The Best Pet-Friendly Flooring for Dogs and Cats

by Joanna Stewart

Tue, Nov 6, 2018

Article may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

[caption id=“attachment_229” align=“aligncenter” width=“800”]best flooring for dogs Photo via 3 Fold Design Studio[/caption]

Let me start off by saying that there’s a lot of bad information out there about the best pet-friendly flooring for dogs and cats.

In fact:

If you’ve read a few articles online, you may have noticed that the top search results are almost identical copies of each other.

To make this easier for you, I wanted to give you some actual facts to work with.

When selecting pet-friendly flooring for your dogs and cats there are 6 characteristics to keep in mind. These include ease of cleaning, water resistance, stain resistance, scratch resistance, pet traction and pet comfort.

Not all of these factors are important to everyone or their pets. However, they will give you some guidelines to follow when researching flooring ideas for your specific situation.

Many of my readers have emailed me with questions about which flooring will hold up best to nail scratches, urine stains, water bowl splashes, dirt and allergens. I try to address each of these below.

Plus, I’ve also received concerns from readers about shopping for flooring material that is easy for elderly dogs to walk on. For instance, certain materials such as tile and hardwood are very slick, which can cause damage to a dog’s hips and joints.

If you have older pets or plan on staying in your house for years to come, the slickness of your flooring is something to keep in mind.

The most common flooring options for pets include Luxury Vinyl Planks (LVP), Laminate, Tile, Bamboo, Hardwood and Cork.

It is likely that you’ve encountered mixed reviews about each of these flooring options online. For example some say that cork is scratch resistant, while others claim their pet destroyed their cork floors. Who should you believe?

The table below was assembled using information from manufacturers, product testing and customer testimonials.

![luxury vinyl plank flooring sample]( ![oak laminate flooring sample]( ![tile flooring square](
**Luxury Vinyl Plank** **Laminate** **Tile**
Easy to Clean ![yes]( ![yes]( ![yes](
Water Resistant ![yes]( ![yes]( ![yes](
Stain Resistant ![yes]( ![yes]( ![yes](
Scratch Resistant ![yes]( ![no]( ![yes](
Slide Proof ![yes]( ![no]( ![no](
Pet Comfort ![no]( ![no]( ![no](
![bamboo flooring sample]( ![hickory hardwood flooring sample]( ![cork flooring sample](
**Bamboo** **Hardwood** **Cork**
Easy to Clean ![yes]( ![yes]( ![yes](
Water Resistant ![yes]( ![no]( ![yes](
Stain Resistant ![yes]( ![no]( ![no](
Scratch Resistant ![no]( ![no]( ![no](
Slide Proof ![no]( ![no]( ![yes](
Pet Comfort ![no]( ![no]( ![yes](

Luxury Vinyl Planks (LVP)

[caption id=“attachment_220” align=“aligncenter” width=“800”]luxury vinyl plank flooring Photo via Jackson Design and Remodeling[/caption]

Luxury Vinyl Planks (LVP) or Luxury Vinyl Tiles (LVT) made the top of my list as the best flooring for dogs for many reasons.

First, it is water and scratch resistant. While you can get these same qualities in other flooring options such as ceramic tile, vinyl has many other benefits.

The primary reason why so many dog lovers choose LVP is because of the wide range of colors and patterns available. Today you can get LVP that looks just like hardwood flooring or even stone tile. Not to mention, it’s extremely durable and affordable.

If you decide to go with LVP, your dog will be grateful if you choose a style that is textured. This added texture helps give your dog extra grip when trying to stand up after a long nap or running across the house to get their favorite toy.

That being said, LVP does have its downsides. At the time of writing, there have been many reports that the color of the vinyl tiles fades in the sun. For this reason you should avoid installing vinyl in sunrooms, patios or anywhere that receives direct sunlight all day.

I should point out that no matter what material you install in a room with direct sunlight you will notice some discoloration overtime. However, the effects of sun on vinyl is much more noticeable.


Another popular flooring option for pet owners is laminate. It is available in a wide range of colors and styles to match any decor. Since it is so affordable compared to genuine or engineered hardwood, it has become very popular in homes with both pets and kids.

Many of my readers have had great success with laminate flooring in their homes. Some of the top reasons mentioned include its durability and water resistance.

Before we go any further, I need to give you a warning about the claimed water resistance of laminate.

You see, laminate can resist water, spills sand urine for a short time due to its protective top layer of aluminum oxide. This can be thought of as a clear coat that repels water. However, if liquid is left on the surface it can seep between the planks and into the laminate core.

The reason laminate is so inexpensive is because it is filled with light fiberboard. While durable, it is not water resistant. In fact, it will swell when water touches it and cause your flooring to bubble or peel.

If you are quick to clean up spills and accidents, this may not be a problem for you. But, this is something to keep in mind.

You should also consider the texture of your laminate flooring when comparing options. There are three primary texture options for laminate: embossed, embossed in register and handscraped. Any added texture will not only give you a more authentic wood look, but it will help keep your pet’s joints in good health and prevent them from sliding all over the floor.

Ceramic or Porcelain Tile

If you want hardwood floors but can’t stand scratches or water damage, then ceramic tile might be for you. Today you can get tile that looks like wood and hardly tell the difference between the two.

No matter what style or color of tile you choose, there are many benefits for both pets and their owners.

First, tile is both scratch and water resistant - one of the top concerns for most pet owners. However, I should point out that while tiles are stain resistant, grout typically is not. That means if urine is able to set in the grout it will likely stain. To combat this problem you may need to clean and reseal the grout frequently.

The only down side of tile is that it is cold. You may need to place rugs in high traffic areas where your pets typically lay down or where you walk bare foot.

If you decide to purchase a tile that does not look like wood, don’t forget to pay attention to the texture of the tile. Again, slick surfaces like ceramic tile can be hard on a dog’s joints.

What Flooring Is Best For You and Your Dog?

Choosing the best flooring for your dog ultimately comes down to your lifestyle and design choices. No matter what type of flooring you choose, your dog will probably find their favorite new napping spot without a problem.

So, that leaves the difficult decisions up to you. If you can’t stand looking at worn or scratched hardwood floors, it might be best to look at more scratch resistant options like vinyl or tile.

Also, the type of flooring you choose will depend on where you live. For instance, if you live near the coast where there are high winds or your home has noticeable settling you would want to stay away from tile completely.

With the information in the table above you will be better prepared to have a conversation with your supplier and contractor about which flooring is right for your dog.


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