a dog friendly floor covering????

This forum is for discussing all topics related to the challenges (and joys!) of keeping your house clean while living with dogs. Here you can share tips, recommendations for products and techniques, and more!

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Fritz, cats are- fun when they- run
Barked: Fri Jun 17, '11 8:08pm PST 
Okay, we are building a house. I have to decide what kinds of floor covering to get. Tile would be very durable, but it is very cold and hard. I like carpet, but we are talking 6 dogs and a sandy yard. I like laminate, but I have heard that it is not durable around dogs...Any ideas? Thoughts? Experiences?

Bruno CGC

Honorary Kelpie
Barked: Fri Jun 17, '11 9:38pm PST 
I like tile too. I think the dogs really like to lay on it when it gets hot, precisely because the tile stays cool. But it is really hard, and kind of slippery, so no good when pooches get old and not so steady on their feet. I guess at that point you put rubber-backed bath mats around the house or something.

I do like carpet too, if it's a color that hides dirt and housebreaking stains pretty well. Light brown carpet is awesome for that. Maybe I'm strange, but vacuuming is one of my favorite chores, so having carpet doesn't annoy me. Of course, you will eventually have to replace it, unlike tile or laminate because it gets yucky eventually no matter how much you try.

Hardwood... it looks great, is easy to clean, but like tile it's slippery, and unlike tile it can get scratched. Dogs are great floor-scratching engines of course. Of course I think scratched floors add character to a house (make it look "lived in" smile ) but lots of people can't stand scratches...

I've never lived in a house with a lot of laminate or linoleum floors (except bathrooms) so I don't know how well it really stands up to dogs. My aunt has some kind of flooring that looks just like wood but it's cheaper and more durable, you could look into that kind of thing.

Where can I run- today?
Barked: Fri Jun 17, '11 9:58pm PST 
Laminate or Pergo flooring would hold up well. So would ceramic tile. And to a point, hardwood floors. Hardwood is always my choice for main flooring, even with the dogs...adds a lot of value to the home (buyers love quality hardwood flooring already in place, even if it's beat up) -- it can be re-finished again and again, and you can pick wood types that are a bit more resistant to scratches. And like the previous poster said some scratching does simply add character to the home.

I like ceramic tiles for foyer and mud room areas, places where you dry the dogs' feet or take off your muddy boots. I like ceramic or marble in the bathrooms. I tend to shy away from wall-to-wall carpeting anywhere except for bedrooms. With hard flooring you can always have nice big padded area rugs, and if they get goofed up or old and ratty, easy enough to roll up and get rid of. Plus if you spill something you can easily roll it up to make sure you get underneath of it...with wall-to-wall, what you can sop up is limited and if it's a really bad accident you don't want moisture sitting under the carpet rotting out your sub-floor.

Turner - Gone Too- Soon

Hi I'm Turner- Wanna Smell My- Butt?
Barked: Sat Jun 18, '11 4:19am PST 
I had a house in TX that was all laminate flooring. It was wonderful! Easy to keep clean and in the winter I would put rugs with rubber backing down. The dogs couldn't get the best grip like on carpet but there were no scratches on the floor (like you can get on wood floors). We didn't use Pergo (too expensive) but did find a floor at Lowes that was a 30 yr floor and looked exactly like hickory.

Now we live in NW Pennsylvania and have to have carpeting - way too cold. I bought a Dyson and a Rug Doctor to keep the carpets clean. Wish I could have laminate, but it's way too cold here! blue dog
Bella and- Daisy CGC

I'm a Meanie
Barked: Sat Jun 18, '11 5:31am PST 
I like hardwoods. But, I like the matte finishes that already look a bit worn-perfect for a dog owning house.

My parents have a hardwood/laminate hybrid. It acts just like hardwood, because the top layers are. But is durable like laminate. It can be sanded and refinished up to 3 times.

You know, if you are a building a house, an (expensive) option would be to get radiant heating in under the tile floor.

Fritz, cats are- fun when they- run
Barked: Sat Jun 18, '11 8:18am PST 
Wow, thanks for the information. Every time I think I have made up my mind, another issue/fact shows up to make me rethink.

A little more information about the house/area we are living in. We live in the deep south, it does get chilly with the occasional frost or freeze, (a hard freeze is rare enough that they activate the emergency broadcast system to warm people) I snows about every 10 or 12 years. The ground is sandy, think beach sand mixed with a little clay.

The floor of the house is suspended wood, not a slab. The house is fully earth sheltered. Resale value is not an issue; the very nature of the home would make it very difficult to sell. (When we pass away someday, I will leave it and the property to a rescue to ensure any pet that survive me is well cared for.)
Heating and cooling isn’t really an issue due to the nature of the house and we are putting in a heat pump system to dry the air and do any minimal heating/cooling needed.

I guess I will do tile in the bathrooms, kitchen and laundry room. There will be a covered porch/sun room that will act as a mud room. It will have a deck type floor, wooden planks.

What about terracotta tile? It is a lot softer then porcelain or stoneware, Can it be refinished?

Bruno, I like carpeting too and I prefer vacuuming over sweeping or mopping. I just want a floor that will really last. I am a pushover for stray puppies and Fritz has had a leaking problem, just a few drops, but soaked into carpet….YUCK. Maybe we can just put it in the bedrooms. BOL, of course since the dogs sleep with us, the bedrooms would be subject to dog wear and tear too.

I guess I am leaning toward laminate and area rugs. (Hardwood is such a pain to put in and care for, (we are doing this ourselves) I really want to be as cost effective as possible too. The earth sheltered house cost more than a conventional house to build so I have to watch my budget on the finishing.

What are the highbred laminates called? Can you tell me what the 30 year warranty covers on the laminate from Lowes? I had heard that liquid will cause the wood to bubble up, letting go of the backing. (That may have been the really cheap laminate though)Of course, I’m not planning on letting the dogs pee all over the floor, but accidents happen, usually in the middle of the night or when one isn’t home.

Thank you to everybody who answered and is trying to help.

Betty, Fritz’s person.

Barked: Sat Jun 18, '11 3:34pm PST 
Hi Fritz wave

We recently bought a house that had white carpet (shock) so we have been talking about what our next flooring will be. We have a contractor who has been working on our house who suggested vinyl flooring. I thought he was crazy, but apparently this is a new up and coming floor type because it's so durable and can look like practically anything. I guess he had recently installed it in someone else's house. He said most people can't tell it apart from laminate floors, but it sounds a little different when people walk on it. Here is a video so you can learn a little about it:


We have laminate in the kitchen and I thought I would really like it, but we've run into a few problems. First, you can't let water sit on it at all. It's very durable in respect to scratches and scuffs, but not resistant to water at all. We originally put the dog's water bowl out there, but the water would splash out when they drank and now the laminate isn't even in the spots that soaked up some water. I also don't like that it's so slippery for the dogs. When the dogs get really excited they start slipping all over. Buddy has landed on his hips pretty hard a few times. I guess you would be able to remedy that with floor coverings though.

I lived in an apartment that had real hardwoods and I was surprised that Buddy didn't scratch them at all! Of course he is only 40 pounds and was an only dog at the time so there wasn't horseplay going on inside.

We also have a small patch of tile in the entry way. My only problem with that is that the grout gets FILTHY. Of course the previous owner wanted WHITE tiles with WHITE grout to go with their WHITE carpets. BOL They obviously weren't dog owners!! So maybe if the grout wasn't white it would hide the dirt a little better??

Fritz, cats are- fun when they- run
Barked: Sat Jun 18, '11 3:55pm PST 
Hey Buddy, that vinyl sheeting is really nice. I was worried about the dampness on the laminate. BOL, whoever decorated your house must not have had dogs, birds, cats, or kids. I'll bet they had pristine white furniture too.

I liked what I saw in the video and it would be nice to get a floor someone else would have to install.

About your grout, I think it can be stained, maybe a nice gray or red brown wouldn't get as dirty.

Have a nice weekend.

Barked: Sat Jun 18, '11 4:13pm PST 
Yes I think the people that lived here before must have just sat inside all day and had nothing dirty!

I forgot to add that the hardwood that was mentioned earlier is called engineered hardwood. I have heard mixed reviews about it.

Oh the other thing about laminate is that there are high quality and low quality. Maybe the higher quality wouldn't soak up water as quickly?? The laminate in our kitchen is a low quality cheapy laminate.

You have a good weekend too!!

Cave canis- vigilo omnis
Barked: Sat Jun 18, '11 9:32pm PST 
laugh out loud BOL! We have white tile and grout, too... And I chose it on purpose!!eek My logic at the time was that bleach would clean it right up and it would bright and shiny, and angels would sing and... well, not so much laugh out loud And now, after 15 years I have white tile and brown grout, and we're shopping for new flooring too. We have some carpeting too, but that's out, out, out!

I'm intrigued by Bella and Daisy's floors - I think it's called engineered wood. Unlike laminate, it can be resurfaced (sanded and stained) once or twice...

So I'll be watching this thread with interest big grin
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