So, what's the smart thing to do if you are a pet owner? Install a floor that not only your family will enjoy but that
will be pleasant underfoot for cats and dogs to walk (or run) on. Let's take a look at
the pros of cons of different flooring materials, as seen from a pet owner's
Ceramic tile and stone are practically impervious to claw scratches and potential damage from, ahem, accidents. The glazed tiles clean easily, so they're easy to keep looking good year in and year out. The downside is that stone and tile aren't that comfortable for pets to lie on.
Solid wood or bamboo flooring isn't as scratch- or stain-resistant as stone or tile, but applying a hard urethane finish can minimize damage. Most manufactured wood products come pre-finished and are durable enough to stand up to claws. As with other hard floors, they're not that comfortable for pets to lie on, but you can solve this problem with a few area rugs.
Laminate floors resist scratches well, but they are very hard and slippery for our clawed friends. They also aren't very comfortable to rest upon. If you buy laminates, you should definitely invest in some rugs, but truly, the slippery factor makes laminate one of the worst options for people with pets.
Even though carpets are often poo-pooed in comparison with gorgeous
hardwoods, they are the most comfortable for pets to walk and lie on. The
downside is that they are also the easiest type of flooring material to
irrevocably stain. If you go those route, try a tight-piled carpet to reduce the chances that
your pet's claws will catch in it.
Whatever flooring type you choose, you can minimize problems by keeping your pet's nails trimmed. Also sweep or vacuum the floor weekly, and wipe up any stains or spills promptly. To further protect your floor, choose water bowls with wide bases, or consider a pet placemat to keep the eating area clean.
Source: Ortho's All About Floors and Flooring
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