Best Flooring Options for Indoor Pets

Whether you’re building a new home or remodeling your existing home, flooring choices are crucial for creating a comfortable and efficient living space. That decision is even more important if you own pets. Dogs, cats, and other indoor pets depend on your flooring options for comfort and can also contribute to your durability needs when you have to clean up their messes.

There’s no need to banish Fido to the backyard, however. Advancements in flooring manufacturing techniques have created options that look wonderful and can survive the demands of our furry friends, all while helping keep your pets comfortable and safe.

Bamboo Flooring

Bamboo flooring is a great option if you want a natural wood style that is still durable enough to handle pets. Its stain-resistance and scratch-resistance make it a strong contender for homeowners with pets. However, not all bamboo flooring is up to the task.

Use the Janka hardness test to identify bamboo flooring products that are more durable. Those with strand-woven qualities tend to be more durable than other bamboo varieties. Spills, water, mud mess, and more are easily cleaned up on a bamboo floor. Many sustainable options exist as well, making this an eco-friendly flooring selection in addition to being pet-friendly.

Cork Flooring

Cork is another material to consider for pet-friendly flooring. Its antimicrobial properties will help keep your family and pets healthy as it battles growth of allergens, molds, and other microbes. As a bonus, cork’s structure helps absorb sound, making the noise of pets’ movements quieter and less intrusive. You’ll need to sweep regularly so that small particles of dirt don’t scratch it up, but cork floor is spill resistant. Just avoid letting spills sit for extended periods of time – this flooring is not quite as durable as bamboo and can experience some staining due to spills and bleaching due to sunlight exposure.

Luxury Vinyl Flooring

Luxury vinyl can be a great flooring option for the budget-conscious pet owner. With its stylish look imitative of natural stone or hardwood and its durable profile, luxury vinyl tile can round out the aesthetic you want in your home. It is also soft underfoot, making it a comfortable option for your pets’ use. The durable and spill-resistant materials used help it stand up against years of wear from pets. It’s also easy to clean, sweep, and mop, making this a great utilitarian choice for home flooring.

Flooring to Avoid

While there are many great flooring options for pet-owners, some more common ones should be avoided. These include:

  • Carpet – This flooring, while comfortable, can stain very easily. It also traps pet odors and microbes, decreasing your home’s welcoming atmosphere and sanitation. While it may be comfortable for your pet, pet beds or rugs are a better way to go and will require far less upkeep.
  • Traditional solid hardwood – While beautiful, hardwood floors are very susceptible to scratches, staining, and warping due to spills. Their expense is not worth the damage they sustain with pets. If you insist on hardwood floors, engineered hardwood is the better flooring option for you.
  • Laminate – This flooring, while affordable, can easily warp when exposed to water and spills. It is also slippery for pets, putting your beloved family member at risk of a potential injury.

As with all major purchases, it is important to do your research before deciding on what flooring you want. Read reviews, check samples, and even consider discussing the options with your veterinarian before making a purchase. If the options seem overwhelming, please contact us to discuss your flooring needs!

About the Author


Carl is the guy to ask when it comes to flooring. He started in hardwood refinishing 30-plus years ago, earned his stripes and used what he’d learned to become an expert on hardwood refinishing, solid and engineered hardwood installation, carpet, ceramic tile, laminate and vinyl flooring installation. You’ll find his work in universities, hospitals, professional sports venues, state museums and theaters, pubs, and of course, homes throughout the state.

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