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As a pet owner, you know that accidents happen. There are a variety of reasons why our four-legged friends do their business or act out inside the house and on the floor. Maybe they’re marking their territory, or their anxiety may be manifesting in their clawing at the carpet.
However, your home is probably your biggest investment, so you want to maintain its resale value—and keep it from looking and smelling like a litter box. So, what are the best options for pet-resistant flooring that would also appeal to future buyers? Check out our experts’ top recommendations.
If you have your heart set on beautiful hardwood floors, you’ll be happy to know that there are a few types of hardwood that are durable enough for Fido.
“Real wood floors are extremely durable and designed to withstand the traffic of busy families, including man’s best friend,” says Michael Martin, president and CEO of the National Wood Flooring Association.
Your dog’s claws will be less likely to scratch harder wood varieties like oak, maple, walnut, or—one of the strongest options—bamboo.
“The hardness of bamboo makes it more resistant to scratches, liquids, and mess, which helps out with pet accidents,” says Derik Keith, real estate agent and co-owner of Keith Home Team Metro Brokers of Oklahoma. “If you’re considering bamboo, be sure to get a medium- to high-priced bamboo flooring since the cheaper options aren’t as sturdy or scratch-resistant.”
Your delicate porcelain dinnerware may lead you to believe that this type of material is not the strongest flooring option, but our experts say otherwise.
“The simplest floor to maintain—not only for pets but also for spaces with heavy traffic—is porcelain tile,” says Claire E. Tamburro, principal designer at Tamburro Interiors, in Arlington, VA. “Porcelain tile that has a glaze on it will not absorb any hazardous bodily fluids from pets, and is easy to clean.”
Tamburro notes that sweeping, vacuuming, and wiping with a damp mop are all that’s needed to keep it sparkling. And, there’s an additional benefit to porcelain: It will not absorb odors.
She also recommends using a grout that is nonabsorbent, such as Laticrete Spectralock ($36.95, Amazon), which will prevent liquids from seeping between the tiles and provide excellent stain resistance.
However, you might want to avoid porcelain tile if your pup is older and has a hard time getting around.
“Many dogs do not have good traction on slippery surfaces, and older dogs may get injured and not be able to walk on surfaces without some tactile grip,” says Russell Hartstein, CEO of Fun Paw Care, in Los Angeles.
Luxury vinyl tile
Vinyl, in general, has come a long way since the days of disco.
“Luxury vinyl tile is a great, pet-friendly option as it’s scratch- and stain-resistant,” says Tom Schnitzer, director of flooring at Wayfair. Some varieties are even waterproof.
Many people choose luxury vinyl tile because it can replicate popular (but less resilient) flooring options like hardwood or marble, and it costs way less. Materials and installation cost around $3 to $11 per square foot, according to improvenet.com.
Sandy Beals, a real estate broker at Wilmington Real Estate 4 U in Bolivia, NC, swears by luxury vinyl.
“My older dog has accidents occasionally due to his old age, and cleaning is quick and easy,” Beals says. “Luxury vinyl tile doesn’t stain like carpeting.”