Best Flooring for Dogs
- Andrew Uhacz
- Flooring Ideas
15 Reasons to Choose Laminate, Vinyl Plank, or Vinyl Tile if you have Dogs
Those of you who own a dog (or several dogs) already know what it’s like to deal with their playfulness around the house. If you’ve already noticed wear and tear on your carpet from your restless dog, then you know you’ll have to pay more attention to your hard floors.
- If you’re planning a new floor soon, what types work best for a household with dogs ranging from puppies to full adult breeds?
- For the best durability, you’ll want to consider three top-tier choices: Laminate, vinyl plank, and vinyl tile.
- Take a look at these fifteen details about the above flooring choices to help you make the best decision for your beloved canine family members.
Laminate Provides Dog Durability With the Look of Hardwood
Any of you looking for the best wood flooring for dogs would do well considering laminate products. The true standout with laminate is that it looks like real hardwood without having the heavy maintenance involved with the real thing.
Owning a dog can certainly wreak havoc on real wood floors. Whether you’ve just adopted a puppy or have an adult dog, they’re going to give considerable wear and tear to natural materials.
As an example, your dog may have yet to be declawed and could scratch your hardwood floor. Having them run or play over your floor every day could expose these unsightly scratches across the surface.
Laminate flooring has special materials to prevent scratching and general wear and tear. Give thanks to laminate products using pressed wood, along with other special materials depending on the brand.
If you’re looking for the top brands of laminate, you should look to names like Armstrong, TAS Flooring, Vacenti, and Kraus.
Armstrong, in particular, has a lot of branded features in their laminate flooring. Their products will protect your floor further from your dog’s playfulness.
Vinyl Plank Flooring Provides Similar Protections for Dog Owners
Equally popular with laminate flooring is vinyl plank. It comes in the shape of a plank and also gives you the convincing look of hardwood.
If you have a dog that frequently tracks in water on your floor, you’ll appreciate vinyl plank’s waterproof materials. Of course, if you have a puppy still learning how to control their bladder (or an older dog suffering from incontinence), a waterproof floor will be a saving grace.
Some of the most common places where vinyl plank is used include kitchens, bathrooms, and even laundry rooms. If your dog is free to move around the house, they may spend a lot of time in these rooms when you aren’t looking. Fortunately, with some simple maintenance, you can keep your vinyl plank floor looking good, even if your dog frequently plays roughhouse.
What makes vinyl plank continually popular is you can acquire the look of other natural materials. You can acquire the look of stone and even cement. It allows you to bring a natural and rustic look to your home or business without worry of whether owning a dog would wreak havoc on appearance.
Another great feature to vinyl plank is it’s antistatic, another useful feature if you have dogs going through their shedding phase.
As with laminate above, vinyl plank has some outstanding products through brands like Armstrong, Johnsonite, and Forbo.
Take some time to look into these brands to see what more they offer in making these floors fully protected from and comfortable for your dog.
Vinyl Tile for the Value of Beauty and Durability
Using vinyl tile gives you further canine durability if your dog runs or plays around the house. If your dog spends considerable time treading your vinyl tile floor, they’ll also find it comfortable to walk on. Plus, you’ll find it comfortable for your own feet.
The comfort level is thanks to a layer of felt under the surface, making it feel softer than what you’d experience with stone tiles or real wood.
You’ll find this option very valuable when you realize how affordable vinyl tile is. Otherwise known as Luxury Vinyl Tile (LVT), you’ll find a lot of good bargains without having to pay extra for pet protection.
Most dogs make messes on home floors during their training phase. Thanks to easy maintenance and cleaning on vinyl tile, you won’t have to worry about making this a burden. This means you won’t have to wax or scrub your floors to protect from stains, scratches, or scuffing left from your dog.
Best of all, you get a beautiful floor you can enjoy without the fear of your family dog forcing you to replace it within a couple of years.
Now that you know which types of floor to buy, let’s do a deep dive into the features they bring to make your dog’s home life free of trouble when living indoors.
You Can Use These Floors in a Business as Well as at Home
Many flooring products like the above three place labels on whether they’re suitable for a commercial business or a home. You’ll see this designated as “Commercial” or “Residential.”
The lines blur on these labels considering it all goes on whether your home or business has considerable foot traffic.
Those of you who own more than one dog already know what foot (or paw) traffic is like. However, the same thing could happen in a business if you have dogs on-site.
Such a scenario could happen in a pet store, or if you take your dog to work with you. Even a small office area could end up having its floor look worn because you take your dog there most days.
It’s a good idea to estimate just how much foot traffic and wear you expect your floor to receive from your dog. Do they stay mainly in carpeted areas of your home, or do they love to play, run, and eat in places like your kitchen or bathroom?
Since commercial laminate, vinyl plank, and vinyl tile are made for the busiest floors, you may want to consider the commercial label for your home if needing a new floor.
The Science Behind the Durability and Waterproofness
Before you buy laminate, vinyl plank, or vinyl tile flooring, you’ll want to know what the science is that keeps these floors looking pristine. While your dog may not care about what makes a floor easy to walk on for them, they’ll definitely react to the comfort level.
Dogs with certain medical conditions or not declawed regularly will definitely find the above floors easier to navigate on when walking, running, or playing.
Laminate flooring durability is thanks to specific branded features top manufacturers provide. Armstrong is definitely #1 in laminate flooring. They use a wear layer called VisionGuard® to protect your floor from scratches, surface spills, stains, and fading.
They also use an inner core called HydraCore Plus to provide stability, moisture resistance, and sound absorption.
If your dog likes to play with their toys on this floor, having these qualities will be noticeable to them so they don’t find it challenging to navigate on. Sound absorption would be particularly important if your dog barks incessantly to express his/her feelings in the kitchen or bathroom.
Armstrong’s backing also creates a balancing layer in laminate to protect your floor from warping if your dog often tracks in water.
Vinyl plank has similar branded features through the Armstrong name. Their Vivero collection uses Diamond 10® Technology to bring extreme resistance to scratches and other wear. This uses real diamonds to give you the ultimate protection against the sharpest dog claws.
They use the same technology with vinyl tile as well. Nevertheless, don’t necessarily stop with Armstrong when buying a floor to hold up to dogs in your household. Go explore other brands like Johnsonite laminate, Forbo vinyl plank, or Roppe vinyl tile.
All of these have their own branded features and bring the utmost protection for dog owners.
Warranties for Dog Wear & Tear
Each top brand provides extensive warranties on their laminate, vinyl plank, and vinyl tile floors. The extension of each warranty depends on whether you buy a commercial or residential flooring product.
Take the warranties seriously if you have a dog that loves to play on your floor for long hours. Even with durable materials, your floor could still start to look worn in less than a decade due to rough canine activities.
This is why you shouldn’t limit yourself to the “commercial” or “residential” labels. Most commercial warranties are more extensive because of the assumption businesses receive more foot traffic.
Armstrong’s laminate floors have lifetime residential warranties for two of their collections. These vary depending on what laminate collection you buy. Some are 50 years and 30 years. Timeless Naturals is for 20.
Commercial warranties for Armstrong laminate are 15 years for two of their collections. These also range from 10 to 5 years based on the collection.
Having a lifetime warranty would obviously be great to cover the entire lifetime of your dog and yourself. However, the shorter warranties are great to have if your dog only gives your floor a major workout in their first five to ten years. We all know how playful puppies are, though an adult dog can become very different in temperament after a decade of domestic life.
Purchasing Johnsonite vinyl plank will give you a limited five-year commercial warranty for manufacturing defects. Always remember to read the fine print on your warranty, because they don’t cover everything not related directly to defects in the product.
While these floors will hold up under all the wear and tear your dog creates, stains need cleaning immediately to avoid them setting in. If you don’t clean stains left by your dog as soon as possible, your warranty for repairs might be voided.
Other damage done by your dog not directly related to product defects aren’t covered either. Also, floor damage due to cleaning errors or fire, flooding, and intentional abuse would need covering out of your own pocket.
Environmental Aspects to Protect Your Dog’s Health
Most top flooring brands take great pride in being ecofriendly with their products. They continue to provide environmentally friendly materials in their floors and use other green principles in their manufacturing processes.
Armstrong is one of the leaders in bringing these environmental practices. You’ll want to check out their sustainability page explaining their operational procedures, environmental recognitions, products, and recycling programs.
The biggest aspect for all flooring is low VOC emissions (volatile organic compounds). You can expect Armstrong and all the above flooring brands to adhere to this for your dog’s health and your own.
How much time will your dog spend on your new laminate, vinyl plank, or vinyl tile floor? These volatile organic compounds could pose a serious risk to their health without lower emissions.
Going strictly by principle, you’ll enjoy having a floor not harming our environment. It also makes your floor more affordable when using recycled materials.
The Best Type of Flooring if Your Dog Spends Time in Your Kitchen
You already know that the three types of flooring mentioned above are great for kitchens. What type or brand would work best for your dog if he/she spends most of their time there?
Using laminate should always be considered first because of the durability aspect. Since some kitchens create a bit of an echo with loud sounds, you’ll want a strong wear layer or underlayment for sound absorption.
No doubt you know what it’s like to have your dog barking incessantly in your kitchen when he or she wants attention. Some dogs bark for no particular reason, sometimes continuously without understanding how loud they are.
Having a solid wear layer will help contain the sound of their barking. Using a quality underlayment helps even further on controlling sound. You may need underlayment anyway if you have flaws in your subfloor.
Armstrong’s laminate flooring offers a separate underlayment product with .075” thickness and a 30-year warranty. Many vinyl plank and tile products come with the same underlayment to not only control noise, but to make the floor sound like hardwood when walked on.
Any of these floors would work well in a kitchen, though laminate is usually the more popular choice.
Your dog also won’t feel spooked by annoying kitchen sounds when using laminate’s sound control. Some of these loud sounds might be your dishwasher or electric utensils for food preparation.
The Best Type of Flooring if Your Dog Spends Time in the Bathroom
Vinyl tile might be a good choice for your bathroom based squarely on more ease of installation. It’s generally thought tile holds up with dogs of all ages because this floor is so easy to clean.
Dogs are usually observant, and they may notice some of the daily activities you do in the bathroom. They may leave some unwelcome stains on the floor before you have a chance to give them potty training.
Older dogs could have trouble controlling their bladders or bowels as well, making similar accidents possible on your bathroom tile floor.
While cleaning up after your dog is easier with vinyl tile, regular tile isn’t as comfortable to walk on compared to luxury vinyl tile. It’s why LVT should always be on your short list for your bathroom floor. Even so, your dog may only go in there to sleep at night or follows you in when you go in.
Also, remember your dog could leave other stains beyond urine or poop. They may tip over their water bowls once in a while, or leave pieces of dog food on the floor if they eat in the bathroom.
Look at all the variables of what kind of wear and tear your bathroom floor may receive. LVT easily withstands the most extreme wear and tear, which increases if you have a large-sized dog.
The Best Type of Flooring if Your Dog Spends Time in the Laundry Room
Your laundry room might end up getting more moisture than you estimated, including the potential of your washing machine running over. Your dog may hang out there once in a while as well if they enjoy time away from people.
Vinyl plank is a good choice for your laundry room because of its waterproof qualities. Any type of vinyl floor is perfect for all types of dogs. It’ll protect from shedding dogs, playful dogs, urine, tracked in mud, dogs that fall down frequently from playing, or dog napping.
You’ll find vinyl floor comfortable to stand on as well while doing your laundry. It’s true these floors are frequently just as comfortable as carpet. While your dog might love to nap on a soft carpet in the living room, it’s only a breeding ground for shedding dog fur, plus dust or dirt your dog tracks in from outside.
As with other rooms in your house, measure how much time you and your dog spend in the laundry room. Any waterproof flooring is best for these rooms. Although you could use this floor feature in any room where your dog might spill or track in water.
Consider Using Laminate, Vinyl Plank, and Vinyl Tile in Other Rooms
There isn’t a flooring law stipulating you have to only use these floors in your kitchen, bathroom, or laundry room. The beautiful look of faux wood and stone makes these floors conducive to use in many other rooms within your home.
Your dog likely spends time in all your rooms during any given week. If they spend a lot of time in your bedrooms, for instance, why not consider these flooring options there?
The beautiful aesthetics of these floors also lends them to being used in your living room or even guest rooms. Using carpet isn’t really the best choice for a household with dogs anyway. With this in mind, using laminate, vinyl plank, or vinyl tile in every household room shouldn’t be written off.
It’s not to say these are suitable for garage floors or for outdoor use. Your dog may be used to spending time in a doghouse outdoors or sleeping in your garage. If so, you’ll need other flooring options, though your dog will appreciate living in your home if you use a comfortable floor.
When you go to a flooring dealer, ask them about which flooring option would work best for your dog and family. It truly matters where you go to buy your floor.
Laminate, Vinyl Plank, and Vinyl Tile Are Easy to Install
Did you know these floors have easy installation methods so it won’t make it inconvenient for your family or dogs?
You’ve perhaps held off on upgrading your floor recently based simply on the fact of being disruptive to your life. It may also pose a problem for your dog if he or she lives indoors most of the time.
Finding a temporary place for your dog to live for a couple of days can bring more inconvenience than you probably estimate. Yet, with easy installation methods, you can get your floor put in place in half a day.
Armstrong laminate flooring has a special interlocking method so you can avoid using glue or nails. The use of adhesives could possibly prove problematic if you don’t want your dogs breathing the fumes.
This locking method is called Lock&Fold® technology and designed specifically by Armstrong. All it involves is inserting one end of a plank into another, followed by folding the piece in place.
Johnsonite’s vinyl plank and tiles do use an adhesive application, though they provide concise directions on how to apply it safely. They and other flooring brands typically offer their own brand of adhesives to ensure you’re getting an environmentally friendly product.
Always remember you have to clean your subfloor before you install your floor. Your dog obviously can’t be around as you do this, especially if they leave any additional debris on the subfloor.
This is one reason some people choose to hire a professional installation team to make sure everything is done right. It’ll only take one day, so you may have to keep your dog in the garage or in another person’s home for just 24 hours.
Once the floor is down, though, your dog is going to quickly acclimate and find it appealing to walk and play on.
Buy Your Flooring Online Rather Than in a Big Box Store
Good customer service is everything when wanting to find a floor suitable for a dog-owner like you. You may not find very good customer support in a big box store.
If you’re planning to buy your floor in Home Depot, Lowe’s, or Walmart, you may not find clerks who really know which floor is best for dogs.
More likely, you’ll encounter minimum wage employees who only exist there to make a sale. They won’t be fully knowledgeable about the flooring products on your short list. This scenario isn’t really unusual for these stores since it’s all about sales rather than knowledge.
You should turn to an online store where you’ll find better customer support teams. While you’ll find a lot of online flooring stores, only a very few provide the best customer service.
We’re pleased to bring this kind of customer service to you at Floor City. Not only are we knowledgeable about what kind of floor works for your family, we’re also experts in what floors work best for dogs.
We understand how important it is for pet owners to find just the right floor for their own comfort and for easier maintenance.
Our customer service works in part through a convenient chat portal you can use to talk to one of our representatives. Or, you can email us with a question. We always answer any question you have with an expert response.
We’ll also mail out free flooring samples so you can determine which product would best suit your dog’s lifestyle. This service is usually necessary since floor colors don’t always translate accurately on a computer screen.
Properly Clean Your Floors
Once you’ve found the right floor best suitable for you and your dog, it’s time to learn more about proper cleaning and maintenance.
We already noted above how you need to clean up dog messes quickly before they set in and void your warranty. What steps should you take to keep your floor looking like new?
Laminate floors are very easy to clean by simply sweeping or vacuuming regularly. As Armstrong notes, you can also use a microfiber or terry cloth mop to clean up most spills or stains.
Avoid abrasive floor cleaners to clean up stains from your dog. These cleaners usually have chemicals that could cause damage, which is why companies like Armstrong put out their own branded floor cleaning products.
Vinyl plank and vinyl tile require similar cleaning methods. Just remember not to use the beater bar on your vacuum cleaner since it could also cause floor damage.
Keep in mind grout joint residue may need cleaning immediately after installation takes place. You can use a branded floor cleaner with a wet sponge and bucket of water to clean this up.
In cases where you expect your dog to really give your floor a workout, you might want to consider using throwaway rugs. Non-staining polypropylene rugs, colorfast woven rugs, or vinyl-backed rugs are usually the best to avoid floor discoloration.
Find a Store That Ships Your Floor Quickly
You’re better off going to an online store that’s exclusive to selling floors. It’s there where you’ll find the most expertise, especially about the best options for dogs.
Even more importantly, you want your floor shipped out quickly and not placed on a frustrating back order list. Going through places like Home Depot might mean your laminate, vinyl plank, or vinyl tile floor not even being in stock.
It varies per store, yet far too many of them don’t restock their flooring items when sold out. Ultimately, it may mean having to wait up to a couple of weeks when placed on a backordering system.
You won’t have to worry about this when you shop with us at Floor City. We always have our flooring products in stock and often ship out the same day after you place your order.
Our staff also has years of experience in the flooring industry, so they’ll know what dog owners like you truly need.
Simply call our order number at (800) 898-9540, Monday-Friday from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., PST. Thanks to multiple pickup centers throughout the nation, you can easily receive your floor no matter where you live.
Be sure to take your floor seriously when owning a dog. Owning pets adds a whole other level of concerns and needed protections only the top flooring brands offer.
- Tags: Flooring Ideas