Homeowners who have pets in their homes face more problems regarding the home’s flooring than homeowners who don’t have pets in their homes. Pets compound your home’s flooring issues because there is a higher risk of damage to the surface from pet claws and toenails. There is also the occasional problem with pet urine or solid waste, and since all pets shed, you may have additional difficulties getting rid of dander.

These problems limit the options you have for flooring the home; some types of flooring don’t work well in a house with pets. For instance, a lot of pet owners and their pets love carpets. But the fact that carpeting is easily stained and prone to getting ripped-up by pet toenails, claws, or teeth make it an unrealistic choice. The same applies to regular hardwood flooring; they are easily scratched and will require frequent refinishing.

For homes with furry, feathered, or scaly residents, the flooring has to be moisture resistant, stain-resistant, and hardy enough to withstand the assault of toenails and claws. For your safety and that of your pets, the flooring should also be slip-resistant. The challenge with most flooring that meets these criteria is they don’t look pretty. The dilemma you have to solve as a pet owner is to find the flooring that pets will not damage but is aesthetically pleasing.

What are the options you have?

The best flooring options for homes with pets

Bamboo is easily the most pet-friendly flooring option due to its beauty and durability. Bamboo is harder than hardwood – twice as hard as oak – and therefore highly resistant to scratching. As a result of the resins used in its manufacture, it resists stains and moisture. However, its hardness means it does not absorb sounds well. Also, not all bamboo is hard enough to make a good choice for pet-friendly flooring. Strand-woven bamboo is best, and it should have a high hardness rating on the Janka test.

Cork is another natural flooring option that is an outstanding choice for homes with pets. It looks like hardwood but doesn’t have the same problems as hardwood. Cork offers a soft, warm surface that is comfortable underfoot, and its sound-absorbing qualities make it perfect for homes with big, rambunctious dogs. Cork is microbial; it will inhibit the growth of mold and bacteria. The major shortcoming of cork is it is not entirely scratchproof. Seal the cork and trim pet toenails to protect it.

Decorated sealed concrete
Concrete flooring has come a long way from the bland surfaces used in factories. Today, different types of decorated concrete work very well inside the home. Concrete can be polished, stained, or textured for a range of visual effects. It is moisture and stain-resistant. The main issue you will face with concrete is discomfort; it is hard and cold, though you can effortlessly solve this by placing throw rugs and area carpets on the flooring. Some polished concrete is also slippery.

Ceramic tiles
Ceramic tile is a popular choice for pet-friendly flooring due to the material’s high resistance to scratching. Part of the allure of tile flooring is that they come in various designs and can appear like hardwood or stone. To make sure the flooring is stain-resistant, go for glazed ceramics. Unglazed ceramic tiles will absorb stains unless you seal them. You will face the same issues that you have with concrete floors; they are hard and cold.

Natural stone
Natural stone is a great option that will add value to your home, says Schambs Management. But apply caution when choosing natural stone flooring because not all natural stone flooring are pet-friendly. Highly polished surfaces like marble and granite are not scratch-resistant. Slate and limestone are better options because of their rougher surfaces. However, to make them pet-friendly, they need to be sealed to make them stain-resistant. Natural stone also presents the same problems as ceramic tile flooring and decorated concrete.

Sheet vinyl and vinyl tile
These older types of vinyl have stain-resisting qualities, and moisture will not penetrate them. They can mimic the look of other types of flooring; hardwood and natural stone. But vinyl is thin and can scratch with time. Additionally, it does not do much to improve the home’s value, it is low maintenance, and very affordable. That means you can easily replace it every few years. Vinyl flooring is best in rooms other than living, dining, and family rooms.

Luxury vinyl
Luxury vinyl is an upgrade on standard vinyl, both in appearance and performance. You can make it look virtually indistinguishable from hardwood, natural stone, and ceramic tiles. It comes in planks that are thicker and more durable than standard vinyl. That makes it more resistant to scratching. Most luxury vinyl floorings are water-resistant and slightly soundproof. They offer a comfortable surface for pets to walk or rest. Luxury vinyl is budget-friendly flooring for homes with pets, provided it is a quality product and installed appropriately.