The Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Best Flooring for Pets

We love our pets; it’s no secret.

Surveys estimate that six out of every ten Americans own an animal of some kind.

Of course, as anyone with a new puppy can attest, cleaning up after them can be a challenge, especially the floors.

So how can you keep a clean a house and still enjoy the love of man’s best friend?

Easy. Put the right floors underfoot.

And to make sure you get the best flooring for pets, we’re going to look at all the options, so you get the most for your money.


Before we look at the best flooring for pets, let’s go over the worst.

Carpet may provide a soft spot for your pet to lie down, but that’s about it.

Fleas and ticks love to lay eggs on a carpet.

If they infest your home they can irritate your pet and you too.

Getting rid of fleas can be an even bigger hassle.

It’s like fighting a war in your house.

That can take days, even weeks depending on the size of the infestation, and the chemicals you use aren’t always pet-friendly.

Cleaning a carpet is no easy task either.

Accidents can discolor the fabric and embed odors that will make your house smell like a kennel.

Often, a professional deep cleaning is the only way to rid your home of pet odor.

That can get expensive in a hurry, considering most homeowners pay upwards of $25 to $75 per room for cleaning.

If you have pets, you should avoid carpet at all costs.

If you can’t, options are available to reduce stains and protect your floors.

However, it tacks on an additional expense to your installation.

Feel free to read our post about pet proof carpet for more detailed information.


While not the best flooring for pets, hardwood floors are easier to clean than carpet and don’t harbor fleas.

The main issue with this type of flooring applies more to dogs than cats.

A dog’s nails can leave unsightly dents and scratches in the wood.

But if you really want that authentic hardwood look, you can make it work.

All it takes is a bit of research and creativity.

1) Pick the Right Species

In this case, we’re talking about wood, not an animal.

Timber comes in varying degrees of hardness, measured on the Janka hardness scale.

The higher the wood is on the scale, the more it can stand up to wear and tear.

Species like Brazilian Cherry, White Oak, or Stranded Bamboo are great choices, but they are pricey to install.

Getting engineered or pre-finished wood also improves durability, but again it attaches an additional cost.

2) Get Distressed Wood

This option depends on your taste.

Distressed wood is designed to look worn and is popular in homes with a more rustic appearance.

That said, distressed wood can hide nail scratches from pets.

If you think about it, with this style, your pets can add to the look of your house.

3) Clip Their Nails

Proper grooming goes a long way.

If you want to reduce your pet’s impact on a hardwood floor, you should trim their nails every so often.

Your floors will last longer, and your pet will look nicer.

If you want to get creative, you can also purchase Doggy Socks.

While not for every dog, Doggy Socks help preserve your floor and reduce the clickety-clack sound of nails on a hard surface.


Moving right along with the best flooring for pets, we have vinyl.

No, I’m not talking about the records.

Vinyl flooring is an excellent choice for pet owners.

It’s scratch resistant, stain resistant, and doesn’t trap allergens or dust mites.

Luxury vinyl has the greatest resiliency to damage and can be installed as either plank (LVP) or tiles (LVT).

They’re both about the same regarding pricing and durability.

The only difference is aesthetic.

LVT mimics the look of tile and even stone, right down to the surface texture.

LVP offers style choices for installation–brick style, diagonal lines, etc.–and mimics the look of a hardwood floor.

Unfortunately, vinyl flooring does have some drawbacks.

Like hardwood floors, vinyl floors are susceptible to mildew from water or pet urine.

If installed in areas with direct sunlight, vinyl floors can dull easily.

Since you can’t refinish it, you’ll have to replace every tile or plank.

That can get expensive in a hurry.

Porcelain Tile

Alright, we’ve arrived at the best of the best flooring for pets.

Like vinyl, porcelain tile floors are stain-resistant, scratch-resistant, and hypoallergenic.

However it’s more durable than vinyl, and with proper maintenance, can last for decades.

It’s more expensive too, but it’s a worthwhile investment.

Porcelain is easy to clean, and if your pet has an accident in the house, you don’t have to worry about permanent damage to the floor.

It’s also perfect for the high traffic areas around your home, as it resists scuff marks and most other forms of damage.

The best thing about porcelain tile is that the drawbacks are minimal.

The main issue is comfort.

While cats don’t necessarily mind the hard surface, dogs hate it.

An easy solution would be to get a dog bed or possibly a rug for them to lay on.

Porcelain also tends to run cold, which is ideal for your summer cooling bill, but not so much for your pets.

With the addition of a dog bed or a rug, however, it’s no problem at all.

Where to Find the Best Flooring for Pets

Pets can enrich our lives, but also destroy our homes.

With the right floor beneath your feet, you can get the best of both worlds.

Now that you’ve seen the options that are out there, you probably want to get started right away.

That’s where we can help.

We offer you quotes on installation and put you in touch with the best contractors in your area.

Leave the guesswork to us, and you’ll have a great looking new floor in no time.