The Best Flooring for Dogs of 2022

Keep your furry friends happy and your floors looking spick-and-span with the best flooring for dogs.

By Jasmine Harding | Updated Sep 19, 2022 2:58 PM

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Best Flooring for Dogs Options

Photo: depositphotos.com

The best flooring for dogs is made to withstand daily life with our four-legged friends. From muddy paw prints and bathroom accidents to dents and scratches, your precious pooch can give your floors quite a beating. Suitable flooring for pets holds up against scratches, dents, and grime to look neat and attractive for longer periods of time.

Read on for the top features to look for in the best flooring for dogs, and explore our top picks for durable, pet-friendly flooring. The flooring below was selected based on an in-depth review of the market and thorough product vetting.

  1. BEST OVERALL: Lifeproof Vinyl Plank Flooring
  2. BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Home Decorators Collection Laminate Flooring
  3. BEST LAMINATE: Pergo Outlast+ Laminate
  4. BEST VINYL: Home Decorators Collection Vinyl Plank Flooring
  5. BEST CARPET: Mohawk SmartStrand Forever Clean
Best Flooring for Dogs Options

Photo: depositphotos.com

Types of Flooring for Dogs

When it comes to the best flooring for dogs, there are plenty of types to choose from, so you can find a pick that is tough as well as attractive. Certain flooring types hold up much better to common concerns of dog owners, such as moisture, scratches, and dirt.

Tile

Tile is one of the more durable materials against the scratches and dents that come from little nails. Since it’s so smooth, it’s also incredibly easy to clean in the event of muddy paw prints or puppy accidents. Tiled floors are super versatile, with a huge variety of tile types, textures, and colors available.  Keep in mind that porcelain tile is more durable and less porous than ceramic tile, making it a better choice for households with dogs. Tile isn’t only popular for pet owners; it’s also generally one of the best flooring types for kitchens and bathrooms. A few downsides of tile floors is they can feel very cold underfoot in the winter. Grout lines can also easily become dirty and stained over the years.

Laminate

Laminate floors are attractive and easy to clean. They offer the elegant look of hardwood floors but are generally cheaper and require less maintenance. While laminate flooring can be damaged by standing water, water-resistant options are less sensitive to moisture than some other materials, so there’s no need to panic if Fido has an accident or knocks over the water bowl. Laminate flooring is also pretty scratch and scuff resistant, but to make sure it can withstand dogs, look for flooring with an abrasion class (AC) rating of 3 or higher. One downside of laminate is that it can be very slippery, which can be a hazard to some dogs.

Vinyl

Vinyl is popular for its beautiful look, easy cleanup, and resistance to water, stains, and scratches—all traits to look for in good flooring for dogs. Luxury vinyl planks can look very similar to hardwood or other popular flooring types, but often with a lower cost and less maintenance. One downside of vinyl is that it can dull over time. To put off dulling, look for a thicker wear layer (the protective top surface of the vinyl flooring), which will keep the vinyl’s sheen and protective properties for longer. The wear layer is measured in mils and can range from 6 to upward of 20 mils. The higher the mils, the more durable, although anything within this range is considered suitable for residential use.

Turf 

Looking to set up a small faux grassy patch for your dog? If you want to add the look of grass without the maintenance of a lawn, turf is an excellent option. It is easier to maintain while giving dogs the satisfaction of a grassy yard.

Other Materials

Hardwood floors are timeless and beautiful, but many types don’t hold up well to the daily wear and tear of dog ownership. Hardwood floors need frequent maintenance and can be prone to moisture damage, dents, and scratches. If you’re set on hardwood floors (they are pretty irresistible, after all), there are ways to make it work. Choose the hardest wood option possible or opt for a rustic, textured appearance, which can hide scratches. Also consider damage-resistant finishes to better withstand wear and tear.

Carpets aren’t the top choice when it comes to households with pets, but many dog owners can’t resist its cozy plushness. You can definitely make the right carpet work, even in a home with canines. Carpet is comfortable underfoot and is nonslip, making it the perfect surface for dogs to snooze and play. If you choose carpet, opt for a lower pile and look for options that are durable, stain resistant, and easy to clean.

What to Consider When Buying the Best Flooring for Dogs

The best flooring for dogs is attractive and hardy, made to withstand the daily wear and tear that our furry companions can inflict. When choosing dog-friendly flooring, consider the size, maintenance requirements, and additional features like slip, scratch, and water resistance.

Size/Dimensions

When shopping for flooring, consider the rooms you are reflooring, their primary uses, and their sizes. You may wish to choose different flooring types for different rooms, such as tiles for a bathroom and vinyl for a living room. If you plan on hiring an installer for your project, they’ll take care of most of the hard work for you. For DIY installs, make sure to measure each room accurately and get a little more supplies than you need, just in case of any installation hiccups.

Upgrading your flooring is an expensive endeavor, so also consider the cost for the amount of flooring you need. One type might look inexpensive when looking at square footage costs, but those costs can quickly add up when you’re installing flooring for a whole room or the entire home.

Maintenance and Cleaning

Messes are inevitable when you have a dog. Whether it’s muddy paw prints or a bathroom oopsie, your floor will bear the brunt of the problem. For dog owners, simple maintenance and cleaning is a top priority. Not only will it make cleaning messes easier, but easy-to-clean flooring is also less likely to stain or absorb odors.

Hard and nonporous flooring types like tile, laminate, and vinyl are among the easiest to clean and maintain. Fur won’t stick to their surface, and they can be easily mopped to get rid of other messes.

Carpet and hardwood flooring require more maintenance. Carpets need diligent cleaning (a good vacuum comes in handy, especially with shedding dogs). They can be tougher to clean if there are liquid messes, so look for a stain-resistant option. Hardwood floors are among the most difficult to maintain, requiring cleaning, polishing, and eventual refinishing.

Anti-slip Feature

If you’ve ever seen a dog slide across a slippery floor, you can imagine the importance of an anti-slip finish. While puppies might not mind the rough and tumble of slick flooring, senior dogs may have some trouble with slippery surfaces. To keep your pooch safe and happy, consider flooring with an anti-slip finish.

Laminate flooring tends to be a slippery option, so it’s important to keep that in mind before you install. For better traction, consider choosing a textured laminate flooring. You can also add rugs and runners to make laminate less slippery. Tile, vinyl, hardwood, and carpet tend to be less of a slip concern and are suitable for most dogs.

Scratch Resistance

Scratch resistance is a major flooring concern for dog owners. Even the most well-manicured paws have claws that can scratch sensitive flooring, especially if you have a rambunctious dog.

Most dog owners forgo hardwood flooring because it can be easily damaged by dogs’ nails. If you’re set on hardwood, consider a hard wood variety or engineered hardwood planks, which tend to hold up better.

Laminate, vinyl, tile, and carpet have excellent scratch resistance to hold up to the click-clack of claws. Plus, laminate and vinyl can be made to look like hardwood, so you can take advantage of the attractive look without your floors getting scratched up.

Tile and carpet are naturally pretty scratch resistant when it comes to dogs. Carpets may show some damage if sharp claws are involved, but it won’t show gouges like sensitive hardwood floors will.

Water Resistance

Water resistance is another significant concern when it comes to flooring in pet households. No matter how well trained your pooch is, accidents can happen. Not to mention, your dog will track water, snow, and mud into the house and knock over the water bowl on occasion.

Tile and vinyl flooring is highly water resistant and can tolerate standing water (which is why it’s a common choice for bathrooms and kitchens). Laminate is designed to be water resistant but can become damaged if water seeps between its seams. Because of this, it’s best to avoid standing water on laminate flooring.

Keep carpet and hardwood as dry as possible to avoid any damage like molding or warping. If you have these flooring types with pets, take steps to avoid standing liquids.

Our Top Picks

The best flooring for pets is tough, easy to clean, and attractive. Read on for our top picks for pet-friendly flooring that combine beauty and durability to hold up to your furry friends.

Best Overall

Best Flooring for Dogs Option: Lifeproof Vinyl Plank Flooring
Photo: homedepot.com

As the name suggests, Lifeproof’s flooring is made to withstand everyday life, even in busy homes with dogs or children. This luxury vinyl plank flooring is easy to install: the click-lock installation can be done as a DIY project or by professional installers. It interlocks for a fully waterproof seal, and a pre-attached underlayment adds comfort and soundproofing.

Lifeproof’s luxury vinyl plank flooring comes in a wide shade range of realistic wood-like finishes. The top of each plank is embossed to look and feel like real hardwood, so you can get the wood look without the high price tag.

With excellent scratch and stain resistance, this flooring is suitable for homes with dogs. Lifeproof’s ScratchProtect permanent coating protects against everyday wear without the need for polishing or refinishing down the line. As an added bonus, an antimicrobial coating on the bottom and top of planks resists mold and mildew growth.

Product Specs

  • Material: Luxury vinyl
  • Dimensions: 8.7 inch by 47.6 inch by 7 millimeter-thick planks
  • Features: Waterproof, scratch resistant, mold and mildew resistant, stain resistant

Pros

  • Permanent ScratchProtect coating
  • Mold and mildew resistant
  • Several finish options

Cons

  • 6 mil wear layer (protective coating) is on the lower end

Get the Lifeproof vinyl flooring at The Home Depot.

Best Bang for the Buck

Best Flooring for Dogs Option: Home Decorators Collection Laminate Flooring
Photo: homedepot.com

Dog-friendly flooring doesn’t need to come with an outrageous price tag; vinyl and laminate are among the most affordable popular floor options, as well as the best flooring options for dogs. Home Decorators Collection Laminate Flooring is an economical choice that boasts a realistic wood finish. With a simple click-lock installation process, you can install the flooring yourself to save even more on costs.

These laminate planks are both scratch and water resistant to add durability and longevity, a must for homes with dogs. This flooring is rated AC4, which means it is suitable for heavy residential traffic and medium commercial traffic.

Product Specs

  • Material: Laminate
  • Dimensions: 7.48 inch by 50.67 inch by 8 millimeter-thick planks
  • Features: Water resistant, scratch resistant

Pros

  • Affordable price per square foot
  • Easy click-lock installation
  • Suitable for heavy traffic areas

Cons

  • Limited color options
  • Underlayment sold separately

Get the Home Decorators Collection laminate flooring at The Home Depot.

Best Laminate

Best Flooring for Dogs Option: Pergo Outlast+ Laminate
Photo: homedepot.com

Any dog owner knows that accidents happen, whether it’s a knocked-over water bowl or a bathroom training mishap. Pergo Outlast + Laminate is a waterproof laminate option that makes an excellent choice for dog owners. Pergo is so confident in their laminate that they recommend their flooring for kitchens, bathrooms, and other rooms where spills happen. When installed correctly, this laminate flooring will even hold up to steam mopping.

Rated AC4 for heavy-duty residential and medium commercial use, these durable laminate planks are scratch, dent, and stain resistant. With a realistic wood pattern, they’re an affordable way to add the wood floor look to a room without the hassle. Easy click-lock installation and a pre-attached underlayment make these planks easy to install.

Product Specs 

  • Material: Waterproof laminate
  • Dimensions: 5.23 inch by 47.24 inch by 10 millimeter-thick planks
  • Features: Waterproof, scratch and dent resistant, stain resistant, fade resistant

Pros

  • Waterproof
  • Holds up to heavy traffic
  • Easy click-lock installation

Cons

  • Smooth finish may be slippery for some dogs

Get the Pergo Outlast+ laminate flooring at The Home Depot or Pergo.

Best Vinyl

Best Flooring for Dogs Option: Home Decorators Collection Vinyl Plank Flooring
Photo: homedepot.com

Vinyl flooring is generally waterproof and comes in a range of attractive finishes, making it a top choice for dog owners. The Home Decorators Collection Vinyl Plank Flooring is a mid-price choice that is waterproof, scratch resistant, and easy to clean for pet-friendly flooring in any room. Best of all, with its no-glue drop-and-lock installation, this flooring is also easy to install.

An enhanced ceramic bead coating makes this flooring a durable option and helps it resist both scratches and stains. With a realistic wood-grain finish and luxurious embossing, this vinyl plank flooring offers the rich look and texture of hardwood flooring, without the extra maintenance. The larger size planks make for dramatic flooring that also holds up well to daily wear and tear.

Product Specs 

  • Material: Luxury vinyl
  • Dimensions: 7.5 inches by 47.6 inches by 4 millimeter-thick planks
  • Features: Waterproof, scratch resistant, stain resistant

Pros

  • Scratch- and stain-resistant ceramic bead surface coating
  • Embossed, realistic wood-grain finish
  • Various color options

Cons

  • Only suitable for indoor, temperature-controlled environments

Get the Home Decorators Collection vinyl plank flooring at The Home Depot.

Best Carpet

Best Flooring for Dogs Option: Mohawk SmartStrand Forever Clean
Photo: mohawkflooring.com

While carpet isn’t necessarily the best choice for dogs, the fact of the matter is, many homes with pets have carpets. Their irresistibly plush surface is a favorite for bedrooms and living rooms. A high-quality carpet like Mohawk SmartStrand Forever Clean is invitingly soft and is made to better withstand daily living with dogs.

This carpet is soft, durable—and most importantly—easy to clean. The Forever Clean line has permanent, built-in stain resistance that protects against spills and soil for cleaner carpeting. This carpet is constructed from twisted yarn with a 0.24-inch pile, but Mohawk sells various different SmartStrand Forever Clean styles in a huge variety of colors.

Product Specs 

  • Material: Twisted yarn
  • Dimensions: Not applicable
  • Features: Stain resistance

Pros

  • Silky soft
  • Permanent stain resistance
  • Comes in a wide variety of colors

Cons

  • Not resistant to liquids

Get the Mohawk SmartStrand carpet at Mohawk Flooring.

Our Verdict

Lifeproof Vinyl Plank Flooring is a suitable choice for most homes; it is scratch, mold, and mildew resistant and interlocks to create waterproof flooring. Those looking for an even more cost-friendly option may want to consider Home Decorators Collection Laminate Flooring, which is durable enough to handle heavy traffic but for a more economical cost.

How We Chose the Best Flooring for Dogs

New flooring is a big investment, and if you have a dog, you’ll want to make sure your flooring can handle life with pets. When choosing our top picks, we kept a few key features in mind. All the products we considered had to be easy to clean, durable, scratch resistant, and water resistant within reason.

We narrowed down our top choices through examining product specifications and consumer reviews to make sure the flooring holds up to everyday life with dogs. We chose from trusted brands and retailers with a track record of providing high-quality flooring products.

Flooring is a major design decision for your home, so we prioritized attractive flooring options.  For even more flexibility, we looked for products that have an array of colors or finishes to choose from so users can customize their ideal flooring.

The Advantages of Owning the Best Flooring for Dogs

Dogs make excellent companions and are beloved members of the family, but there’s no question that they can do a number on flooring. Whether it’s scratch marks, accidents, muddy paw prints, or piles of shedding fur, the best flooring options for dogs hold up to these concerns. A suitable flooring option will make you (and therefore your pooch) more relaxed about flooring mishaps.

High-quality flooring that is easy to clean as well as liquid, stain, and scratch resistant is a sound investment if you have a dog. It will look nicer for longer and give you peace of mind that a rambunctious playtime or bathroom mishap won’t ruin your floors. These hardy flooring options are a good investment in general; if you have kids or if you’re just prone to spills and messes yourself, they’ll also hold up well to whatever you throw at them.

Dog-friendly flooring has many of the qualities most people look for in flooring, so there is an almost endless array of styles, textures, and colors available, from stain-resistant carpets to realistic wood-grain vinyls. Plus, these durable flooring options are lower maintenance than traditional options like solid hardwood, while still looking attractive. In short, dog-friendly flooring types are excellent for pet households—or any household—for the following reasons:

  • Easy to clean
  • Durable
  • Stain and scratch resistant
  • Generally life resistant overall to look attractive for longer

FAQs

Installing new flooring is an investment, so you’ll want to find an option that both you and your dog will love. The right flooring for dogs can last for well over a decade, even with rambunctious pets. Read on for some frequently asked questions about choosing and maintaining your new flooring.

Q: Can dogs scratch vinyl plank flooring?

High-quality vinyl plank flooring is very durable and scratch resistant, so it should hold up well to the pitter-patter of paws.

Q: What type of flooring is most scratch resistant?

Very hard flooring like tile, stone, and concrete are the most scratch-resistant flooring types.

Q: Which is better for dogs: laminate or hardwood?

Laminate flooring tends to be cheaper, easier to maintain, and less damage-prone than hardwood flooring, making it a better option for many dog owners.

Q: How do I clean flooring for dogs?

It depends on the type of flooring and type of mess. Make sure to follow the manufacturer’s or flooring installer’s directions for cleaning. For everyday cleaning, a broom, vacuum, or mop can take care of small messes. Pet accidents may need some extra attention to prevent stains or odors.

Q: What types of flooring for dogs last the longest?

Very hard flooring types like tile and concrete have long lifespans and hold up well to the messes dogs can cause. Vinyl is also an excellent choice, with some premium products offering lifetime guarantees.