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Best Flooring for Dogs: Everything You Need to Know

Dog on flooring during renovation

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Dogs can be hard on floors—there’s no way around it. But that doesn’t mean you have to submit to the idea of having scratched up and stained flooring for as long as you share your home with a dog. In fact, there are a few key factors to take into consideration when choosing the best flooring for dogs.

Whether you’re planning a series of home improvement projects or you want to select the right flooring right off the bat for your new home, we spoke to a handful of home improvement and animal experts to get their insights on exactly what to keep in mind when selecting durable and stylish options. 

Read on if you want to make the most informed decision and ensure your dog-friendly flooring stays in great condition for as long as possible:

How Dogs Damage Floors

You might have the most angelic and well-behaved dog on the planet—but your pup’s behavior and temperament has little to do with the damage that can occur from sharing your home with a dog.

“Dog breeds that shed a lot will of course damage things like wall-to-wall carpeting much faster,” explains Lisa Modica, interior designer at Cherry Tree Interior Design. “Some dog breeds, like Labrador Retrievers and Basset Hounds, have oily fur that can cause a lot of dirt buildup and staining on rugs.”

And of course, heavier dogs, or really any dog with a lot of energy that runs around is more likely to scratch up your flooring—which is why you’ll definitely want to look into damage-resistant flooring if you want to maintain the look without limiting what and where your dog can play inside.

Flooring for Dogs: Things to Consider

dog on new flooring

The flooring options on the market right now can seem endless—but there are certain things to consider that’ll make it easier to pick the right flooring for a dog-friendly household. Here’s what you’ll want to keep in mind:

Avoid wall-to-wall carpeting. “For a lot of reasons, I guide dog owners away from wall-to-wall carpeting as the fibers trap dog hair, dirt, and dander,” explains Modica. “Dog hair is ultimately impossible to completely remove from the fibers, which dulls the color and acts as a trap for even more dog hair and dander.” Stains are harder to remove, and they can sink into the padding underneath, along with dander. No matter how hard you try, it’s not set up to stay clean.

Consider scratch-resistant and waterproof designs. The best way to ensure your flooring stays in great condition even as your dogs roam and play on the daily is to invest in a scratch-resistant and waterproof design. Materials like luxury vinyl and bamboo are very hard and durable and will be able to handle everything from food spills to games of indoor fetch.

Look for eco-friendly offerings. Regardless of who or what you choose, be sure that the brand and material you opt for avoids the chemicals that result in a lot of off-gassing. Bamboo, hardwood, and ceramic are usually great eco-friendly and non-toxic options that’ll be safe for your pets and family. 

Durable Dog Flooring: Consider Polished Concrete 

Polished concrete floor

“Polished concrete is a great flooring choice for dog owners as it’s basically indestructible,” explains Modica. This option is easy-to-clean and is often more budget-friendly than hardwood or laminate options. Plus, it conveys a modern and edgy look that works nicely in new construction homes.

No matter how big or rough your dog is, this flooring choice will hold up nicely. The only downside? Polished concrete can be difficult to DIY. Instead, look for local flooring companies who offer concrete floor installation as an option, so you get the most professional look. 

“For any hard surfaces, like concrete and wood, make sure you have plenty of dog beds so your pup has a soft place to relax.” Not only is constant rest on a hard surface uncomfortable, it could cause your dog to develop calluses on their elbows, and those can become inflamed underneath if they continue.

If concrete floors are a little too cold or modern for your taste, consider the other dog-friendly, DIY flooring options below. 

Best Flooring for Dogs: 7 DIY Options to Consider

Considering new DIY flooring to better suit your household needs? Here are some of the best top-rated and expert-approved dog-friendly flooring options on the market right now—from laminate and vinyl to hardwood and eco-friendly offerings. 

Best Laminate Flooring For Dogs

Home Decorators Collection Laminate Flooring

Home Decorators Collection Laminate Floorin

Laminate flooring is an excellent option for homeowners who want something that is relatively maintenance free but still quite inexpensive. The Home Decorators Collection is just that—and then some. This flooring system is super easy to install and features a stain- and scratch-resistant finish that’ll keep your home looking fresh for years to come—no matter how many impromptu zoomie sessions your dog decides to have.

Highlights

  • Can be installed over your existing flooring.
  • Features a variety of gorgeous colorways to choose from.
  • Includes a seven year warranty—just in case.

Things to Consider

  • This particular laminate flooring isn’t waterproof.

Best Vinyl Flooring For Dogs

LifeProof Luxury Vinyl Plank Flooring

LifeProof Luxury Vinyl Plank Flooring

“Vinyl flooring is one of my top choices for pet owners,” explains Dr. Jonathan Roberts. “Not only can the pattern and finish mimic natural stone or hardwood with a much reduced cost—but vinyl is durable, highly scratch resistant and is resistant to liquids.” Like tile or concrete flooring, vinyl is easy to clean and is virtually maintenance free as well.

Highlights

  • This vinyl flooring is 100% waterproof as well as scratch- and stain-resistant.
  • The drop-and-lock installation system is very easy to install over old flooring.
  • LifeProof is both phthalate and formaldehyde free.

Things to Consider

  • Some reviewers noted that the grains in this flooring might look a little artificial.

Best Hardwood Flooring For Dogs

Blue Ridge Hardwood Flooring

Blue Ridge Hardwood Flooring

Hardwood flooring will be your best bet if you want something that is both timeless and elegant—but it’s not the best option if you have larger dogs in your household. Instead, opt for an engineered hardwood flooring, like Blue Ridge Hardwood Flooring, which offers the same look and appeal as traditional hardwood but has been modified to offer a little bit more protection against dents and scratches.

Highlights

  • Engineered wood material is resistant to dents and scratches.
  • Comes in a variety of finishes and colors to choose from.
  • Includes a 30-year finish warranty.

Things to Consider

  • Some reviewers noted that this flooring can be tough to install, but it’s not impossible.

Best Non-Slip Flooring For Dogs

APC Cork Floor Tiles

cork flooring for dogs

Your mind might not immediately go to cork when conjuring up images of your new flooring project—but the eco-friendly and sustainable material is a great option if you’re looking for something non-slip. Cork is not the most durable in that heavy furniture may cause dents or visible markings—but the APC Cork Floor Tiles have been engineered to be as durable as possible while still maintaining the anti-slip properties that cork is known for.

Highlights

  • This flooring is resistant to scratches, UV, fire, water, and mildew.
  • Very eco-friendly and sustainable material.
  • The slip-resistant finish is ideal for older dogs or pups with mobility issues.

Things to Consider

  • Cork flooring is not waterproof and might not do well with stains or heavy spills.

Best Tile Flooring For Dogs

Daltile Glazed Porcelain Floor Tile

Daltile Glazed Porcelain Floor Tile

“Tile flooring is always your best option for dogs,” explains Dr. Roberts. “Not only is it sometimes the most cost effective option but it is the most resistant to liquid (most tiles are actually waterproof!) and scratch damage.” The downside to this option is tile and concrete can be cold and the hard surface might be a bit slippery—but you can always provide additional dog beds to ensure your pup stays comfortable.

Highlights

  • Great price for the quality of the material.
  • Waterproof and scratch-resistant design.
  • The high sheen design will hide any imperfections that may develop.

Things to Consider

  • This tile flooring can be a bit slippery under your pup’s feet.

Best Flooring for Dogs and Kids

Versaplank Luxury Vinyl Plank

Versaplank Luxury Vinyl Plank

Looking for something that’ll suit a household that has both kids and pets running around? You might want to consider something that has a relatively ‘busy’ design that’ll hide any imperfections before they even occur. This luxury vinyl plank by Versaplank will do just that thanks to its colorful textured finish. What’s more, this vinyl in particular is entirely waterproof and also features a fade- and scratch-resistant finish for added protection.

Highlights

  • Colorful and busy design hides any imperfections that may occur down the line.
  • Waterproof, fade-proof and scratch-resistant design.
  • Very easy to install over existing flooring or otherwise.

Things to Consider

  • Some reviewers mentioned that the boxes can come with too many planks of a single color.

Best Eco-Friendly Flooring for Dogs

Cali Bamboo Hardwood Flooring

Cali Bamboo Hardwood Flooring

Modica recommends investing in Cali Bamboo Hardwood Flooring—not just because it’s super durable and virtually indestructible but also because of its eco-friendly and non-toxic principles. Bamboo is a highly sustainable building material that can be harvested without causing any damage to the environment or surrounding ecosystem. Cali Bamboo takes it one step further by ensuring their products have ultra-low VOC for added safety—especially for those humans and dogs with breathing issues.

Highlights

  • Material is water resistant and shielded by a scratch-resistant top layer.
  • Comes in a wide variety of colors and finishes to suit your decor style.
  • Very sustainable and eco-friendly material and brand ethos.

Things to Consider

  • This flooring option is much more expensive than others on the list.