If you're a dog owner, we don't have to tell you why the type of flooring in your home matters — you're probably already familiar with puppy accidents, claw marks and playtime scuffs. Pet owners need flooring that can stand up to the daily wear and tear of dog ownership without sacrificing the qualities that matter most to you, like style, comfort and cost.
What to Consider When Choosing Pet-Friendly Flooring
The best pet-friendly flooring is durable, easy to clean, comfortable and safe for your family and its four-legged companions.
Scratch- and moisture-resistance are two essential factors for strong, lasting flooring in your dog-friendly home. Concrete and stone are two top choices for durability, but they're much better suited for dog kennels or mudrooms than as a room-to-room treatment in your home.
Dog claws come into contact with the floor every time they walk, run, jump and play, and even freshly trimmed nails can leave behind scuff marks, scratches or gouges. Vinyl and laminate flooring are two scratch-resistant options that should hold up well, especially if your dog's nails are cut and filed as part of its normal grooming routine. Carpet is also a good fit as long as fibers are short and loops aren't long enough to snag a claw — avoid shag rugs or luxury plush carpets that could be damaged more easily than low-profile designs.
Laminate and vinyl resist water well. Because laminate flooring can be prone to some damage if standing water seeps between and beneath its seams, vinyl flooring is often the better choice for high-moisture applications, like in bathrooms, kitchens and near dog bathing areas.
Ease of Cleaning
Dog ownership has many rewards, but the required cleaning and maintenance aren't among them. Consider all the possible messes your pet introduces to your home:
- Dirt, mud, snow and debris from outdoors
- Loose hair and dander from daily shedding
- Waste from indoor accidents and sickness
- Spilled food and water near pet bowls
- Drool and saliva from sleep and play
You need flooring that is easy to sweep, vacuum, mop and disinfect regularly without fear of lingering bacteria, mold growth or premature wear. Look for materials with minimal seams for water and liquids to seep through, and avoid anything that could absorb odor.
Choose non-porous materials that won't harbor dirt and bacteria, like laminate and vinyl, or seal existing porous floors with epoxy or similar. Make sure any carpet can withstand frequent vacuuming and won't trap stains or moisture from accidents or spills.
The right floor will support a healthy, active life for your dog and won't add more pressure or strain to joints, bones and muscles. This is especially critical if you own a senior pet, as older dogs are more prone to joint and bone disease. They're also more prone to obesity, which often leads to osteoarthritis symptoms.
Flooring should have the following qualities to keep your dog comfortable:
- A soft surface for walking, lying and sitting
- Sound-absorbant qualities to reduce noise from paws and nails
- The ability to retain warmth from the room and body heat
- A surface with enough texture to provide adequate grip and prevent slips
Carpet is usually the most comfortable option for pets, though it may not be the most practical for your dog or lifestyle. Add plush beds and warming rugs in areas your dog frequents to strike the perfect balance for everyone.
Dogs are just as prone to slipping and falling as we are, especially if they're highly active, clumsy or easily roused. The easier flooring is to walk on, the less chance it will interfere with your pet's natural gait, which would otherwise lead to joint pain and reduced mobility.
Choose flooring with anti-slip features and textured finishes or materials, like carpet, textured laminate or embossed vinyl.
Top Flooring Options for Dogs in 2023
Get started on your dog-approved home renovations with these top flooring options:
Water-Resistant Laminate Flooring
In one survey of homeowners who made renovations to better accommodate a pet, 10% did so to install laminate flooring, making it one of the most popular pet-centric changes reported.
Laminate floors are an artificial alternative to wood floors, available in a near-endless variety of colors, styles and finishes. Its strong upper layer of sealant also makes it relatively scratch- and scuff-resistant. Look for types rated 3 on the Abrasion Class (AC) scale for the ideal balance of surface resilience and style.
One of the biggest draws of laminate flooring is how affordable and easy it is to clean — it's a budget-friendly way to introduce style to your space without sacrificing the practical durability you need for dog-friendly floors. Be mindful of any standing water or exposed seams between planks or sheets, which can let water collect beneath your flooring. Opt for a textured finish to give your dog better traction.
Some top choices for laminate flooring include:
- Mannington Laminate: This water-resistant flooring uses SpillShield™ technology and is available in standard and wide plank variations.
- Quick-Step NatureTEK PLUS: This laminate flooring uses a tight-locking joint design to protect against water damage, making it among the best kitchen flooring for dogs and busy families.
- Mohawk RevWood Plus: Mowhawk RevWood Plus is 100% waterproof and ideal for those who want the warmth and style of a wood-like flooring option without the ongoing maintenance.
Luxury Vinyl Flooring
Luxury vinyl flooring comes in plank and tile variations, depending on your needs, budget and room layout. It's a step up from standard vinyl in many ways, including its pet-friendly durability and ease of cleaning. It's water-resistant, stain-resistant and easy to replace on a budget if your dog-related damage goes beyond everyday wear and tear.
Dogs love the cool touch of luxury vinyl, and most options have enough of a surface texture that you don't have to worry about excessive sliding or slipping for senior dogs or hyper pups. Humans will love the noise-reducing qualities of luxury vinyl, so you can lessen nail-clicking sounds.
Some luxury vinyl floors may still be prone to water seepage or minor surface scuffs — keep your dog's nails trimmed and clean messes and spills as soon they happen to maintain the floor's strength and appearance.
Consider these popular luxury vinyl options:
- Mohawk Discovery Ridge SOLIDTECH: This luxury vinyl flooring with All Pet Protection is perfect for high-traffic areas where style still matters.
- Mannington Adura Max: Mannington Adura Max is a luxury vinyl plank (LVP) floor option with a waterproof core and sound-dampening qualities.
- Luxe Plank by Armstrong: This waterproof luxury vinyl is highly resistant to stains and moisture with show-stopping colors and finishes for a wood-like style.
- Shaw Floorte PRO: This waterproof multilayer flooring (MLF) is available in an extensive array of colors, patterns and styles, each with pet-friendly durability.
- Neptune Rigid Core: Neptune Rigid Core is an MLF option made of 60% limestone and a quartz-infused finish for maximum longevity.
Carpet hasn't always been known for its dog-friendly qualities, but that's changed with today's flooring innovations. Many carpets are now designed with pet-appropriate qualities, like increased stain resistance, built-in spill protection and extra plushness. Carpet also muffles sound for a quieter bedroom or living room.
Look for low-profile options made of durable synthetic fibers, like nylon, and avoid unprotected natural fibers, like pure wool. Avoid looped designs, which could get caught on your pet's nails and snag.
You'll love these dog-friendly carpet options:
- Anderson Tuftex Pet Perfect: This pet-friendly carpet has the added bonus of hair resistance for easier cleaning, fewer trapped odors and less time spent vacuuming.
- Shaw Lifeguard: This soft, waterproof carpet makes it easier to resist odor-causing moisture retention and is available in a range of colors.
- Phenix Carpet: Phenix Carpet offers a combination of pet-friendly and nylon carpets available in classic hues, perfect for the economically conscious homeowner.
- Mowhawk Smartstrand: Smartstrand by Mowhawk is a soft, easy-to-clean carpet for dog owners with cozy twisted yarn and permanent stain-resistance qualities.
Outdoor Engineered Turf
Not all floors are for indoors! Most dogs love exploring and playing outside but running, kicking, roughhousing and pet waste can damage lawns and disrupt your careful landscaping. Strike a balance with outdoor engineered turf like ET Pet Turf, which gives your yard all the look and style of a lush lawn without the hefty upkeep that comes with pet ownership.
Shop Pet-Friendly Flooring at American Carpet Wholesalers
Your dog is a part of the family — your home should reflect that. Investing in affordable, quality pet-friendly flooring from American Carpet Wholesalers lets you provide the safe, comfortable surface your furry friend needs for maximum happiness while you get all the joy that comes with a stylish, easy-to-clean home that doesn't break the bank.
Learn about our quality assurance promise and find your home's next upgrade today!