Dogs are a man’s (or women’s) best friend – but you may not be so happy with them if they are scratching up your flooring.
If you are in the process of purchasing a new home and have a dog, now is the time to choose the flooring to fit the dog, not the dog to the floor.
Consider Human and Dog Needs
Rating the best floors for dogs takes into account both the human and the animal side of things. On the human side, you want scratch resistance, sound absorption, and cleanability. On the animal side, it is mainly about traction, which means a great deal to older dogs that have a hard time standing up.
Durability and Reality
Floor durability should not be confused with scratch resistance. Durability encompasses impact-, moisture-, and scratch-resistance; you are concerned mainly with scratches.
You want a floor that is friendly to both you and your dog. Concrete resists scratches extremely well, yet few homeowners want to install concrete interior floors.
Sheet Vinyl Flooring
- What you think: You’ll like vinyl flooring’s low cost. You’ll also like the fact that vinyl flooring has improved recently. The easy gouge-ability of old-school vinyl is no more unless you purchase super-cheap, super-thin flooring.
- What your dog thinks: Your dog loves the cool surface during the summer and the warm surface during the winter. Most importantly, your dog’s slick pads and claws do not ice-skate across the floor. Vinyl flooring has just enough grip for your dog to feel comfortable and safe when trotting across it.
Laminate Vinyl Plank (LVP) Flooring
- What you think: You are surprised to learn that laminate excels in scratch resistance. It is easy to determine how well a prospective laminate can resist scratches by checking out the specs section of the product description. Abrasion Class (AC) Ratings go from AC 1 to AC 5. AC 1 and AC 2 floors are too light and are not suitable for dogs. AC 3 floors are designed for residential use with moderate traffic. Floors above AC 3 are rated for commercial use and will not present as many design opportunities for you. Finally, by using a thicker laminate floor—12 mm—with underlayment, you eliminate much of the hollow click-clack sound that the dog’s claws create on laminate.
- What your dog thinks: Your dog is not in love with laminate’s slickness. Even laminate that does not have a glossy “piano finish” is smooth underfoot. The inescapable fact is that laminate’s transparent wear layer is a double-edged sword; the slickness, though unfriendly to claws, also wards off scratches.
- What you think: You may not be a fan of vacuuming, yet vacuuming is the only way to remove dog hair from carpeting. However, the carpeting may not be the best floor covering for dogs who are older (i.e., incontinent). Still, your older dog finds it easy to move to a standing position without your help. By purchasing a lower pile carpet, you make the cleanup job easier.
- What your dog thinks: Your dog loves you for installing carpeting! Big wet slobbers all over the face are your reward for doing this. Your dog likes that carpet encourages you to get down on the floor more often to play with him or her. Best of all, your dog’s claws can gain maximum traction when he races you to the mail slot.