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best laminate flooring for dogs

Best Laminate Flooring for Dogs

By Fortino Rosas / August 23, 2021 / 10 Comments

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    You love your dog. Your pooch is a joy and a member of your family.

    However – dog ownership and home ownership can sometimes come into conflict. You want to install some nice laminate, but don’t know how it will hold up to your doggo’s claws, and you’re worried about his traction and comfort.

    Your kids will eventually grow to a point where they don’t spend as much time on the floor, but your beloved dog will always be down there on the ground.  We recommend, therefore, that when it comes time to choose new flooring, you match the floor to the dog.

    We want you and your dog to both be happy and healthy, and enjoy the home you live in. There are quite a few things to keep in mind that are particular for a home that will include a dog (or dogs). Keep reading for the rundown on the best flooring for dog owners!

    Scratch Resistance

    Scratch resistance is a significant concern for dog owners. Your dog has claws, and even if she receives regular manicures, those claws are going to potentially scratch your floors. You want flooring that will resist that constant claw application.

    Happily, laminate is among the very best pet flooring choices for scratch resistance.  Not all brands or models of flooring are the same in this area, however.  When shopping for laminate, you should specifically look at the specifications on the products abrasion classification (AC).

    AC ratings for laminate go from A1-A5.  A1 and A2 floors will be too low for your dog-friendly household. You will want a floor with at least an A3 rating to withstand daily claw action.

    A4 and A5 are for commercial use, and while they are even more scratch resistant, you will generally not find as many styles to choose from. A3 is a good choice.

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    Water Resistance

    When you have pets in the house, you need to be concerned about water resistance. Dogs will track water and snow into the house, and even the best trained dog will sometimes have accidents.

    Not all laminate is equally water-resistant, which is an important element because laminate is easily damaged by standing or puddled water.

    There are a few brands that boast more water resistance, including Aqua-Step and Dumaplast Dumafloor, both Belgian brands.  Pergo’s Outlast+ line also offers additional water resistance, but not total water-proofing.

    It is worth paying attention to the level of water resistance and any extra protection that the laminates you are choosing from will offer you.

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    Sound Absorption

    One issue that all home owners may experience with laminate flooring is how loud the flooring can be when people walk on it.  This will be doubly true if the member of the family walking on the floor is four-legged with claws (who occasionally barks).

    Especially if you have downstairs neighbors, or noise-sensitive family members, you’ll want to consider the sound absorption capabilities of laminate as you shop, and perhaps invest in acoustic laminate underlay.

    Just as there are ratings of scratch resistance, you should be able to research the Impact Insulation Class of the flooring you are considering. Most laminate falls into the IIC 60. You will want an IIC of 60 or more for second floor installation or in apartments with downstairs neighbors.

    If you want to ensure that the floor is quiet enough, however, there are a range of underlayments that you can purchase, from cork to textile, that will help absorb the sound from the clickety-clack of claws.

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    Traction

    The last element to consider is traction. While the previous items are things that are important to homeowners and neighbors, this last will be most important to your dog.

    Dogs don’t have the same relationship with the floor that humans do. Dog paws simply weren’t built to walk on hard, slippery surfaces; they were built for grass and dirt and rock. Dogs use their claws to grip as they walk, and they can’t grip a slippery hard surface like laminate very easily.

    Especially as dogs age, they become more stiff in their legs and less able to handle slipping.  All of this means that it is much easier for dogs to slip and fall if they lose traction. Especially an old dog can be hurt, injuring backs, hips or other joints if they fall on slippery flooring. We don’t want that to happen to any member of your fur family.

    When choosing laminate, you can take several steps to ensure you’re making the best and most comfortable choice for your dog, including buying them fun booties and socks for traction.

    There are also things you can do to make the floor more safe. Firstly, you can use throw rugs and runners in areas where your dog is likely to walk or likes to lie down. These will help your pup move easily and help older dogs get up.

    You can also look for textured laminate floor.  Some brands produce laminate that mirrors the texture of natural wood. This can be a good choice to give your dog more traction. Pergo’s XP line and the Trafficmaster brand, for example, both sell textured flooring that mimics natural wood.

    The websites of big home improvement stores such as Home Depot let you select “textured” as a search limiter in your online search of their laminate. That can be a good place to start to see your choices.

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    FAQ

    What’s the best flooring for dogs?

    Laminate and luxury vinyl floors are the two best alternatives for households with dogs. These flooring types are quite durable, resistant to scratches and stains, and will feel comfortable for your pets. Although concrete and tile are also highly durable options, they can be too hard and uncomfortable for dogs and feel cold during winter.

    Laminate and vinyl are very straightforward to clean and maintain, plus come in a wide variety of designs, some of which look similar to more expensive hardwood flooring types.


    What’s the best laminate flooring for dogs?

    Laminate floors should tick several features on your list before they’re suitable for your home if you have dogs. The first thing you should look for is resistance to scratching. We all know that dogs can cause damage to floors with their nails, especially if they’re not trimmed.
     
    The laminate you choose should be highly resistant to scratching but also resistant to water. When dogs walk into your home, they can bring water on their paws and occasionally even cause an unfortunate mess. Since laminate floors tend to be slippery, you should choose one that has a textured surface


    Is laminate flooring OK for dogs?

    Yes, laminate flooring is an excellent option for households with dogs. Although not all laminate floors are the same, if you choose the suitable alternative you can have durable, long-lasting, scratch-free floors that will look amazing and be comfortable for your dogs.

    Laminate is an excellent choice because it comes in a wide variety of designs, so you can easily find one that will best fit the rest of the interior. Also, let’s not forget that this flooring type is very easy to clean and maintain.


    What type of laminate flooring is best for dogs?

    The laminate type you’ll choose for your home should be scratch-resistant, water-resistant, have good sound absorption and traction. When it comes to scratch resistance, it’s recommended that you opt for an AC rating of A3, A4, or A5. High water resistance is another essential feature. 

    Sound absorption is essential for many owners since dogs walking on laminate can often produce a loud sound. In addition, the flooring should have an IIC of 60 or more and a quality underlayment. Finally, look for laminate floors with a textured surface to prevent your dogs from slipping while walking.


    How do you protect laminate floors from dog scratches?

    One of the best ways to ensure that your floors don’t suffer from dog scratches is to pick a scratch-resistant flooring type with a high AC. You can also regularly trim your pet’s nails.

    Finally, decorate your room with area rugs and carpets. Decorative rugs are a great way to protect parts of your floor, especially if you train your dog to lay on them and put their paws on the rugs instead of the floors.

    Conclusion

    Laminate has both pros and cons for families with dogs.  Many brands offer the kind of scratch-resistant, moisture resistant and sound absorbing features that will work well for the particular wear and tear that a dog-owning home will encounter.

    Laminate can be dangerous for some dogs, however – especially older dogs who have more trouble getting up from a laying down position.  If you want to take advantage of the good things that laminate can offer, we recommend that you seriously consider the additional use of throw rugs and runners in your pet’s most frequented areas, or the purchase of some specifically textured laminate that will allow your dog to get a better grip.

    About Fortino Rosas

    Chief Floor Critic, 32 years of experience in flooring installation and sales

    Fortino Rosas is an independent flooring contractor with 32 years of experience in residential and commercial flooring installation and sales. He joined the Floor Critics team to share his expertise with our readers. Fortino has acquired vast knowledge and skills in the areas of product selection, space planning, and installation. He has installed flooring in residential, government, and commercial office projects in the Midwest. Visit Website.

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    10 thoughts on “Best Laminate Flooring for Dogs”

    1. I am considering installing waterproof, scratch resist., vinyl plank flooring but my biggest concern is what it will do to my homes resale value.

        1. Dannielle bigham

          I like trafic master but want water proof by the door can I interlock to different ones say lifeproof with traffic mater

    2. Victoria Granados

      Trafficmaster scrapped Allentown Hickory. Have it my living room, dining room and hallways. Now I need more for my family room and breakfast area. But they don’t sell it anymore at home depot, so where can i get it more?

    3. I found some Pergo flooring that I love. I have a cat, but from previous experience I know that aging pets have accidents and can also throw up a lot. If it happens when I am at work it could be 10 hours before the spot is cleaned. Will Pergo hold up? I’ve looked at reviews, some people love it and others claim it bubbles. I am really confused but there is no way I can afford the hardwood that I loved in our childhood home. The Pergo looks the closest to wood of those I have seen. Has a nice grain look and the perfect color.

      1. My experience with Pergo and my pet was not good. Dog vomited on Pergo that was only about 1 week old. It sat on surface for about an hour, and the acid in the vomit ruined the flooring in that area. This Pergo had the picture of the Great Dane on the packaging.

    4. Do you have any experience with NuCore vinyl planks by Floor and Decor? Also, AquaGuard water proof laminate??

      Thanks,
      Gail

      1. The problem with vinyl planks is that they are “virgin” vinyl. Not environmentally friendly and they don’t biodegrade. They might say “recyclable,”but good luck finding anyone to take them.

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