Pet friendly flooringWhether you live alone, have children, or are the proud owner of one or more pets, “hardwearing” flooring is a smart choice for any homeowner. For those not familiar, hardwearing flooring is exactly what it sounds like – flooring that can take a beating while remaining aesthetically pleasing. The reasons for using this type of flooring for your home are many, but can be broken down into several basic categories:

• Increase the marketability of your home for the future
• Maintenance and upkeep are quick and easy
• Long-lasting durability

In addition to these benefits, homeowners also want a floor that is comfortable, as well. With so many things to consider, flooring options should be carefully weighed out before making a choice. Fortunately, numerous flooring types exist to suit all lifestyles, needs, and tastes.

Children and pets are one primary consideration to take into account when choosing a floor covering. A home with either, or both, will better suit the needs of the entire family if it has hardwearing flooring. To assist in the dilemma of choosing the appropriate flooring type, let’s take a look at some choices.

Soft flooring

Simply put, soft flooring can refer to any flexible flooring that is created as a roll (i.e., carpeting, flexible tiles, etc.). Flexible flooring is a popular choice thanks to the full range of textures and colors in which it is available. Additionally, people enjoy its comfort. Examples of soft flooring are as follows:

• Cork – stain resistant, weather resistant, suitable for areas that are frequently wet, and it is a natural product.
• Vinyl – excellent for bathrooms and kitchens and anywhere else that gets wet. Waterproof and durable, it comes in numerous choices of patterns and colors and is man-made.
• Linoleum – available in sheet or tile, naturally antibacterial, available in polished or matte finishes as well as any number of textures, patterns, and colors. It is a “natural” floor covering. Linoleum, as well as vinyl, are excellent choices for homes with pets and children.
• Carpet – better than the prior three types for covering subflooring that is not particularly level, carpet comes in various patterns and colors. Made from polyester, nylon, and wool, it is a widely used soft floor covering. Unfortunately, carpet is prone to wear patterns, staining, snagging, and more. Because pets and children take a pretty serious toll on this soft flooring choice if you must choose to carpet, pick one that does not snag readily and is easily and quickly cleaned.

Hard flooring

As opposed to the flexibility of soft flooring, hard flooring is more along the lines of ceramic tile, hardwood, or stone. Households with pets and children can benefit from hard flooring, as long as it is impervious any damage caused by animal claws or scraping and scratching from toys. Staining is another concern if the flooring material is porous. Children spill things; and pets, as any pet owner can testify, have accidents on occasion that can ruin a floor.

Where hard flooring is concerned, there are a couple of things to consider:

• Stains – is the floor covering stain resistant? Are spills easily wiped up? Or is the porosity of flooring going to allow it to absorb stains and odors permanently?
• Scratches, dents, chips, etc. – all three of those are distinct possibilities in households with pets and children. Once a floor is chipped, scratched, or dented, there is no easy fix.

When it comes to hard flooring brick, stone, ceramic tile, etc., protecting it against spills and stains will mean the use of sealants or treatments to grouting, if not the flooring material itself. Hardwood floors will also require sealing for the same reason, as well as to protect them from dents and scratches. These treatments will need to be repeated on a regular basis.

We hope this information has been helpful to homeowners that need to take into consideration floor wear from pets, children, and more.

Carpetland USA Flooring Center is featured every Saturday morning on the Milwaukee Home Builders Television Show Builders Showcase.