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Originally posted 5th August 2019

Last updated 22nd February 2023

A Guide to the Best Pet Friendly Flooring for Your Home

Our furry friends can truly make a house a home, and for approximately 62% of...

Chris Payne

Flooring Surveyor Factory Direct Flooring Ltd

5 min read
Written by Expert

Our furry friends can truly make a house a home, and for approximately 62% of households in the UK who own one or more pets, equipping your home so it is comfortable, durable and suitable for your animals can be a challenge.

Which is why we have put together this handy guide for pet owners to help them choose a floor that is suitable and will stand the test of time.

So what type of flooring is best for pets?

When choosing flooring in a house with pets in there are a few key considerations.

  • Is it comfortable to walk on?
  • Is it resistant to scratches?
  • Is it stain and water resistant? (for those inevitable accidents and muddy days)
  • Is it good value for money?

Whether you’re a dog owner, cat lover, keep small furries or something more exotic, your floors are likely to bear the brunt of more wear and tear.  Whatever your style and budget, with the range of flooring options available you’re bound to find the right one to suit your household’s needs

Vinyl flooring - the number one choice

Vinyl flooring is a winner, because it is completely water resistant. So if you’re back from a muddy walk or your pet doesn’t make it outside in time, you can rest assured that any spills can be cleaned up with no damage.  Vinyl is also super soft underfoot thanks to its cushioned layer.  Even better? It is really durable, with scratch resistant options available, and should the worst happen is it relatively inexpensive to replace, with the option for most DIYers to lay it yourself.

Laminate flooring - another smart choice

Laminate is another great choice for pet owners because it is water-resistant, easy-to-clean and nicely masks scratches and damage when they do occasionally occur.  Pet owners with particularly mucky pups needn’t spend hours scrubbing the floor, with laminate, a simple wipe down and your flooring is as good as new.   Laminate is also great for animals with sensitive skin, as it is easy to clean with very few chemicals and doesn’t harbour dust mites which can exacerbate allergies. With options spanning wood effect to herringbone and more, there are styles and finishes to suit most tastes.

Luxury Vinyl Tiles (LVT) - style and substance

Luxury vinyl is a great affordable alternative to wood or stone, with many options almost impossible to tell from their natural equivalent. LVT is a popular choice for many pet owners because it is famously hard-wearing, scratch and water resistant. Easy to lay yourself and replace if a section becomes damaged, there are also styles and finishes to suit most homes. So you can relax and enjoy playtime with your pets.

Carpet - for the cleaner pets

You can’t replace the feel of a nice soft carpet underfoot, and our furry friends enjoy the same. Pampered cats will relish strolling across a softer floor and carpet will also help keep your house warm, providing you and your pets with additional comfort during the winter months. However, carpet isn’t so practical if you have a pet who isn’t reliably house trained or who loves to get their paws muddy, as it is prone to staining and damage from mud, water and other accidents. In certain breeds, carpet can harbour dust mites and accelerate allergic skin conditions.

Solid wood - premium over practical

Although solid wood flooring leaves a stunning and authentic finish, it’s not a particularly pet friendly flooring. This is because this floor is susceptible to water damage and could swell or rise should your pet have any accidents. It’s also prone to scratches which could damage your flooring and is one of the most expensive floors to renew. On the plus side, real wood flooring is easy to clean - a simple sweep to remove pet hair or a spot clean to mop up accidents and it should fair reasonably.

What wood flooring is best for pets?

If you’re in pursuit of that authentic wood finish, and don’t want to opt for and LVT, vinyl or laminate equivalent, there are some solid wood flooring options that are more suitable than others.

When choosing a real wood flooring in a house with pets, the trick is to go for a floor with a high hardness scale, as softwood floors are more likely to scratch. Therefore, the best wood floor for pets include:

  • Oak
  • Walnut
  • Mahogany
  • Bamboo

How to take care of flooring with pets

Life with animals can be extremely rewarding, and those games of ruff and tumble, fetch and belly tickles can take their toll on your surroundings.  However, there are things you can do to take some of the strain off your floor:

  • Get a rug to cover any stains or scratches on your floor.
  • Clip your pets’ claws regularly to keep scratches and marks down to a minimum.
  • Place floor protectors on the feet of cages, aquariums and other indoor habitats that could cause indentations.
  • Clean up any spillages/accidents immediately after they happen to avoid water damage, this is especially important with solid wood or carpet.
  • Add a coating of polyurethane to solid floors; this adds as a waterproof sealant to protect your flooring.

If you have lots of scratches on your solid wood floor, you can sand and refinish your floorboards to look good as new!

Ready to choose a great floor for your pets?

We offer expert advice and the chance to order free samples so you and your family can feel and see the quality for yourselves before you commit to buying.

You can also use our room visualiser to help you determine the perfect type of flooring, aesthetically, for your space, and our team are on hand to help you make the right choice.

Our Flooring Calculator

When you browse any type of flooring at Factory Direct Flooring Ltd, each product has a flooring calculator on the page. Simply enter the surface area in either metres or feet squared and our My Project flooring calculator will tell you how many packs you’ll need and how much it will cost you.

By simply measuring your room and entering your dimensions, we will provide you with an instant price which will show on every type of flooring you browse across our website. You can either input the total coverage or your width and length measurements, in meters or feet. You can even save your measurements room by room to make your shopping experience stress-free.

It also offers to add an extra 10% for wastage. While this may cost a little bit more, we highly recommend adding it just in case there are mishaps during the installation process. Enjoy the My Project flooring calculator below:

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About the Author

Chris Payne, Flooring Surveyor

Chris has been with the company over 23 years he has a wealth of experience in his roll as Flooring Surveyor. Most of his daily routing is inspecting all sorts of floors so that we can establish suitability for installation. This sort of experience is very important as nearly 98% of problems start with the subfloor.