Our furry friends can be tough on floors, from scratches caused by claws to stains from muddy paws and shedding fur collecting everywhere. Pets pose some unique challenges when it comes to choosing the right floors. Whether you're a homeowner looking to reduce repair costs in the future or a landlord creating a durable space for tenants with pets, here are a few tips on how to choose the right flooring for a pet-friendly space.
The best flooring for homes with pets is water-resistant, scratch-resistant and low maintenance. Focusing on these practical yet stylish floors can help make your property more appealing to pet owners.
The durability of your pet friendly flooring choice is a key priority. Floors need to be able to withstand scratches, nudges from noses and claws without showing significant signs of wear. Materials that are soft or prone to gouging easily simply won't cut it.
Consider the size and activity levels of your furry roommates as well. Larger or more rambunctious pets require floors that can handle greater impact without showing marks. The most durable floors can withstand the scrapes of claws and force of paws from pets of all shapes and sizes.
Also think about your particular pets' habits. Do they try to dig or chew at surfaces? In that case, a too-soft flooring will quickly become riddled with holes and grooves. Seek out a more resilient material rated to withstand chewing and scratching attempts from your four-legged friends.
When selecting flooring for homes with pets, water-resistance is a must to withstand inevitable spills, leaks and other incidents. Water-resistant floors will be much easier to maintain and preserve the look of the flooring for years to come.
You want to avoid flooring that will soak up moisture as this will cause them to stain, warp and could even result in mould growth. While no floor is impervious, focusing on water-resistant materials, particularly for areas like kitchens, can give property owners peace of mind. Quick wipe-ups of spills and accidents will keep the floors looking great for years.
Even with the most housebroken pets, messes happen frequently. From muddy paws to shedding fur or the occasional accident, floors need to be easy to clean and maintain when sharing your home with animals. Flooring with very smooth, non-porous surfaces tends to be the simplest to clean.
In addition to low maintenance materials, it helps to minimise the number of grout lines you're dealing with as these can gather dirt and stains, requiring more cleaning to keep them looking bright and fresh.
Likewise, textured floors have more crevices where pet fur and dander can accumulate, meaning frequent vacuuming is a must. Carpet, for example, is prone to gathering fur and absorbing unpleasant pet odours over time as well, so deep cleaning is required more regularly.
While durability and easy cleaning should be high on your priority list when selecting pet flooring, the comfort for pets' paws is also worth considering. Even durable floors can feel unpleasant under bare paws.
You want to choose a surface that won't bother sensitive toes or joints after hours of running around or lying in their favourite spot, and still be comfortable for the human members of the household too.
Providing some cushioning for areas that see heavy traffic will make all members of the household more comfortable, whether that's in the form of the flooring itself or a thicker underlay. The comfort of the flooring underfoot not only makes a difference in how liveable the space is for pets and humans alike, but it can also help to improve the energy-efficiency of your home.
When it comes to identifying the most durable, pet-friendly floors, three options stand out, for several reasons.
Luxury vinyl tiles or planks, also known as LVT, is one of the best options for homes with pets. It offers a high level of scratch resistance, is completely waterproof and is a comfortable surface to walk on. Vinyl stands up to claws, liquids and impact while retaining its attractive wood or stone look. The easy DIY installation and affordability of LVT are also perks of this choice of flooring.
Extremely durable against scratches, stains and water, the smooth surface of ceramic tiles also makes them very easy to sweep and mop when messes occur. There are so many patterns and colours to choose from to suit any home style, offering a classic elegance to your home and making it well suited to older homes. The main downside is it can feel cold underfoot, and for the paws of your furry friends, but area rugs can help combat this issue.
More affordable than some other flooring options, laminate provides a realistic wood look that's also scratch-resistant thanks to the thick top protective layer. One of the potential downsides of laminate is that it's not very water-resistant so spills must be cleaned quickly to avoid damage and warping. Laminate can work well for homes with pets in drier areas, but it requires slightly more maintenance to avoid water damage when compared to vinyl and tile.
Selecting the right flooring is a crucial decision for any homeowner, especially those with pets. It not only impacts the aesthetics of a room but also the practicality of your living space. While no flooring option is entirely indestructible, focusing on the most durable, pet-friendly floors can save property owners both headaches and expenses in the long run. By considering factors like water resistance, ease of maintenance, and scratch resistance, you can create a comfortable and lasting environment for both your furry friends and yourself.
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