Best dog and water resistant flooring?
29 Aug 2006 10:31:52 -0700
I'm looking for opinions on what kind of floor to install in our new
place. We have a dog and a fish tank, so I'm looking for options that
would stand up to dog claws, possible dog mistakes, and minor
(sometimes major) spilling of water from the fish tank.
What size of dog do you have, and how often do you walk it/have it groomed.
If it is a heavy(ish) dog (lab-sized or bigger by my guess) that is
consistently allowed to have longish nails, you will want to worry more
about the finish you put on the flooring. You will want a lot of coats of
something pretty resistant.
If you have a light dog or you ahve a dog whose claws are always cut/worn
down to not touch the flooring, you don't need to worry as much about
We (my wife and I) have a miniature schnauzer/shih-tzu blend that is about
12 lbs. We have wood floors throughout the house, and after almost two
years ahve seen very little effect on the wood floor. The people before us
(1 year) had an Olde English Sheepdog, and therewere no scratches from him
Ceramic tile. The bonus is that the dog will learn very quickly he can't
turn or stop very well on it when he's running...
There is some bamboo flooring that is supposedly very tough.
It looks like, and installs like, regular wood flooring.
Bamboo is cheaper and much easier to install than wood flooring. I
don't think I'd use it (or hardwood) in high traffic areas if I had
a large dog though. It will scratch, just like hardwood.
We've had real hardwood before (finished onsite), but the dog scratched
it up real good with his nails. We've had laminate before also,
I think wood is about the best flooring surface for both humans and
dogs. I have not found it to be particularly scratch-prone. What
scratches *do* happen can be easily buffed out with a little
Unless your dog has things like spinal problems or hip dysplasia.
We had wood floors in a hall and one room in our old house, and
after Dylan's back and hips started giving her problems, it
became painful for her to walk on the floors because she'd slip
and slide easily. We ended up putting down runners for her comfort.
As for the dog's nails, if they are clicking on the floor, they are too
long and ought to be trimmed. Keeping the dog's nails short will go a
long way toward keeping your floor scratch-free.
however, any water left standing for any significant amount of time
caused the seams to swell. Now I know in a perfect world I shouldn't
have to worry about standing water, however, I don't wanna have to deal
with replacing parts of the floor in case one of these days there is a
puddle of water that sits there for a day or two.
I'm currently looking at vinyl plank flooring. It's like vinyl tiles,
however, it's made to look like wood. One company that makes it is
flooring? I'm guessing it totally water proof, how about scratches
I have a friend with _several_ Dobermans who used to have a fully
carpeted house and did a lot of searching before deciding to go with
full ceramic tile.
It has turned out to be an excellent choice, as the very occasional
messes that they make are _easy_ to clean up.
There is a downside here if any of your dogs are aged or infirm (or are
likely to become such). One of my dogs has degenerative disk disease
and sometimes can't keep his footing well on the tile.
I have a fully ceramic tiled house and many aquariums.
It is imperative that you keep the floor free of water, drool, slobber, and
anything else even halfway liquid, or you will fall flat on your ass- hard.
And going barefoot in any of the above listed situation will guarantee you a
And yes, the old dogs object strenuously and you end up filling the house
with room sized rugs, which isn't half bad. I always considered them semi
If I had it to do over again I would get the roughest slate I could find.
I'm located in Ontario, Canada, which means it's cold for a good part
of the year, so tile in the whole house wouldn't be a good thing ...
plus I don't think my wife would like the look of a tiled living room
and bedrooms. Whatever we pick I think it's gonna have to look like
If you want it to look like wood, you should use actual wood.
Then put down about 9 coats of poly, and add mats of various
materials in high-traffic areas.
P.S. Anyone ever heard of waterproof laminate? Seems to exist in the
UK, but can't find anything in Canada.
I've heard this argument before about tile not being good in the winter
but I don't buy it.
My logic tells me that the tile would be the same temp. as what you've
set your thermostat to, just like the rest of the house.
Logic and perception collide.
You are correct, they will be the same temperature. The problem is that you
body is about 97 degrees and the floor is much less. Put your foot on
carpet and you feel no temperature change. Put your foot on tile and if
feels cold. Why?
On the carpet your foot is supported be a series of fiber and lots of air
spaces between them. Your senses do not notice the temperature difference as
there is little heat transfer. Put your foot on that smooth tile and you
have a lot more surface contact with the skin. Since heat always transfer
to the colder spots, the greater contact and material that acts like a
heatsink, makes your body feel cold.
How about some combination of products? Ceramic tile in parts of a room,
wood or carpet in the rest.
Take a look at Wilsonart.com They have some of the best around.
"Slick" tile comprises only a small fraction of the ceramic and
porcelain tiles now available. We found a huge selection of
tiles that have textures rough enough to overcome this problem,
even when wet.
That said, footing-wise for dogs and humans, carpeting is the
best choice. But it's not water-friendly.
Good ol' Murphy was diagnosed with osteosarcoma shortly after
I'd pulled up the carpets, not timely on my part.
Other than that, the playful bunches of dogs I get here deal
well with not-so-good footing - in fact, I'd consider that
they're careful while playing a boon.
As someone who has wiped out on carpet, I can testify that it can be
surprisingly slick and dangerous. I cannot think of one positive thing
to say about carpet.
Maybe a combo of tile and area rugs?
My all-time favorite flooring is wood, with area rugs for the dogs (or,
as I used to refer to them: wrestlemania mats).
Any other suggestions I should look at?
I cant believe no one has said vinyl or linoleum sheet goods. Minimal
seams, easy to clean and stand up well to all sorts of abuse.
Softer than tile, no grout joints (which are harder to clean). And not
I used to have several aquariums including a 55 gal and several 20
gals. Before I set them up, on the carpet, I took those inexpensive vinyl
runners and placed them under the stands and made sure they extended out
from the bottom of the stand a good 6-8 inches all around. The edges of the
vinyl runners stuck up a little bit but it was nothing a few well placed
staples didn't fix.
In effect I had a waterproof surface 6-8 inches around the aquarium
which was easily cleaned. I had quite large fish in the 55 gal and they
occasionally splashed so hard that they'd knock the lid up a little bit and
some water would run down the outside of the tank. Add to that my
occassional overslop while cleaning and/or filling the tank. I have had
water leak down the back of the tank in the past, down the stand into the
carpet and underneath the stand without leaving a visable puddle so I've
learned this little trick from experience. The runners also helped with
this because the water never had a chance to soak into the carpet. With the
runners underneath and around the stand, the carpet was well protected and
my dog could enjoy watching the fish from the comfort of a carpeted floor.
Even with wood, tile, or vinyl flooring, the runners can help protect the
If you go with carpet, all you have to worry about is the dog soiling
it once in a while which if you have him/her housetrained well shouldn't be
much of an issue.
If you go with hardwood, tile, or vinyl laminate you have to look at
upkeep, slipping and sliding around, and constant waxing and/or sealing but
it is much easier to clean little messes.
I have even seen new houses, while being built, the owners planned
where they wanted to put their aquariums, had tile laid there with a
generous border, and carpeted around the rest. Mind you, this is a spendy
way to do it and unless you plan on keeping the home for a long time, it
detracts from the resale value a little bit since prospective buyers might
not want areas of tile here and there mixed in with the carpeting.
Personally I prefer carpeting. It's easier to walk on, comfortatble
to sit or lay on while playing with the dog. and warmer in the winter.
But, it's your house so you get to decide your preferance. I just wanted
to add a couple of suggestions that I've used and seen used. Ultimately, I
suppose you will have to go with what you and your wife can live with
asthetically. Hope my suggestions help.