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What is the best flooring for pets? Our need-to-know guide

21 December 2022

a 10-minute read


Owning a pet has never been more popular, both locally and across the UK. Pet ownership levels have peaked in recent years, partly due to the coronavirus pandemic and a major increase in the amount of time people have been spending at home. If you don’t have pets (yet!), then there’s a very strong chance that the next people to buy or rent your home will, so it’s always a wise idea to have pet-proof flooring installed for whenever it may be needed.


  • Roughly 57% of UK households own a pet

  • Suffolk has marginally more cat owners than dog owners (59% vs 41%)

  • Suffolk’s three most popular dog breeds are Crossbreed, Labrador and Cocker Spaniel.

  • Suffolk’s most popular cat breeds are the Domestic Shorthair, British Shorthair and Tabby (Source: Sainsbury’s Bank)


Having pet-friendly flooring doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice the style of your home. There are a number of modern, chic and durable options to choose from. Read on to find out more. 

What are the most pet-friendly flooring types? 

The floors in our home take a lot of stress, and even more so when you add in your pets. The best flooring for pets will vary depending on where your pets dwell, how many pets you have, the type of pets you have, the size of your house, and of course, your budget. To make it easier, we’ve rated each flooring type on five key considerations:

Value for money 

Price might not be such an issue if your pet only stays in one area, but if your pets are free to roam the house, then you’ll want to pet-proof every room – so it makes sense to consider more cost-effective options, such as vinyl.

Water resistance

Mopping up pee, poo and vomit. Soaking muddy paws. Rubbing down a wet dog. Oh, the glamour of pet ownership! It’s got to be done, and even the best-trained pooch can be prone to an accident every now and again. The important thing is to ensure that your flooring can withstand lots of mopping, with a water resistant or waterproof coating. 

Scratch resistance

Dogs scratch the floor for many reasons, such as to relieve stress, or to keep themselves entertained – particularly during their puppy phase. You may be able to tackle this behaviour as your dog matures, but it’s sensible to scratch-proof your floor as much as possible to prevent significant damage.


It’s not just dogs that wreak havoc on your floors. Cats love to kick litter out of their tray, and the less said about hamster bedding, the better! All this mess calls for a smooth floor that’s easy to mop, brush or vacuum. This will also make it easier for children to help out, if you’re lucky enough to have any willing volunteers!


Dogs often prefer to flop in front of the hearth rather than sleep in the bed you bought them, while older or pregnant dogs actively seek a warmer, softer floor. The comfort factor is worth considering if your dog falls into either of these categories.


Vinyl flooring

Traditional vinyl is really easy to clean, comes in endless styles, patterns and colours, and is cost-effective. Therefore, vinyl is the best flooring for dogs if you need to cover a big space for a larger breed, or a litter of pups.

Vinyl is smooth and easy to mop or vacuum. However, it can be prone to bubbling up at the edges if repeatedly exposed to moisture. If your furry friend loves jumping in and out of the water, then fully waterproof Luxury Vinyl Tiles are a good alternative.


Luxury Vinyl Tiles (otherwise known as LVT) are a great choice for pet-friendly homes. With the benefit of being one of the easiest flooring types to clean, LVT can withstand being sanitised, wet-mopped and vacuumed, and is durable against scratches and scrapes. Today’s tiles are super-versatile, allowing you to keep your sense of style, even when pets come to stay. 

LVT also covers LVP (Luxury Vinyl Planks), giving you the look of real wood without you having to lament every little scratch. Our guide to choosing the best flooring for your living room guides you through some of the key considerations when selecting tiles.

tiles for dogs 


Laminate is a great flooring choice for pet owners. It’s incredibly durable, so cats and dogs can scratch away without creating surface damage. Laminate can withstand spills, too – just make sure to mop up quickly so that moisture doesn’t soak into the floor joints. 

One thing to consider is that laminate is smooth and hard, meaning that dogs may slip around while trying to get comfy. If this is the case, we’d suggest providing a duvet-style dog bed with a grippy undersurface that will help your dog stay warm and keep them from sliding around!

laminate flooring for dogs


For comfort and warmth, carpet is the clear winner every time, so this might be the best option for an elderly dog, or a dog with lower activity levels, that likes to be toasty and cosy.
If you’re a pet owner switching to carpet, be sure to opt for something like our Easy Clean carpets, which contain polypropylene, which can withstand lots of scrubbing – even with bleach. 

It’s best to avoid twist pile and loop pile carpets, as their threads are more likely to unravel if your pooch gets stuck in a scratching session. Still unsure? Check out our comparison: Carpet vs Laminate.

carpet flooring for dogs

(Engineered) Wood flooring 

Wood flooring looks gorgeous, has a timeless aesthetic, and adds value to your home – but does it make the best flooring for dogs? The answer is yes, but choose carefully. Both solid and engineered wood are susceptible to scratches and dents, which can be hard to hide at the best of times. 

Of the two, we’d recommend engineered wood as it comes with a scratch-resistant finish, meaning it will look better for longer – and it’s cheaper, too. Engineered wood feels cool in summer and absorbs heat in winter, creating year-round comfort. 

Engineered wood is also more waterproof than real wood – just make sure to clean up as quickly as possible after the incident to keep things hygienic (as well as protecting your floor). Our Wood Flooring Care Guide covers more great ways to keep your wooden floor looking fantastic and extending its lifespan for as long as possible.


engineered wood

What is the best flooring for puppies and dogs?

​​Vinyl flooring or its higher-quality alternative, LVT (Luxury Vinyl Tiles), wins hands down when it comes to the best flooring for puppies and dogs. A 12-week old pup typically poos around four times a day, so having a floor that’s easy to clean will remove a lot of the stress associated with toilet training. 

LVT has a well-earned reputation for being indestructible, so you can leave a crate in place for weeks without fear of marking or damaging the flooring underneath. 

Finally, LVT is fully waterproof – its click-together design creates a waterproof seal, so there’s no need to turn the air blue when you kick over the water bowl (again).

What is the best flooring for cats?

Luxury Vinyl Flooring (LVT) is, again, a top flooring choice for your feline friends. With a cat, your main concern is scratching. Their claws can be the enemy of real wood; leaving the grain a mess. Vinyl planks and tiles have a special covering that resists sharp scratches and claws. 

Like dog owners, you’ll also want a floor that’s easy to clean, as cats are prone to kicking their litter out of the tray, as well as bringing in surprises from the great outdoors!
Older cats are less able to digest food, so can be more prone to vomiting and diarrhoea. With all of the above in mind, LVT flooring will allow your furry friends to do their thing without you having to worry about staining.


Is underfloor heating suitable with pets?

It’s not just humans that like to have warm tootsies – most dogs and cats love it, too. In fact, you’ll often find that dogs will gravitate towards a warm tiled area in the bathroom over their bed! 

One of the most common questions that we’re asked is whether underfloor heating is safe for cats and dogs to lie on. The good news – the answer is yes. When installed correctly, the surface will never get hotter than skin temperature. The warmth created by underfloor heating can also help relax aching bones and muscles, providing relief for older, injured or pregnant pets. 

So, what flooring is best for underfloor heating? Luxury vinyl flooring, laminate and engineered wood are all compatible with underfloor heating. Our consultants can guide you through the options if this is something you’re interested in.


How to maintain your pet-friendly flooring

Now that you’ve got your dream flooring in place, the best thing you can do is learn how to properly maintain it. Here’s a few tips for keeping it looking as good as new.

Vacuum and mop frequently

Dog breeds that shed a lot – for example, the German Shepherd, Husky, Golden Retriever – will need hoovering after daily to keep their hair from taking over. This isn’t just to keep your floor looking good, but to keep things hygienic, too. A vacuum with strong suction and decent filter will make your job a lot easier – there are a number of brands on the market specifically for pet fur.

If you have an active dog, then it makes sense to dedicate an area of the house just for cleaning them down after walks. A utility room with a vinyl or LVT floor is ideal, as you can give Rex a decent wash without fear of ruining the floor. 

Another option is to lay LVT in your hallway, and arm yourself with a few bottles of water and some wipes at the entrance to reduce the amount of cleaning up you have to do once your dog has bounced through the house.

Clip claws for nicer floors

Keeping your dog’s nails and your cat’s claws trimmed will help reduce snagging and splitting, or even growing back into the pad – all of which is great for your dog, and brilliant for your floor, too. If your dog clicks his way across your new laminate flooring, then it’s a sign that you might need to perform a pedi. We’re no dog experts, but the PDSA has some great advice on how to cut dogs nails safely

What about cats? Safe to say, we all hate the idea of trimming our cats’ nails, but your cat and your floor will be healthier for it in the long run. Again, the PDSA has top notch tips for how to trim your cat’s claws.

Clean accidents thoroughly

All cats and dogs have accidents from time to time, no matter how old or well-trained they are. For most of these, you’ll be there to scoop, mop and spray straight after the event. For the others, you’ll want to rest easy knowing that the stain and smell will come out, even if left for a little longer than you’d usually like. Hard and engineered wood is the most susceptible to staining, so for peace of mind, go for LVT, vinyl or laminate. For more ways to keep your new floor looking pristine, read Top 5 Tips for Reducing Floor Scuffing and Scratching.

In summary – what is the most durable flooring for dogs?

All types of flooring can be made to work in your favour, but, to really drive our point home, vinyl, laminate or LVT is the way to go.

Get in touch today to have a chat about creating your dream pet-friendly flooring. Our experts will take into account your home, your lifestyle, and the type of pets you have, and will be able to provide a selection of brilliant options for keeping your home stylish, your floors immaculate, and your pets happy.

Contact us today!