Pet-friendly flooring

How to Find the Best Flooring for Pets

Did you recently bring a new pet into your family and want to keep your home as clean as possible? Here is how to find flooring that works for your dog or cat.

Looking to install new flooring? Have pets in your home? If so, you would be wise to choose a flooring material that's pet-friendly. The question you might have is: what's the best flooring for pets? In truth, there are a few different options, each of which has its own upsides and downsides. Need help picking the right one? We're going to provide you with that help below. Let's get into it! 

What Makes a Pet-friendly Flooring Material?

Pet-friendly flooring materials must possess specific attributes. If they don't possess these attributes, they won't hold up against the wear and tear that's common of owning pets. Eventually, this wear and tear will cause them to deteriorate prematurely, both functionally and aesthetically. 

So, first and foremost, pet-friendly flooring materials must be tough. Toughness protects flooring from scratching, denting, and other forms of cosmetic abuse. And because pets are prone to causing such abuse, they must be counteracted. 

Pet-friendly flooring must also be waterproof. Dogs and cats are not only prone to urinating on the floor but spilling water on the floor as well. If the floor isn't waterproof, it could become waterlogged, causing it to deteriorate in short order.Lastly, the floor must be smell-proof. Regardless of how well-trained your pet is, accidents will still happen. Your pet pooping or peeing inside is an almost-inevitability and it's almost sure to have an effect on your flooring . . . that is unless you choose the right material. 

Other attributes to look out for include traction, warmth, and cushion. Note, however, that these problems can typically be minimized with the use of rugs and floor mats. 

So, What is the Best Flooring for Pets?

Now that we've assessed some of the considerations that you need to make when choosing pet-friendly flooring, we can discuss the materials that most closely fit the bill. While no material is without its flaws, these materials are generally considered to be ideal. 


First up is laminate. Durable, tough, attractive, and easy to clean, this material excels on all fronts. Typically thriving for around 30 years, it has no trouble bearing the abuse of dog and cat paws.

Laminate is a highly waterproof material. You could submerge it in water for days with few ill effects. As such, it has no trouble combatting pet accidents. 

It does have one flaw when it comes to pets: it lacks traction. As such, dogs can sometimes have trouble walking on it. 
On the other hand, this can be a positive attribute. After all, if your dog has limited traction, he or she won't be able to run at full speed. So, ultimately, it could help to bring control to the house. 

And if you only have cats, laminate might not have any downsides at all. After all, cats are much lighter on their paws than are dogs, and won't have as much trouble maintaining grip.


Vinyl is tough, waterproof, affordable, and aesthetically-pleasing. For this reason, it plays nice with most pets and pet-related behavior.

That said, vinyl falls short in one area: durability. Whether you have pets or not, you won't get much more than 15 years of use out of it. And in the long-run, replacement costs can add up. 

So, if you're buying on a budget, it would be a solid option. But if you're looking for something that will last the long-run, you should look at laminate or hardwood.


Hardwood flooring is undoubtedly beautiful. Rustic and charming, it can transform the entire look of a house.

As far as toughness goes, it's toward the top of the totem pole. And with the ability to thrive for up to 25 years, it's quite durable. 

That said, it has a bit of a problem: it lacks water resistance. While it can withstand small amounts of water for short amounts of time, if exposed to large amounts of water for prolonged periods of time, it will undoubtedly deteriorate prematurely. 

So, while it's a viable option for pet owners, it must be handled with great care. If your pet has an accident on your hardwood flooring, you must clean it up within a few hours. 

Are There Any Types of Flooring That Should Be Avoided?

As you can see, many types of flooring are sufficient for accommodating pets. That said, there are two that should be avoided at all costs. They include the following. 


It's simple: pets and carpet don't mix. This is so for two primary reasons, both of which have to do with the carpet's penchant for deterioration. 

First off, carpet traps moisture. So, if your dog or cat has an accident on your carpet, you're going to have trouble ridding it of the smell. This is particularly true if the accident goes unseen for a prolonged period of time. 

Secondly, dogs and cats love to tear into things. Seeing as carpet consists of tiny fibers, if it's exposed to pets, it's bound to deteriorate over time. 

So, while carpet may be affordable and comfortable for pets to lay on, it's not a good long-term solution. Dogs and cats will shorten its lifespan by 25% to 50%. 


While hardwood is sufficient enough to accommodate pets, softwood is not. Not only is softwood prone to scratching, but it's also highly absorbent. So, if your pet were to have an accident on it, it could very well end up stained (and smelly). 
Softwoods to avoid include cork, cedar, pine, and spruce. 

Ready to Install New Flooring? 

Now that you know a little something about the best flooring for pets, you might be ready to buy some. Are you? If so, National Floors Direct has you covered. 

We sell a wide variety of flooring, including all of the materials reviewed above. Regardless of your needs, we can accommodate you. 

Contact us now for a free estimate!