The 5 Best Pet-Friendly Flooring Options for Dogs

updated May 21, 2020
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Are you a dog owner looking to do a renovation, and want to make your new floors more pet-friendly? Or maybe you’re looking to get a dog and don’t want to compromise the look of your home, and wondering how your floors will hold up to a new rambunctious pet in the house. It’s definitely not too much to ask!

No matter what breed of dog you have, or the size of your space, these days, there are plenty of dog-friendly flooring options that will still look amazing even if your pup skids on (or makes a mess of) them.

The Best Flooring for Your Home, If You Have Dogs

Whether you’re concerned about scratches, cost, temperature, or just what’s easiest to clean, look no further than these expert-backed options: 

1. Luxury vinyl tile

Colin Haentjens, a dog owner, architect, interior designer, and owner of The Knobs Company, says his floors are wood imitation luxury vinyl tile (LVT). The pros: The look of a wood flooring tends to be warm and welcoming, and most people can’t tell the difference between LVT and real wood. 

While LVT is considered a durable choice, Haentjens says it doesn’t account for dogs slipping and sliding around your place. “Indentations from dog nails skidding on the floor aren’t visible at standing height, but they’re easy to see when taking a closer look,” he says. 

2. Stone-imitation porcelain tile 

Haentjens also recommends stone imitation porcelain tile, which he says is incredibly difficult for dogs to scratch. Plus, porcelain can convincingly imitate a wide variety of other materials, so you can achieve pretty much any look you want without compromising the quality of your floors.

There are a few downsides to porcelain tile, though. Haentjens says installation cost can be upwards of $9.50 per square foot depending on where you live. Also worth considering: Porcelain is cold to bare feet, even more so than a vinyl finish.

Credit: Lauren Kolyn

3. Bamboo 

If you’re looking for a wood flooring option, Hamna Amjad of the home-management app Centriq says bamboo floors are the most durable, stain-resistant, and scratch-resistant option. Bamboo is also easier to clean than other floors, and it has antimicrobial properties that can prevent mold and bacteria from growing. 

If a little extra noise bothers you, then you may want to avoid bamboo, which can get noisy when a dog (or human, for that matter) runs around on it.

Credit: © living4media

4. Cork

Cork might be the most harmonious option: It’s warm, it’s anti-slip and comfortable walk on, AND it’s a sound-absorbing material, which makes it an ideal choice if you want to avoid noise in your home. 

On the other hand, cork can discolor over time from sun exposure, and it isn’t scratch resistant—so you’ll want to keep your pup’s nails clipped. 

Credit: Sylvie Li

5. Stone 

If dodging scratches is your top priority, Caleb Liu, owner of the Southern California-based home-flipping company, says stone floors are the way to go. Not only are they totally scratch-proof; they’re also stain resistant and easy to clean. 

As with any floors, there are a few downsides to stone: They’re cold to the touch, which isn’t comfortable for human feet or dog paws, and they can be pretty expensive.

What is the most durable flooring for dogs? 

According to Kayla Goldstein, an interior designer and architect, luxury vinyl tile (LVT) is the most durable choice for a dog owner. Not only is it scratch-proof and water-proof, it also comes in a variety of aesthetics, whether you want a wood-imitation or tile style.

What is the most scratch resistant flooring? 

If you don’t want to deal with repairing dog scratches, Liu says you have three options: 

  • Stone: Stone floors, he says, are nearly indestructible, scratch-proof, and stain-proof. The downside is that they’re very expensive and cold to the touch. 
  • Tile: Tile flooring comes with the same pros, but is far less expensive. Keep in mind that tile can go out of style quickly, and it can also result in cold feet. 
  • Luxury vinyl: This type of scratch-proof flooring comes with plenty of other highlights: It’s cheap, it looks beautiful, and it ages well. 

Is vinyl or laminate better for dogs? 

Liu says laminate is an “okay choice” to avoid scratches, but most laminate choices aren’t waterproof—so if your dog isn’t trained, it’s best to avoid the laminate route. Instead, opt for luxury vinyl, which will be far more durable. 

Can dogs scratch engineered hardwood floors? 

Unless hardwood engineered floors have a protective coating, Liu says they aren’t typically scratch resistant. It’s best to check the specs before investing in any flooring.