Dog-Friendly Flooring Dilemma

ASK LAURIE: I have a gorgeous home we designed and built 12 years ago. We want to remove all carpet on the first floor and replace it with either hardwoods or tile that looks like hardwoods. We have three large dogs and are worried they may damage real hardwoods. We are hoping to increase the resale value and want to do the right thing. – Jen P, TX


Managing Pet Anxiety During a Remodel

Durable Pet-Friendly Den and Workspace

DIY Pet Projects

Comments (23)

  1. Anne H. says:

    As a dog owner getting ready to change flooring myself this info. is like gold! Love all the options!

  2. Jan says:

    I have 2 large Great Danes and love my solid strand bamboo flooring. It's extremely durable, not to mention absolutely gorgeous! I also have some tile in my home but definitely prefer the bamboo. Keep in mind it must e solid strand. Other bamboos are too soft

    • Laurie_March says:

      Jan –

      Such a good point. There are for sure better bamboo flooring materials than others. I've seen some sad, buckled bamboo in the past that many clients ripped right out.

      Great Danes are huge! I have a rescue dog named Newton who does little floor damage – lots of jumping up and down on my front window sill though.

  3. Jenn says:

    I'm not able to view any of your videos on my laptop or my iPad. Can you tell me if there's a glitch at your end? Are others having the same problem? (I'm in Toronto.)

    • Marcia says:

      I have all Apple products (iMac, iPod, G5, iBook, and my new love, the iPod.) and I'm having the same problem with the videos on all the HGTV affiliates. I think it has some thing to do with us not being able to use Adobe Flash. That's all I can think of.

  4. Cheryl says:

    These posts made me smile. I built a log-sided house 8 years ago and have 3 pooches. When the contractor asked me about flooring, I chose a low-cost pine "cabin grade" flooring which the contractor offered to "antique" for me. I laughed and said, "No, that's what the dogs are for!" After 8 years, the scratches lend nicely to the knotholes and other imperfections, creating a look of comfortable contentment. The more wear and tear, the more beautiful the floor seems to look!

  5. Pamela says:

    I have a dog and once had concrete floors that held up well and were easier to take care of than hardwood. I lived in a loft so they looked okay. But, they're more modern and may not be suitable for your application.

  6. Christine Hatfield says:

    My new home is now 3.5 yrs. old. I had a good quality, pre-finished wood floor installed w/ a 20 yr. warrenty. My 2 German Shepherds have put many indentations in the flooring from their nails. In favorite snoozing spots by windows, their "nose juice" gets into the scratches and turns them into dark spots. I plan to put small pieces of carpet or plastic below their favorite windows to prevent any further damage. With windows snout-height, I plan to tack down thin wood on top of the sills to end the scratches there.The ceramic tile in other areas of the house are impervious to doggie damage!

  7. Marcia says:

    Ten years ago, and eight dogs later, The engineered hardwood is still holding up beautifully. We've always had four dogs – mainly Shelties and a Pomeranian – and they have always loved chasing each other through the house with the little Pom calling the shots. They actually seem to enjoy sliding on the floor. Go figure. :-)

  8. Debbie Kast says:

    I put the Bruce's hardwood floors down and my dog has scratched them. I have a 130 pound black lab that has a hard time walking on them because the are slick

  9. vicki says:

    we have 2 big boxers and we put hardwood floors down to so many scratchs can you give us an idea as to what we can use on them.

  10. Amber says:

    Burke flooring makes a VINYL PLANK wood flooring that looks just like hand scraped wood.… It does come in finishes from super smooth to heavily grooved. The photos on their website do not do it justice!! My husband (a Contractor) loves the stuff and sells it like crazy! It's an industrial grade so it's thicker than your average linoleum or vinyl squares. It really looks like wood. Add some large base moulding and it will look like you spent a fortune!

  11. Cheryl says:

    We have 2 dogs. 2 years ago, we ripped out the carpet on our first floor and replaced it with tile. We love it and it is dog- proof. We wanted to replace the carpet on our second floor and debated between tile or laminate. We chose tile that looks like hardwood. They are installing it now and it looks fabulous. You can't tell that it is not hardwood. I chose a lighter color vs dark so the dog hair won't show. I would definitely recommend the tile. The cost is pretty much the same.

    • Laurie_March says:

      Cheryl –

      "wood look" tile is getting some rave reviews lately! Can't wait to hear how you like it after it's installed.

  12. Anne says:

    If you were going with hardwood, what type would be best? We thought about bamboo or hand scraped oak, but reading the comments, I'm beginning to question bamboo. I want to make the best decision because we plan to sell in 3 to 5 years. I need something that is going to be low maintenance with our lab.

  13. Doglover says:

    i second the choice of strand bamboo! I installed it three years ago and my full sized labradoodle hasn't made a mark on them even though his favorite game is to put his ball up under my kitchen cabinets and then "dig" it out. Stand banboo is harder than any hardwood out there. Highly recommend!

  14. tesmar says:

    Strand bamboo. Morning Star makes one that is gorgeous and resistant to really anything a dog could throw at it. When we first were considering it we went and and tried to scratch the finish with keys, pens, etc. Not even a scratch. The only way we could damage it was by using the sharp end of a hammer and then the mark was really minor.

  15. Dog and kid tested. says:

    I had 4 then 5 large active dogs and up to 7 cats. cats. The high end Pergo laminate with the built in padding showed NO wear in my house. I would let my neighbors kids skate on it too! I did a lot of shopping and the higher end Brand Name looked the best and most natural and the padding dampened any echoey sounds;-it was well worth the extra expense.

  16. All Floors Inc says:

    When it comes to choosing flooring for dogs and cats, it is also a good idea to select floor that is stain resistant. You just need to make sure that you have both the grout and the tile sealed when you have them installed. The reason for this decision is the fact that it will keep your floors looking immaculate while making them extremely resistant to the mud that dirty paws have the tendency to bring in from outside.

  17. If you can afford it, I'd just go with oak. Proper hardwood wears well and can be refinished as needed. Then throw rugs in strategic high dog traffic places as necessary.

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