What Is The Best Flooring For Dogs?
If you have a young pup in the house, that loves to play with his/her toys, you know firsthand how hard dogs can be on your floors. Running around in your house playing fetch, etc..., especially if your dog has long nails, can be very harmful to your home.
Several types of floors can withstand a lot of pet traffic and pet play, but keep in mind...
No floor is 100% scratch-proof. If a sales person tells you a floor is 100% scratch-proof, we would recommend that you visit a different store. We can flat out tell you....every floor will scratch. Having said that, some floors are more scratch resistant than other floors. These scratch resistant floors are the products (as pet owners) that you should focus on getting for your home.
In this article, we will review our top products for dog owners that have that playful puppy, as well as dog owners that have those older dogs that might be prone to have "accidents" from time to time.
Best Flooring For Dogs - Benefits of Having Carpet
Carpet has many benefits for households with dogs. Here is a list of some of those benefits:
Non-Slip Surface: Dogs love to play and run around. For those dogs that are high energy and are in a constant state of motion, carpet is a wonderful choice for safety.
Better comfort level & safety for older dogs: The older a dog gets, the more you have to pay attention to their legs and back hips. Hard surface flooring can be very slippery, and many dogs simply prefer the feel and comfort of carpet. Likewise, with the added carpet pad, it gives older dogs a better surface to lay down and play. Simply put, would YOU rather sit on a hard ceramic or vinyl tile floor, or a nice soft carpet? Carpet, of course. The same would apply to your dog.
Sound: For those dogs that have long nails or that constantly play or chew on their toys, if you have a hard surface floor, dogs can be rather loud. Carpet will provide a nice quite floor for you and your family to watch your dog play.
Best Flooring For Dogs - Carpet Problems
On the other hand, carpet also has some definite drawbacks. For example, if you have a dog(s) in the house, you might have these concerns:
Cleanliness: Dogs are messy. How many times have you seen a dog that won't eat on a tile floor? Even though their food bowl is sitting on a hard surface floor, they will grab a mouthful of food, and then carry it over to the closest carpeted area to eat it. How about those dirty paws from coming inside when it's raining or snowing? And...we don't even want to talk about those occasional "accidents" that happen. Carpet can be difficult to keep clean when you have a messy dog in the house.
Damage to the carpet: If you have a dog that does not like to be alone, or is teething, or is simply still learning how to behave, your carpet could be in trouble. Too many times, carpet gets damaged by a dog that wants to dig a hole in your floor, or is playing too rough with one of their toys.
Shedding: If you have a dog that sheds a lot, carpet could be a very big problem. It could be very difficult to keep clean.
Staining: Depending on the type of carpet you buy, carpet can be difficult to keep from staining. Sometimes, all it takes is one bladder "accident," or one stomach bug, and your carpet could become discolored.
Credit: My Dog Morrison
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Best Flooring For Dogs - Carpet Pad
Don't forget about the carpet padding. When you have a dog in the house, you want to make sure you get a good, stain protected carpet pad. You don't want to go cheap on the pad, and then have water issues. Water that gets in to your carpet pad can cause mold and mildew issues. Therefore, it is very important to ask your flooring professional which pad they sell that has a warranty protection from water and other accidents.
So, is carpet a good type of floor when you have a dog in the house?
We think it all depends on your personal preference, as well as the type and age of your dog. If you are a person that enjoys carpet over hard surface, then we would recommend buying carpet.
However, if you don't want to deal with shedding, and the constant worry of your dog ruining the carpet, then you might want to look at a hard surface floor like luxury vinyl plank or hardwood.
Having said all of that, if you make the decision to invest in a carpet purchase, we do think you should look at a certain type of carpet. With a dog in the house, here are two options of carpet that we think will do a good job for you:
Mohawk SmartStrand Carpet
We have a really good article, SmartStrand Carpet Cleaning Guide, that does a wonderful job of explaining what makes this carpet special. We would encourage you to check it out. SmartStrand Carpet is one of the most stain resistant carpets in the marketplace. It is very resistant to dirt, odor and has an excellent warranty in regards to crushing and matting. Mohawk puts the SmartStrand Technology on many different carpet styles. You can get a starter carpet (that is made with SmartStrand Technology), or a very thick high end carpet.
Shaw Floors R2X Total Carpet Fiber Protection
According to Shaw Floors:
"Pick a carpet offering R2X Stain and Soil Resistance treatment. It’s Shaw’s patented and proven system that shields your carpet well below the surface—because the entire fiber is protected, from base to tip, against stains. There is simply no better stain and soil protection in the flooring industry."
You can learn more about this wonderful carpet protection system here: The Shaw R2X Stain & Soil Resistance System.
Shaw's R2X Total Carpet Fiber Protection does a great job in protecting your floor from spills, pet accidents, dirt, and crushing. We think like Mohawk SmartStrand, Shaw R2X is one of the best options for pet owners that want to have carpet in their home.
Credit: Shaw Carpet R2X Technology Test
Similar to Mohawk Flooring, Shaw Floors puts the R2X Technology on a variety of its products. Most of the time, this information will be on the label on the back of the carpet sample.
We have a good article that talks about Shaw R2X, as well as how to buy carpet at the right price. You might find it helpful. We call this article: I Need To Buy New Carpet.
But....what If You Don't Want Carpet?
Luxury Vinyl Plank Flooring
Luxury vinyl plank flooring (otherwise referred to as LVP) is the fastest growing product in the floor covering world. If you go in to any retail floor covering store, you will see a huge percentage of their showroom space, dedicated to LVP displays. The benefits of LVP include:
Easy To Clean
For those pet owners that would rather not have carpet, LVP would be a great option to consider for your home. When it comes to LVP, and whether or not it is the best flooring for dogs, here are some of the benefits:
Best Flooring For Dogs - LVP Benefits
Easy to clean: If you have a dog that sheds a lot, LVP is a wonderful product to have in the home. Use a soft cloth on the floor once a day, and all of your dog hair is gone.
Waterproof: Dog owners realize just how sloppy their furry friend can be when drinking out of their water bowl. With LVP, water won't damage the floor at all. Grab a paper towel, wipe up the spill, and you're good to go. Likewise, water won't hurt your floor when coming inside from the rain or snow. LVP is a great option for your home when it comes to water issues.
Durability: LVP will wear well in your home. It can hold up to a lot of play activities and foot/paw traffic. It does not require a ton of maintenance, and it should last for a very long time in your home.
Dogs love LVP on those hot days: If you live in a warm climate, on those hot days, dogs love hard surface flooring. It is much cooler for them to lay on, as opposed to carpet.
Best Flooring For Dogs - LVP Disadvantages
Slippery: LVP can become slippery when wet. For dogs, this can become an issue. Especially for larger dogs that like to play. Injuries can happen if a floor surface becomes too wet and your dog falls or turns a leg the wrong way.
Sound: LVP can be rather loud. If your household has dog toys all over the place, and a dog that has long nails, LVP can cause a lot of unwanted noise.
Uncomfortable: Would you rather sit on a nice soft piece of carpet, or on a hard vinyl plank floor? Carpet, of course. The same applies to your dog. Many dogs simply do not like hard surface floors, and will end up fighting you over that spot on the sofa or chair.
So, is Luxury Vinyl plank (LVP) a good type of floor when you have a dog in the house?
It is again, a personal choice. If you are concerned about your dog being uncomfortable, or if you're concerned about your dog sliding around and hurting themselves, or the loud noise of the floor, then you might decide LVP is not a good option for you. On the other hand, if you have a a dog that is high maintenance, and you want something easy to clean, LVP could be a wonderful choice to consider for a flooring option. There is no clear cut right or wrong option.
LVP has some beautiful designs and colors, and can work in any room of the house. There are so many different products, it would be impossible to make a recommendation on which product is the best for dogs. We would recommend getting a 12 mil or 20 mil product, that has all of the bells and whistles that pertain to being waterproof and scratch proof.
Credit: Vinyl Plank Flooring - Review After One Year In Our Home
What About Other Types Of Floors?
Hardwood: Hardwood is a beautiful type of flooring, and is a timeless product, that certainly adds value to your home. Depending on the type of dog you have, hardwood may or may not be a good option. If you have a small dog that has small nails, then hardwood would be perfectly fine for your home.
On the other hand, if you have a 100 pound dog in the house, a hardwood floor might be difficult to maintain. Hardwood floors scratch easier than LVP, and with hardwood flooring, water is not good for the floor. That large dog, that is a sloppy drinker, could cause all sorts of issues for a hardwood floor.
Ceramic Tile: Ceramic tile is very similar to LVP, as far as the advantages/disadvantages. We think having a ceramic floor would be a good option to consider, if you do not want carpet or LVP.
You can purchase ceramic tile in all sorts of sizes and colors, and many people use ceramic tile throughout their home.
Linoleum: While the linoleum market is shrinking (due to the rise of luxury vinyl tile & plank flooring), we think linoleum would be a great option for a mud room or dog area. You can put the food and water bowl in that space, and the linoleum would be an excellent, easy maintenance floor.
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