What would life be without pets? In many cases, a dog or cat is like a member of the family. They have a marked effect on our happiness levels. Consequently, we want to make them happy in return. 

Having the right kind of floor can make both you and your pets happier. 

When we consider pets and floors, messes are often the first things that come to mind – unfortunately. The most beloved of companions will end up in the proverbial doghouse when there’s an accident on the floor, especially if it’s carpet. 

Vinyl a good option 

That’s why pet owners frequently opt for vinyl flooring. And for good reason: Vinyl is water resistant. Taking care of a pet mishap is a breeze, usually requiring little more than a wipe-up. Today’s luxury vinyl is also tough enough to hold up against the ravages of dog toenails that can mar a wood floor all too easily. 

“Vinyl can be a very good choice for people who have dogs or cats in the house,” said Nelson Green, owner of Flooring America in Melbourne. “Not only is vinyl tough and waterproof, but it’s also available in styles that look just like real wood. Our luxury vinyl planks and tile are so realistic that it’s impossible to tell the difference – even up close.” 

Luxury vinyl planks also have joints that lock tightly, effectively keeping out moisture. That’s useful in a household with pets, where water dish spills and accidents can occur with frustrating regularity. And in the case of catastrophe, many times the planks can be popped loose and replaced. 


Even with vinyl, however, pets can have more than their share of difficulties. Dogs and cats sometimes have trouble maintaining a sound footing. Sometimes they can skid and slide around on the slick vinyl or wood surface. Not only is that uncomfortable for the animal, but it can cause injury. 

The Stainmaster® PetProtect line has a vinyl plank product that addresses this issue.

“PetProtect has a special technology called Claw Shield,” Green said. “It adds an extra layer of toughness over the floor, helping it stand up to the scratches that pet traffic can cause. But even more important: It also gives them a surface that provides them a firmer footing – fewer slips.” 

What about carpeting?

Still, many homeowners aren’t willing to give up the softness underfoot that carpeting affords. Thanks to modern flooring technology, there are options available for them, too.

“A lot of people with pets still want carpeting in their homes. We have special Stainmaster® PetProtect carpeting, which is a good choice for them,” Green said. “It’s highly resistant to odors and stains, so the homeowner can enjoy the comforts of carpeted rooms without having to worry so much about what their pets might be up to.” 

What about wood?

If a pet owner insists on having a hardwood floor, the tougher the wood, the better. “A person with active dogs probably shouldn’t have a floor made of softer woods like pine or spruce,” Green said. “Go for the harder woods. Walnut, maple and oak are better choices.”

Green added that it’s also a good idea to choose a weathered or distressed-looking wood floor. That way, if a pet does leave some marks, it won’t be as noticeable. 

“When you’re picking out a floor, just remember the four-legged residents that will be walking on it for hours every day,” he said. “A little common sense can go a long way.” ◆