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8 Best Flooring for Dogs & How to Choose

Written by: Matt Jackson

Last Updated on April 23, 2024 by Dogster Team


8 Best Flooring for Dogs & How to Choose

Choosing the right floor means picking a material and style that is best for everybody in the house, including four-legged family members. If you have dogs, getting the right flooring material means choosing something that isn’t easily stained and will withstand the rough treatment it will sometimes receive from your dog. It also means something that your dog will find comfortable and can walk on with ease.

There are a lot of potential options, and below we have included 8 of the best floor options for dogs and how to choose the one that is best for your home.

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The 8 Best Flooring For Dogs

1. Vinyl

Image Credit: Kinek00, Shutterstock

Vinyl has come a long way in recent decades. It is still a cost-effective solution, and it is waterproof and easy to clean, all of which make it a good choice for pet owners. Modern vinyl can also come in a variety of finishes including some that perfectly match the look of hardwood or other surfaces.

2. Tile

labrador retriever dog lying on the floor
Image Credit: Jaromir Chalabala, Shutterstock

Tiles are expensive, but they do have a lot of benefits over other flooring options. They can be mopped without too much worry over warping. They are very hard wearing and are unlikely to scratch even if your dog charges around the room regularly.

Porcelain, ceramic, and stone tiles are some of the most common options, but while they do look great and withstand a lot of abuse from pets and people, they can be cold and tend to be hard so they may not be as comfortable as some of the alternatives.

3. Engineered Hardwood

Image Credit: Sophia Cole, Shutterstock

Solid hardwood floors are expensive and can require a lot of regular care and maintenance, especially if you have dogs. Engineered hardwood consists of layers of plywood with a layer of solid hardwood on top. This means you get the beautiful natural look of a hardwood floor but at a fraction of the cost.

It can be prone to scratching and you should avoid applying too much water when mopping, but it is generally tough and offers a beautiful finish in a room.

4. Bamboo

Image Credit: IngridsI, Shutterstock

Bamboo is not as common as other wood types, yet, but it is a high-quality and attractive alternative to other materials. It is naturally hard, a sustainable material because of its fast-growing rate, and it is resistant to scratching.

However, it is prone to moisture damage which means it isn’t suitable in bathrooms or kitchens and you will need to take care when mopping. The floor is easy to maintain, though, and its scratch-resistant properties mean it is suitable for dog-owning households.

5. Cork

Image Credit: Artazum, Shutterstock

Cork is eco-friendly, hypoallergenic, and antibacterial. It is also comfortable, and it stands up well to moisture. The textured surface also means that it offers traction for pets when they’re running and playing.

It can be a good choice for upper floors because cork naturally muffles sound, but the soft characteristics that help make it a good choice as flooring for families with dogs also means that it is more easily damaged than harder options.

6. Carpet

Image Credit: New Africa, Shutterstock

In some ways, carpet is the ideal flooring for dog families. It is soft, and warm, and offers traction for dogs when playing or running. On the other hand, it stains when it gets muddy, it gathers dog hair and mud from your dog, and it is prone to damage if you have a dog that likes to chew or dig.

There are carpets that are designed to better withstand stains, though, which make very good options for pet owners. And you can use a good-quality carpet and upholstery cleaner to help get rid of smells and stains that might appear over time.

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7. Rugs

Image Credit: New Africa, Shutterstock

If you want to offer your dog the comfort and traction of carpet, you can use rugs and place them in strategic spots. They do have some of the same drawbacks as carpets, such as being prone to moisture damage and having the potential to suffer long-term stains, but they can be picked up and cleaned more easily.

It is also cheaper to replace a runner rug than it is to have the whole room recarpeted because your dog took a fancy to the plush surface.

8. Laminate

Image Credit: Igor Normann, Shutterstock

Laminate is another flooring surface that offers some very useful benefits but has drawbacks. It is inexpensive, relatively easy to install, and it is easy to clean. But it is prone to moisture damage and some laminate surfaces are extremely smooth which makes it difficult for dogs to traverse. You can get textured laminate that offers extra traction, but you will have to specifically look for this feature.

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What to Look for When Choosing Flooring for Dogs

When choosing flooring, consider the following features:

  • Traction – Dogs’ claws and pads slip easily on some floors. Laminate flooring is especially difficult for dogs to get a good grip on when they’re walking, so while it is an inexpensive option, it might not be the best option unless you add rugs.
  • Staining – Carpets and rugs are prone to staining. Stains can come from pee and poop, especially if your dog is prone to indoor accidents. But they can also come from mud on your dog’s coat and some staining can form naturally thanks to the natural oil in your dog’s coat. If you have a dog that is prone to causing a mess, choose a floor surface like vinyl that is easy to clean and not prone to stains.
  • Durability – Your dog’s claws will, over time, cause damage to some surfaces including carpet and even softwood. Other surfaces, like engineered hardwood and tiles, withstand damage better. Ceramic and stone tiles are especially useful if you have a dog that likes to chew or scratch the floor.
  • Hair Trapping Capabilities – Carpets and rugs trap hair, dander, and dirt. This means that these surfaces will take a lot more cleaning and you may need to invest in a vacuum that is designed to better pick up dog hair. Hard surfaces like laminate and wood do not trap hair, and you can just sweep the hair up.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Can you get non-slip laminate flooring?

There are a lot more options when it comes to laminate flooring, and this includes the option of non-slip or low-slip flooring. The surface of the laminate is textured which gives your dog’s claws something to grip onto and will make it easier for them to walk and run around on the surface.

Image Credit: hedgehog94, Shutterstock

Does dog urine stain hardwood floors?

Wood is a natural product and urine and poop can both cause stains on this surface. Act quickly and clean up any mess as soon as you see it, though, and it shouldn’t have a chance to stain.

Can you protect wood from dog scratches?

There isn’t a lot you can do to protect wood from scratches caused by your dog’s claws. You can opt for a lighter color of wood. This doesn’t prevent scratches, but they don’t show up as obviously. You can also restain the floor if it does get scratched. Again, this doesn’t prevent the scratches, but it does mean you can repair them.

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Getting the right flooring for your home means choosing one that best suits all of your house’s inhabitants including adults, kids, and dogs.

Tiles are one of the best options for dog owners, but they can be cold and hard. But, while carpet offers softness and comfort, it is prone to damage and stains. Choose the floor that suits the type of dog you have, especially taking into account whether it is prone to indoor accidents or ripping up flooring.

Featured Image Credit: Maja Marjanovic, Shutterstock

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