A lot goes into the choice between various types of flooring. Cost, style, maintenance, installation… And if you’re a pet owner, then you’ve got even more to consider. This blog post will discuss what you need to look for in pet-friendly flooring and offer up some excellent pet-friendly tile options for inspiration.
What Makes Flooring Pet-Friendly?
When you’re looking for the best flooring to hold up to your furry friend’s paws and claws, there are a few characteristics that make quite a difference. Of course, the cost is always something to note. You’ll want to choose flooring that is within your budget and also offers a good return on your investment with its durability and longevity.
Comfort and traction are also crucial. Keeping your pets safe and comfortable is vital, so considering the level of comfort and slipperiness of different types of flooring is a wise idea. Upkeep is another critical characteristic of pet-friendly floors. Flooring that’s simple to clean and isn’t prone to stains will make your life much easier; even the best-behaved pets make messes sometimes.
That’s also where water, stain, and scratch resistance come in. Cats and dogs can do some serious damage with their nails, and you don’t want any spills or accidents to leave permanent damage on your floor.
How Do Different Types of Flooring Withstand Damage from Pets?
Now that you know what to look for as far as characteristics, let’s discuss some common types of flooring and how well they hold up to pets.
First up is carpet. While carpeting is comfortable and offers plenty of traction, it rips and stains easily. It’s also difficult to clean thoroughly and can hold on to dirt and allergens.
Hardwood flooring is beautiful, but it’s prone to set-in stains. It’s not resistant to scratches, either. It’s also a bit slippery for pets, and with the loss of traction comes a higher risk of scratches. While a more weathered hardwood may look just fine with pet-induced scratches and stains, that isn’t always the case.
Laminate is another flooring choice that’s often selected because it looks just as gorgeous as wood, but is more affordable. The downside of laminate is that it’s quite slippery and can even present a danger to pets. Spills can seep between planks and cause swelling as well.
Vinyl is a good choice for pet-friendly flooring, thanks to its resistance to scratches and moisture. However, one drawback of vinyl is that it tends to look cheaper than other flooring options.
Of all the common flooring types we’ve listed, tile is the best option for homes with pets. Tile flooring is easy to protect and maintain. Pet accidents, which can leave unwanted smells and stains, are simple to clean off a tile floor. Tile doesn’t snag like carpet or scratch like wood. Dirt and mud, as well as pet hair and spills from food and water bowls, can easily be vacuumed or mopped up as needed.
Why Tile is Your #1 Option
We’ve mentioned a few of tile flooring’s great qualities, but let’s briefly go over several more!
Tile flooring is:
- Extremely durable
- Resistant to stains, scratches, and water
- Able to imitate the look of many other types of flooring
- Compatible with under-floor heating elements (or you can add rugs and pet beds to keep your furry friends warm and cozy)
- Nice and cool during the hotter months or in warmer locations
- Low-maintenance; it doesn’t need to be refinished, sanded, buffed, or polished for many years
- Not a floor type that traps dirt; dirt remains on top of the surface and can be cleaned easily
- Simpler to clean than many other flooring options
- Not prone to holding onto odors
- Not susceptible to discoloration
- Able to reduce pet allergies (as compared to carpet, which traps allergens even when vacuumed frequently)
- The perfect complement to many different interior design schemes
Clearly, tile is the way to go to keep yourself and your pets happy and comfortable!
Pros, Cons, and Considerations of Tile
Like any type of flooring, tile isn’t without its negative points. Although it’s a durable material with tons of longevity, tile can be expensive, so that’s something to keep in mind. Still, there are many low-cost options available. Another potential drawback is that tile’s hard surface can be uncomfortable for older pets, and it also tends to be louder underfoot than other flooring materials. If you choose to install tile with very thin grout lines, the floor can also be slippery.
It’s always important to weigh the disadvantages of tile against its benefits, like timeless style, easy maintenance, and resistance to damage. Generally, tile is an excellent choice for warm climates. It may not be quite as suitable for cool areas unless it’s made more comfortable with additions like under-floor heating, pet beds, and rugs.
Pet-Friendly Tile Types
Now, let’s talk about the different types of tile and how well they work for homes with pets.
Ceramic tile is a fantastic option because it’s so functional and affordable. Plus, ceramic tile is available in unlimited versatile colors, patterns, and styles. You’ll most often see ceramic tile used in bathrooms and kitchens, but it works well in all areas of the home.
Porcelain tile is very similar to ceramic, and that’s because it technically is a type of ceramic tile. Porcelain is specifically designed for durability and longevity; it’s perfect for holding up to pets’ nails and messes. Design options abound, and porcelain can even be made to look like many other types of flooring, such as stone and wood.
Stone tile is another good choice but generally requires more maintenance than ceramic and porcelain. This is especially true if you select a softer stone, such as travertine or marble. Harder options like quartzite and granite will typically stand up to pets better, but any type of stone should be sealed and maintained regularly to increase its longevity.
How to Maintain Your Pet-Friendly Tile
Tile is referred to as pet-friendly because it has many characteristics that help it stand up to the types of regular wear and tear that furry friends often contribute to. Still, there are a few things you can do to help your tile stay in great shape for as long as possible.
First, with all types of tile, it’s important to seal your grout. Although the tiles themselves aren’t susceptible to stains from spills and pet accidents, the grout is more at risk. If you’ve chosen a natural stone tile, be sure to seal it and then continue cleaning and maintaining it regularly.
Of course, if any messes occur, try to clean them as soon as possible to minimize the risk of damage to your flooring. Adding rugs to your floor can offer up additional warmth and traction for your pets, plus protection for your tile. Finally, keeping your pet’s toenails clipped can reduce the chance of them scratching the floor.
Pet-Friendly Flooring Inspiration
Curious about what styles of pet-friendly tile are out there? Here are ten products to serve as inspiration.
1. Tahoe Taupe Wood Look Porcelain Tile
This neutral wood-look porcelain tile has the beautiful natural aesthetic of wood, plus the pet-friendly characteristics of tile. It meshes well with many different design styles and looks especially nice in kitchens and living spaces.
2. Emporio Calacatta Gold Porcelain Tile
If you adore the look of marble but aren’t a fan of how easily claws can scratch it, this porcelain tile is an amazing option. Made to look like the popular Emporio Calacatta Gold Italian marble, this tile has a hardness rating of four (with five being the hardest). This means it’s highly durable and able to withstand quite a bit of foot (and paw) traffic. It’s designed to be installed with minimal grout lines, requiring less sealing and maintenance.
3. Encaustic Look Malaga Fleur Porcelain Tile
Next up, we have this lovely encaustic-look Malaga Fleur porcelain tile. It adds quite the pop to your floors and is simultaneously classic and modern.
4. Skye Nero Porcelain Tile
If you love the industrial concrete look, then you’re sure to fall for this Skye Nero porcelain tile. It offers up a durable, minimalistic design that replicates marked cement. This tile’s finish is meant to withstand the foot traffic of commercial spaces, so it’ll have no problem maintaining its quality, even if you have multiple pets.
5. Encaustic Look Marrakech Terrazzo Gray Porcelain Tile
Terrazzo flooring has been quite trendy recently, and this porcelain tile mimics that classic style. Flecks of white, gold, and taupe contrast with the gray background for a unique flooring design that really pops.
6. White and Black Octagon Ceramic Mosaic Tile
Black and white octagon flooring has been a popular traditional option for decades. It has a clean, classic aesthetic that is often used in bathrooms and kitchens.
7. Encaustic Look Marrakech Modern Porcelain Tile
If you love modern graphic patterns with a geometric flair, then this encaustic-look Marrakech porcelain tile may be a great choice for your home. It’s an excellent pet-friendly option that serves as an eye-catching accent for any room.
8. San Fran Coto Porcelain Tile
This burnt orange porcelain tile warms up any space and looks particularly lovely in kitchens, living rooms, and entryways. It’s subtle, rustic, and has a handmade appearance that adds plenty of personality.
9. Bianco Venatino Polished Porcelain Tile
While genuine marble is a bit too soft and prone to scratching, this beautiful porcelain tile perfectly imitates Bianco Venatino stone, but can easily withstand pets’ claws. It’s sophisticated, elegant, and adds an air of opulence to your home.
10. Madrid Black Hexagon Porcelain Tile
Our last piece of pet-friendly flooring inspiration is this matte black hexagon porcelain tile. You can pair it with wood-look porcelain as in the photo above or try using contrasting grout to highlight the shape of each tile. The possibilities are endless, and the matte black finish looks terrific with various interior design schemes.
Find Pet-Friendly Flooring at Tilezz.com
Tilezz.com is the place to go for all of your tile needs. Not only do we have a vast selection with thousands of high-quality tile options, but we offer fast delivery, insured shipments, and easy returns with every order. Come see what we have to offer! And while you’re there, stop by our blog for more helpful posts like this one.