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Pet-friendly flooring options

Gleaming hardwood floors are a hot trend right now with realtors saying it’s your best bet for selling your house. But if you have pets – big dogs, in particular – it might be a trend to avoid.

“Many people love hardwood floors, but if you have pets they may not be your best option because if your pet has an accident the urine can seep into the wood and stain it. Also, when the pets run across the floor, their claws can scratch it,” said Angie Hicks, founder of Angie's List.

Cost is an important factor in home improvement decisions, but so is value. And pet owners should consider what abuse that new flooring can take. Carpeting, for example, may be less expensive, but it’s a poor choice for a puppy that’s not potty-trained. Hardwood can also be easily damaged.

“Vinyl flooring can be a great option if you have pets because it’s just more durable and is scratch-resistant,” said Hicks.

“Laminate generally is the most scratch-resistant flooring for active families, so we’re doing more and more of that in the flooring business, and we really recommend that if scratching is a big consideration,” explained flooring professional Harry Tishler.

Don’t despair if you love that natural material look as much as you love your pet. Recent advances in vinyl plank flooring will give you the look you want and the durability you need.

“The manufacturers have learned how to make it so it looks a lot like the natural textures it’s supposed to replicate – stone and wood – and they got it right. It’s less expensive and it’s warmer to walk on in most cases,” said Tishler.

If you go the pet-friendly flooring route, Angie's List says to look for textures and finishes that will help hide any pet damage. You should know how to care for the flooring to keep it looking great, so find out if it can be refinished and ask if there’s a guarantee against pet damage.