Column: Flooring options for pet owners

Keeping your floors neat and tidy when there are furry members of the family living in your house can be a struggle. Between the messes and the sharp toenails, some flooring materials won’t hold up well against damage from pets. If you are planning a remodel, installing kid and pet-friendly flooring may be a worthwhile investment. So whether you have dogs, cats or a combination of the two, here are a few of the hardiest flooring options on the market.

Tile – Porcelain, stone or ceramic tile is a good choice if you’re looking for something that can hold up against wear and tear. Tile is scratch resistant, which is helpful if you are worried about pet claws damaging your floor. And any messes that occur can quickly and easily be mopped up without leaving permanent damage.

Stain-resistant carpet – Just as the name implies, stain-resistant carpet is specially made carpet that repels dirt, liquids and other messes (including pet accidents). The most popular stain-resistant carpets are made from nylon that’s been infused with a special coating during the manufacturing process. There are also stain-resistant carpets made of wool, but that’s quite a bit pricier. One word of caution: be sure not to clean your stain-proof carpets with harsh chemicals, because this could damage their stain-fighting properties.

Vinyl flooring – Today’s vinyl designs are quite different from the vinyl of the past. There are many different designs to choose from, including options that mimic the look of hardwood flooring. Vinyl is scratch and stain resistant, low in allergens, easy to clean and even quiet to walk on.

Laminate flooring – is a great choice for areas where there might be heavy amounts of pet foot traffic. Most laminate flooring is scratch, stain, and scuff proof, thanks to a protective top layer. Laminate is also fairly easy to clean. You can wet, or dry mop the surface, as well as vacuum it when necessary.

Green options – This is a new, environmentally friendly option that many homeowners may not have ever considered before. Bamboo is actually harder than hardwood flooring, which means than it will stand up to foot traffic. It is also stain-resistant and extremely durable: perfect for pet owners! Cork flooring is naturally antimicrobial, which means that it will reduce the amount of mold and other allergens in the room. Additionally, it’s scratch-resistant and holds up well against moisture. It also can absorb sound, which is always a plus for pet owners and parents.

Were you surprised by any of the flooring options on the list? The best way to choose flooring is to analyze what types of things your family will be doing most frequently in that particular room. Then consider which type of material is going to be the most beneficial for all of the activities (and potential messes) that may occur there. Choose carefully and you’ll have flooring that enhances the room, and makes cleaning up after pets a breeze.

David Decker

David Decker is president of the Affordable Companies who specialize in cabinets, counters, customer showers and any type of flooring based in Carmel. Contact at 595-9540, or visit www.the-affordablecompanies.com. E-mail home improvement questions to david.decker@the-affordablecompanies.com.

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