Angie's List: Pet Friendly Flooring

When it comes to flooring, it’s hard to beat hardwood – unless you’re part of the 60 percent of American families who own a pet. So what are the best pet-friendly flooring options?

Gleaming hardwood floors are a hot trend right now. Realtors say it’s the best bet for selling your house, but if you have pets – big dogs, in particular – you might want to steer clear.

“Many people love hardwood floors, but if you have pets they may not be your best option because if your pet has an accident the urine can seep into the wood and stain it. Also, when the pets run across the floor, their claws can scratch it,” Angie’s List founder Angie Hicks says.

Cost is an important factor in home improvement decisions, but so is value, and pet owners should consider what abuse that new flooring can take. Carpeting, for example, may be less expensive, but it’s a poor choice for a puppy that’s not potty-trained. Hardwood is also easily damaged.

“Vinyl flooring can be a great option if you have pets because it’s just more durable and is scratch-resistant,” Angie says.

Harry Tishler of Tish Flooring adds, “Laminate generally is the most scratch-resistant flooring for active families, so we’re doing more and more of that in the flooring business, and we really recommend that if scratching is a big consideration.”

Don’t despair if you love that natural material look as much as you love your pet. Recent advances in vinyl plank flooring will give you the look you want and the durability you need.

“The manufacturers have learned how to make it so it looks a lot like the natural textures it’s supposed to replicate – stone and wood – and they got it right. It’s less expensive and it’s warmer to walk on in most cases,” Tishler says.

If you go the pet-friendly flooring route, Angie says to look for textures and finishes that will help hide any pet damage. You should know how