardwood flooring, but provides an easier clean-up after your pet. You should purchase a thicker laminate floor of 12 mm with underlayment to avoid much of the hollow click-clacking that a dog’s claws will usually create on laminate. Keep in mind that while it boasts hardness and durability, laminate can make for slippery flooring. A high gloss laminate floor will reduce your pet’s traction even more, so choose a textured or embossed finish to reduce slipping, or layer an area rug and rug pad over the flooring for extra traction for your pet. Laminate’s transparent wear layer is a double-edged sword; though unfriendly to claws, the slickness also wards off scratches. Do bear in mind, however, that laminate’s not as long-lasting and timeless as hardwood.
One flooring option that works really well for pet owners is stone tile. The material is extremely durable. Accidents or spills? No problem — tile is easy to clean up; Moreover, tile is scratch-resistant, even though there are a few softer, more porous stones–such as marble–that do require a little more maintenance and treatment. Tile’s cold and hard surface is rather unforgiving as it provides no comfort underfoot. The use of radiant heating and scatter rugs can work, but having a pet bed is another must if your furry pal is to have a space of its own to relax on a stone tile floor. If you’re looking to do a bathroom renovation Wayne PA, stone tile is also a good option to explore.
Ideal as a flooring choice for most pet owners, vinyl compares well in terms of affordability in against other flooring materials, besides which it can be installed almost anywhere in the home. Vinyl isn’t just available in a wide variety of designs, it is a durable option that provides great traction for your pet and does not compromise on style. Besides, it’s quiet underfoot and promotes low levels of allergens. Vinyl’s only foreseeable flaw is the fact that it dulls easily.
Before we bring this article to a close, here are a few more tips to keep your pet-friendly floors looking fresh longer. Help prevent or minimize damage to your brand new floors by:
Clipping your dog’s nails regularly to prevent their nails and claws from scratching your flooring
Wiping up urine or other accidents as quickly as possible
Placing a mat underneath any pet food bowls to catch excess water that can create a lot of unexpected damage to your floors
Catching excess dirt and debris by placing doormats at entrances
Designating an area rug or oversized pet bed as the “play area” where your pet can play with toys.
If you do opt for hardwood flooring, it’s best you be prepared to condition your floors once a year and to buff it once every two years. You also need to get the top layer of your highest traffic areas sanded, stained, and refinished every decade or so.