If pets have ruined your carpet in the past either through scratching, urination or other means, then you know that having pets in a carpeted house can be frustrating. If you are considering new flooring in a home where dogs, cats or other pets will be welcome, you should know that carpet is not the best option. Luckily there are several other types of flooring available that will work well with your furry friends that will not get damaged by the scratching of paws and will be easy to clean up in the event of a mishap.
It may not be your first choice in flooring, but for pet owners, linoleum may be as good as it gets. Linoleum can be somewhat soft and may muffle the clicking of doggy nails on the floor. It is also very easy to clean. If your dog knocks over the water bowl or has an accident in the floor, all you need to do is wipe it up with simple soap and water and you're done. Also, linoleum will not easily scratch. Unless you have a very strong dog that is determined to dig a hole in your floor, linoleum should hold up fine to any pet traffic and any mess without serious concern. Linoleum is also inexpensive in comparison to other flooring materials.
Stone and Ceramic Tile
Stone and ceramic tile are also good flooring materials for people with pets. Spills and accidents are not a major concern. These hard, water-resistant surfaces clean up easily and quickly. No amount of running, jumping, playing or general rambunctious behaviour by even the largest pet will do any damage to a stone or ceramic tile floor. It will not easily scratch and can always be brought back to a shine with a mop. Tile floors can, however, be considerably more expensive than linoleum and some other flooring materials.
If you love hardwood floors but don't want to subject them to the possibility of pet damage, then you can opt for laminate flooring. This faux wood floor covering is difficult to scratch and holds up well to traffic. As long as liquids are cleaned up in a reasonable amount of time, the laminate floor will be no worse for wear. But laminate can be very slippery to pets and cold to lie on. Placing a few rugs around the house will help make them more comfortable.
Wood and Urethane
If you have wood or bamboo floors that you love and refuse to part with, simply coat them in urethane. A urethane finish will not completely protect your floors from paw scratches, but it will make them water resistant and will minimise any damage they might do from walking on it. If you are buying new flooring and are set on real wood, you might consider a scratch resistant pre-treatment that will protect the floors better than your own application.