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What kind of floor is best for your pet?

Vinyl may be the best solution for most pets

Photo © alexsokolov - Fotolia
Pets are becoming a staple in homes; 68 percent of U.S. households own a pet, which equates to 82.5 million homes. In those 82.5 million homes, there are 83.3 million dogs and 95.6 million cats. That translates to animal hair and little paws all over the carpet and floor.

If you are thinking of redoing your floors or perhaps you’re buying your first home, you might wonder what the best type of flooring is if you have animals.

It all really depends on your lifestyle. There are many things you need to consider: durability, comfort, maintenance, safety and your tolerance for when your dog or cat might have an accident. They get sick and the carpet never looks the same.

Carpets present issues

There is nothing better after working all day on your feet and taking your shoes off and feeling a plush carpet between your toes, but if you have any allergy issues you will have to vacuum perhaps a little more often with pets than someone who doesn’t have allergies because of the dust and the dander.  Dogs and cats are not easy on the carpet to say the least.

If there is no way around it and carpet is a must-have in your home then the most practical way to go would be to get something made of nylon and polyester. The durability factor is one key reason. Nylon is the first choice as it is stain-resistant and much hardier. You will find polyester to be less expensive but far less durable.

What is new is something called pet-friendly carpets. The highlight of these carpets is they have been designed to prevent pet stains from soaking through to your carpet padding as well as to reduce pet odors. No matter the carpet, upgrade to a moisture barrier pad.

Tile can be tricky

Tile has a couple of options, ceramic and porcelain. They are durable and stain resistant, pretty easy to clean. The negatives would be cold on your feet if you’re barefoot, but also very slippery if a dog is running around. You can really mess up their knees and the vet bills will start becoming outrageous.

Vinyl could be a lifesaver because nowadays they make vinyl that looks like wood and it is easy to clean and extremely durable. It also won’t scratch as easily as some of the other floorings.

Hardwood is beautiful but if it gets wet, look out -- you will be replacing floor boards. It also has a tendency to scratch easily.

It really comes down to how much maintenance you are willing to do. Scratches will happen with pets and so will spilled bowls of water, not to mention the accidents as your pet learns to become an adult. Just consider the comfort level for yourself and your pet and how much time you want to spend mopping or vacuuming.

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