Are you thinking of welcoming a furry friend into your home? Perhaps you’re one of the 3.2 million households in the UK who has acquired a pet since the start of the COVID-19 outbreak, and are looking forward to inviting friends round to come and meet your newest addition?
Much like a home needs to be family-proofed to accommodate small children, the arrival of a pet creates similar considerations. For example, will furniture legs become substitute chew toys for teething puppies? Will soft furnishings be plucked by tiny kitten claws? Or will you need to swap sumptuous carpets for flooring that can be easily wiped clean?
There’s no denying that pets can cause wear and tear to all types of flooring – scratches being the main concern – but this needn’t restrict your choice of flooring. There are plenty of pet-friendly options to keep all the family (including your four-legged friends) happy.
Here we look at just a few of the best ones.
Pet-friendly flooring options
A fluffy carpet is by far the cosiest option on the list – both for you and your furry friends.
Aside from providing a soft surface for pets to walk and rest on, carpeted floors provide cushioning for boisterous companions who enjoy rough-and-tumble play. There are several high-quality, padded carpet underlays on the market which offer excellent sound insulation too. These are especially ideal if your pet howls, barks or if you live in a flat and don’t want to disturb your neighbours.
The only issue with carpets is that they aren’t the easiest to clean and are susceptible to wear and tear. Not ideal if you’re still toilet training your pup, if your cat scratches everything but its scratching post, or if you exercise your dog in muddy/wet areas!
Always loved the look of wooden floors? Unlike carpeted floors, you can easily clean up spillages with a cloth or mop and sweep up any dirt and debris with a brush and pan.
But this type of flooring is prone to scratches, stains and water damage which means it’s not highly recommended for pets.
If you’ve got your heart set on wood flooring though, it’s worth keeping an eye out for engineered flooring – preferably one that is both scratch-resistant and water-resistant.
Thanks to its superb flexibility, long lifespan and affordable price tag, laminate flooring remains one of the most popular flooring options for homeowners today.
There are a plethora of styles and colours to choose from that replicate the look of authentic wood floors, stone floors, ceramic tiles and more. And laminate flooring provides resistance to odours and scratches which, let’s face it, is ideal if you have dogs, cats or both!
The only downside to laminate floors is that they can be very slippery, causing pets to slip and slide.
Luxury vinyl flooring
If you’re wanting to update your floors, but only have a limited budget to work with, this is the one to go for.
Though not as common as wood or laminate flooring, vinyl floors mimic natural stone, tile or hardwood floors – and are a fantastic option for your pet and your home. Both scratch and stain-resistant, vinyl flooring can withstand various impacts – meaning you needn’t worry about your pets dropping their toys or damaging your new flooring.
Although vinyl is quiet underfoot and easy to clean and maintain, water damage can cause mildew and/or lifting. That’s why it’s always a good idea to consider underlayment (or a moisture barrier).
Which option is best for your pets?
The truth is, nobody knows your pet more than you, so only you can really answer this one.
However, several factors can help you to make your decision and narrow your options down. Try asking yourself the following:
- Are they large? Do you need a durable, hardwearing floor?
- Are they long-haired?
- Are they prone to scratching soft furnishings and carpets?
- Are they prone to ‘accidents’? Could you benefit from having a carpet with a waterproof backing?
- Do they often get wet and muddy on their walks or in the garden?
- Do they have any allergies?
Oh and don’t forget to opt for a decent underlay – ideally, one that provides underfoot comfort and excellent thermal and noise insulation. You should be able to find what you need online at Carpet Underlay Shop. They stock an extensive range of carpet underlays and laminate flooring underlays – from well-known manufacturing brands like Cloud 9, Duralay, Plushwalk and Tredaire, to name just a few – and guarantee competitive pricing.