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 ...and thanks for stopping by. I'm Claire Douglas,  DIY and home interiors writer specialising in money-saving and creative home interior projects. I've spent years developing my 'bespoke on a budget' approach to DIY and home interiors and I love sharing all my tips and tricks in tutorials and posts here on my blog, in articles I write for some of the leading titles, in the press, on Instagram, Tiktok and my online course

Which flooring for dogs? A guide to the best dog-friendly floors

Updated: Apr 30

How to choose the best flooring for dogs according to an expert

a dog sitting on a wooden floor

Choosing the best flooring for dogs in your home will depend on a few factors, such as budget, the room you are kitting out and the type of dog (& possibly how well-trained it is, too!). For first-time dog owners, flooring updates might arise after a few incidents, leading them to realise that their current situation isn't tenable (e.g. luxury cream carpets).

If you're here because you've identified that some adjustments are required, especially when it comes to your home's flooring, then don't panic - we'll cut straight to the chase. From pet accidents to the sound of paws scampering across the floor, pet owners are faced with the unique challenges their beloved companions can pose to their living space. Choosing the right flooring is essential to ensure both your home and your furry friend can coexist harmoniously. 

How to choose the best flooring for homes with dogs

To help identify the five best flooring options for dog owners today, I have expert advice from Liam Cleverdon, Flooring Trends Expert at Flooring King, who says: “Choosing flooring when you have pets can be difficult, as investing in a material that isn’t pet-friendly can cause damage and hefty repair costs. It’s important to pick a material that can withstand everyday pet marks, such as scratches, dirt and sometimes little accidents. A durable flooring that’s resistant to claw-induced scratches is crucial. However, sharp claws aren’t the only factor you need to be wary of, as pet hair can rapidly accumulate, so opting for a material that’s easy to clean will be beneficial too.”

Let's take a look at Liam's top 5 suggestions for the best flooring for dogs;

1. Vinyl flooring for dogs  

Liam's first choice is Vinyl flooring, as he believes this is the best option for many dog owners. Vinyl comes in a much wider variety than it used to. Luxury vinyl tile has emerged as a great option for pet owners due to its scratch resistance and water resistance. Its durability makes it an excellent choice for homes with heavy foot traffic from both pets and humans alike. Luxury vinyl tile comes in a variety of styles, including options that mimic the look of hardwood or natural stone, providing a stylish yet practical flooring solution. Similar to luxury vinyl tile, luxury vinyl planks provide the look of hardwood with added benefits for pet owners. LVP is water-resistant, stain-resistant, and scratch-resistant, making it an excellent choice for homes with furry friends. Its resilience against pet accidents and heavy foot traffic ensures it stays in better condition for longer, requiring minimal maintenance over time. Liam says, “Vinyl is the best type of flooring for pets. This is a popular flooring among pet owners, and rightly so, as the pet-friendly and affordable material is resistant to scratches and stains caused by furry friends and is an easy-to-clean option. Vinyl flooring is also water-resistant, meaning thorough, easy clean-ups are safe.”

2. Laminate flooring for dogs

Laminate flooring offers the look of hardwood floors without the maintenance concerns often associated with real wood. With its scratch-resistant top layer, laminate floors can withstand the wear and tear from pets' nails and heavy foot traffic. While it may not be as water resistant as other options, laminate flooring is still a good option for pet owners seeking an affordable and stylish flooring solution. Liam says, “Laminate is another safe investment for pet owners, as the material withstands pet-related accidents. Its water-proof, easy-to-clean properties come with its durability, as the laminate’s protective top layer creates a barrier that’s highly resistant to scratches and scuffs. Laminate flooring is also resistant to stains and liquids, further protecting the surface from pet accidents. These factors make this a cost-effective, long-lasting option.”

3. Dog-friendly tile flooring

Tile flooring, whether ceramic tile or porcelain tile, is a top contender for pet-friendly homes. These hard surface options are highly scratch-resistant and easy to clean, making them ideal for pet owners concerned about pet hair and accidents. Additionally, tile flooring is water resistant, ensuring it stands the test of time, even in areas prone to spills or moisture. “Tiles are a stylish option for pet-friendly flooring. Tiles are known for their durable material, with an easy-to-clean surface that makes them an ideal option for pet owners. This type of flooring is also resistant to moisture, meaning bowl spills aren’t a disaster,” advises Liam. 

4. Engineered hardwood

Engineered hardwood is a flooring material composed of multiple layers of wood veneer glued together, providing stability and resistance to moisture while maintaining the appearance of solid hardwood. Liam recommends this type of flooring for those who are keen to select a wood-based product. “If wood flooring alternatives are non-negotiable for you, opt for an engineered hardwood with a strong finish if you have pets. While this type of flooring will need a quick response to clean-ups, as excessive moisture can damage wood, it is easy to clean and resistant to odour - perfect for muddy days out. The durability of an engineered wood also means it can better withstand scratches compared to other types of wood,” he says. 

5. Cork flooring for homes with dogs

You might be surprised to read this next option as it's a common misconception that cork can rot and go mouldy in contact with water (or 'accidents'), but actually, cork doesn't absorb water, especially if it's been treated with polyurethane. Cork made Liam's list of best flooring for dogs for the following reasons, “Due to its malleable characteristics, the resistance of a cork flooring makes it a suitable option for a house with pets. This feature protects the material from scratches and dents, making it a pet-friendly option. Not only this, but its comfortable surface and non-slip trait allows pets to rest and roam freely, reducing the chances of accidents.”

As you can see, when selecting the best flooring for your dog-friendly home, it's essential to consider factors such as scratch resistance, water resistance, and ease of maintenance. Additionally, choosing a flooring type that complements your home's aesthetic appeal and can withstand the test of time is key. By weighing these important considerations, pet owners can ensure they make the best choice for both their home and their beloved canine companion.

Where next?

Below are some other flooring-related blog posts you might enjoy…

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