The ‘Pet’ (Home-Improvement) Project!

"Thanks for the bone, ahh, can you please throw down a rug too?" (photo:

by Sandi Martinez

Spring projects are underway!  Whether you just purchased or are in the process of remodeling your home, it’s likely that you may want to change or add the right flooring; one reason may be your pets.  While human footwear can be hard on flooring, pets can be more challenging.  Installing a cost-effective and durable floor is possible with pets in the home!  Let’s take a look at some pros and cons of different types of flooring:

♦Hardwood Flooring

While this may be one of the more popular and desired types of flooring, it can also be the most difficult of floors to clean should there be pet accidents.  Removing urine stains may require one to go as far as stripping, sanding, and refinishing the floor (a fun project for those who don’t mind the hard work and cost!).  A few other things to keep in mind are; wiping around a water bowl immediately, after spills.  Placing a water mat underneath the bowl is recommended to avoid swelling and contracting, when moisture seeps into the wood.  Keeping the dog’s nails at a proper length will limit but not prevent scratches.

♦Laminate Flooring

Pet owners may choose this flooring because of its hardness, but the drawbacks are that the floor is very slippery, causing physical problems for your pets, especially dogs.  Though scratches won’t show as easily due to the high laminate finish, they are uncomfortable for the pets to lie on; rugs are recommended to provide some comfort for you and your pet.

♦Bamboo Flooring

Bamboo is renewable; is the hardest of all hardwood floors, stands up to more traffic, and won’t wear out.  Stain-resistant, it eliminates worry over spills and accidents.  Due to its hardness, it is more likely to withstand damage.  Repairs will not be as costly as other types of flooring, making this a great investment.  However, because this flooring is brittle, it will leave many scratches from your pets, and may possibly dent the floor when wearing heels.  In addition, only two colors can be used with this flooring.  In time, the color will fade via sunlight.

♦Cork Floors

This is a good environmentally-friendly choice.  It is antimicrobial and reduces mold growth and other allergens.  Sweeping the floor regularly, though scratch-resistant, is recommended as particles of dirt left behind, can cause some scratches.  This flooring is also water-resistant, but any spills should be cleaned up immediately.  Over time, as the floor is exposed to sunlight, it will have some discoloration.

♦Stone Tile Flooring

This flooring is ideal for pet owners because it doesn’t scratch easily and scratches are not easily seen.  Pet accidents don’t cause a lot of worry, because there is less impact on the flooring.  However, unless rugs are used sporadically throughout the floor, this can be hard on the pets to lie on.


This flooring similar to stone, ceramic, or porcelain tile, won’t scratch easy, and if the pets have an accident, it won’t damage the floor, like it might wood flooring.  However, due to its hardness, your pet’s comfort level should be considered.

♦Vinyl Flooring

Great for small children as well, the new luxury vinyl flooring is scratch and stain-resistant, low in allergens, maintaining and cleaning it is convenient, and absorbs noise effectively.  Because vinyl does not stand up well to heavy loads, and can be damaged by sharp objects, it’s recommended it not be used outdoors.


It is not recommended for individuals to install this type of flooring.  Even if there are no pets in the home, this flooring wears and tears easily.  In pet-friendly homes, and especially when cost is considered, a carpet without loops is best as a pet’s nails can snag and increase the chances of wear and tear, a lot quicker than normal.


This is an excellent choice for flooring if the cement foundation has been left exposed during a new build (otherwise it is very costly to install one).  It is very cost-effective, can be very cool in the summer, and will better absorb heat in the winter.  They use less energy; they can be polished, and stained with many color choices, with new processes and technologies.  On the downside, they transmit more noise than carpet or traditional flooring, and can be tiring if you are on your feet for extended periods of time, can be hard on your pet (unless area rugs, or doggie beds are used), and unless the floor is stained and sealed, any pet accidents will be absorbed into the cement causing stains that will be difficult to remove.