What Is The Best Type Of Wood Flooring For Dogs

While pets are beloved members of the family, they can cause some floor damage through accidents and scratches. The question “What are the best hardwood floors for dogs, cats, and other pets? ” is a common one among pet owners who are choosing floors for a new home or installing new floors in an existing one.

Of course, a hardwood floor is preferable than carpet for pet-friendly homes. A hardwood floor makes it simple to remove all the allergens that can accumulate in a carpet, such as dust, mold, and animal fur. Additionally, cleaning up occasional spills on a hardwood floor is simple, in contrast to attempting to remove the stain and odour after a spill on carpet.

The best hardwood floors for huge dogs are the ones that are suitable for both dogs and cats.

Small dogs and cats aren’t hefty enough to cause much harm.

Our suggested flooring options for those with pets include:

Pick a tougher surface… By choosing a hard wood floor like Hickory, Hard Maple, or White Oak instead of a softer one like Pine, Cherry, or Black Walnut, you can prevent damage to your floor.

or select a grain that is more robust. Scratches can be more easily concealed on hardwoods with striking grain patterns. Red Oak and Hickory have pronounced grain patterns that can successfully conceal minor flaws.

Select a finish that resists scratches. The finish layer will be the area that sustains the majority of damage from a pet, unless you have a dog that is actively trying to rip through your floor. Certain finishes are more resistant to scratches than others. For example, a UV urethane with an additive like aluminum oxide produces a surface that is remarkably scratch-resistant, making it one of the best finishes for hardwood floors with dogs. A balance must be struck, though, as too much aluminum oxide can give the impression that the floor is made of plastic.

Think about prefinished flooring Prefinished flooring, or flooring that has been sanded, stained, and sealed before being transported to a construction site, enables the use of far tougher and more protective finishes than are possible when flooring is finished on-site.

Low sheen it up A floor with a matte or lower sheen finish will typically conceal scratches better because a blemish or other flaw won’t contrast as sharply with the sheen level of the floor.

Keep the hues subtle. Since the marks don’t contrast as sharply with the color of the floor, surfaces completed in lighter colors tend to reveal scratches less. The best hardwood flooring for dogs and cats are lighter colors because they conceal pet hair better whereas dark colors make scratches and hair from shedding pets much more evident.

What type of flooring is ideal for a home with dogs?

For the durability and quality of your floors, you should pick a material that can endure scuffs, stains, and accidents over time. The top flooring solutions for pet owners are highlighted in the list below.


The classic option of tile has frequently been chosen by pet owners. Tile is less susceptible to moisture than luxury vinyl and can survive spills and wet-mop clean-ups unlike laminate. Modern porcelain tiles have high definition images that give them a very realistic appearance of natural stones and even hardwood floors, thanks to advancements in flooring technology.

The texture of tile provides plenty of traction for pets when paired with grout. The cold, hard feel of tile, which may be less comfortable for your pets than other flooring options, is one potential drawback. There are two widely used kinds of tiles:

  • Porcelain: Porcelain tile is a wonderful option for high-traffic areas like kitchens since it is a little more resilient and water-resistant than ceramic.
  • Ceramic: Ceramic tile can accommodate more complex or striking designs, and some variants have rough surfaces that give the tile a more three-dimensional appearance.
  • Natural stone: Natural stone has a special beauty that cannot be duplicated, such as marble, granite, or travertine. It can be pricey, but it’s a terrific way to bring the beauty of nature into your house.

The timeless design of tile can increase the value of your property in addition to being one of the most resilient and long-lasting floor materials available. Despite the fact that tile might be pricey, the majority of varieties have a lifespan of between 10 and 20 years, and there are many affordable alternatives.

Luxury Vinyl

Vinyl flooring is a great option for dog owners since it is reliable, affordable, and waterproof. Authentic hardwood flooring and other natural materials like stone or tile can be imitated with the help of modern vinyl flooring solutions, which also have the advantage of being more durable and scratch-resistant. The two primary varieties of vinyl flooring are:

  • Luxury vinyl planks are planks of vinyl flooring that resemble classic hardwood floors and are softer underfoot than vinyl tile.
  • Luxury vinyl tile is a type of vinyl flooring that resembles the appearance of conventional tile.

Luxury vinyl is one of the greatest options for pet owners who want spotless-looking flooring that can survive the wear and strain of pets because of its affordability and durability. There are various designs and finishes that can suit a broad variety of styles, in addition to being simple to clean and maintain.


Laminate is a fantastic choice for active pets because of its reputation for toughness and resistance to scratches. Laminate looks similar to vinyl, but because of its surface roughness and intricacy, it often more accurately resembles the look of hand-scraped or distressed hardwood. Smoother laminate surfaces could provide your dog’s paws less grip and typically offer less insulation than other floor options.

Although it is less waterproof than other types of flooring, it is still just as simple to clean and typically less expensive. All the things dogs love to test our floors with, including scratches, wear, and strain, are not an issue for this durable material.

Engineered Hardwood

Engineered hardwood flooring is a reasonable substitute for individuals who don’t want to give up the appearance of real hardwood floors. This material imitates the appearance of real wood floors and often lasts longer thanks to the thin layer of natural hardwood on top. While rapidly cleaned engineered hardwood may tolerate surface wetness, it is not as water-resistant as materials made of plastic, such as vinyl, and too much moisture can lead to long-term damage.

Engineered hardwood is available in a wide range of grades, patterns, colors, and finishes to complement practically any design. There are protective finishing options that might make this a practical choice for pet owners even though it isn’t as moisture- or scratch-resistant as other flooring kinds.


If you’re seeking for pet-friendly flooring with the appearance and feel of real hardwood, bamboo is a desirable alternative. It is renowned for its exceptional stain resistance, durability, and ease of upkeep. Bamboo is available as both a solid and an engineered product, and it can be stained and treated in a variety of ways.

One of the toughest flooring options is bamboo, which can withstand significant harm. Although bamboo can be susceptible to dampness, with the right maintenance and bamboo’s ease of upkeep, lasting stains are improbable.


The majority of the requirements for pet-friendly flooring are met by the distinctive, environmentally friendly cork flooring. Cork flooring is inherently hypoallergenic, antimicrobial, and mold and mildew resistant. It can withstand moderate amounts of wetness, but most of the time, a quick cleansing is necessary to avoid lasting damage.

Cork offers for a cozy flooring option for animals with excellent traction because of its inherent softness and cushion. However, this also makes it more prone to dents or punctures from heavy furniture or your dog’s nails. It effectively absorbs sound, so your dog’s running around can make less noise as a result.

What type of flooring is the most resilient for dogs?

Tile is one of the most reliable, classic, and well-liked alternatives. Tile provides practically limitless alternatives because it is available in so many different styles, materials, and finishes. Ceramic and porcelain tiles are two of the most common and ideal types of flooring for pets since, in contrast to genuine stone tile, they are sealed and glazed for added protection.

We can assure you that once tile is set properly, it is quite difficult to harm or taint the tile itself. However, if you have pets, you might want to think about grout that is stain-resistant or that has additional sealing. Saving future cleaning and stains from your animal pets is worth the cost.

Which is better for dogs, hardwood or engineered hardwood?

It’s crucial to understand why engineered hardwood flooring is the best option before we go into all the specifics to take into account for your hardwood floors. There is a reason why hardwood floors are a popular choice. They increase any home’s market value by enhancing its long-lasting beauty. They can withstand the test of time due to their strength and endurance. If you have a pet, hardwood floors make it simpler to clean up any messes or fur. They also don’t retain allergens like dust, dander, and other particles like carpet does. Engineered hardwood flooring offers better moisture resistance than solid hardwood, which doesn’t stand up as well to spills or other water damage. This means that in the case of spills, leaks, or other water damage, it is less prone to deform or lose its shape. Overall, how scratch-resistant your flooring is should be your main concern when choosing hardwood flooring if you have pets. The subsequent considerations become relevant in this situation.

Canine claws damage engineered wood floors?

We advise installing engineered hardwood floors in your home if you have a dog or a cat. Three to nine layers of various wood veneers are used to create engineered wood flooring. Engineered floors are substantially more stable than solid floors because the grain of each layer runs in a distinct direction. While the top layer of engineered flooring is always made of high-quality wood, the sublayers might be either the same species or other species.

Because of their strength, engineered floors are better able to tolerate scratches from your pet’s nails. We advise having a hard finish put to the hardwood to make your floors even more scratch-resistant.

Which type of wood flooring is the toughest for dogs?

The greatest type of flooring for a house with dogs isn’t even wood. Choose from any substitute, including stone, tile, vinyl, and laminate. Any material could be preferable to wood in a home with a dog.

But remember this if you still desire wood. Softwoods like pine or fir are not a good choice for dog-friendly homes. No amount of surface preparation provided on-site will protect against dog claws. Instead, choose species that are extremely hard as determined by the industry-standard Janka hardness scale. Additionally, search for pre-finished wood floors that are stained and sealed in the factory with numerous coats of an alligator skin-tough urethane finish that contains aluminum oxide. Below, a few options are examined.

Brazilian Walnut or Ipe

Domestic species are frequently the best option if you want the hardest timber. Brazilian hardwood flooring, however, is consistently tough and dense. Ipe, often known as Brazilian walnut, is so durable that it is even used for decking outside. The best time to buy in Brazil is between May and August when it’s dry, as prices might increase by up to 25% during the wet season.

Hard Maple

Hard maple is a good option if you’re seeking for domestic flooring. Hard maple will hold up well to pet activity because it has been used for many years as a surface for basketball courts. A Janka rating of 1,450 or above is achieved by hard maple (anything over 1,000 is considered excellent for flooring). Hard maple should not be confused with regular maple. It is a particular variety sometimes known as rock maple or sugar maple.

The American Hardwood Export Council indicates that although hard maple is grown abroad, it is mostly grown in more northern areas.

Hard maple has outstanding hardness ratings, but if the dog is hefty or overly active, it can gouge.


A grass, not a wood, bamboo is. However, bamboo is frequently categorized as wood in the flooring industry and can pass the Janka hardness test. Bamboo flooring is resilient, but the manufacturing process is the key to this. Only because it has been treated with hard resins can grass serve as a “hardwood floor.”

For instance, the Fossilized Strand brand from California has a staggering Janka rating of 5,000+. For the majority of strand-woven bamboo flooring, the Janka rating ranges from 3,000 to 4,000, which is also commendable.


Consider cork if you want a unique and supple wood floor. The fabric has a lot of dog-friendly qualities. Because it is non-slip, your dog won’t need to move about by using its claws. Furthermore, it is resistant to harsh impacts. Additionally, it can be frequently refinished and even fixed on the spot if your dog’s claws rip the fabric.

Solid Wood Beats Engineered Wood For Dogs

Engineered wood flooring, which consists of laminated wood between layers with a veneer of actual hardwood on top, is a fantastic product. It can only withstand a certain number of gentle sandings, which is the only drawback. Pet scratch marks can be removed with one vigorous sanding. The structural timber underneath could then potentially be exposed during the successive sandings.

Which surfaces are safe for dogs to walk on?

The best dog carpeting is aesthetically pleasing and durable, designed to resist the daily damage that our furry friends can cause. Consider the size, upkeep requirements, and other characteristics like slip, scratch, and water resistance when selecting dog-friendly flooring.


Consider the rooms you are redecorating, their principal functions, and their sizes as you look for flooring. You could want to select various flooring materials for various areas, such as vinyl for the living room and tiles for the bathroom. If you intend to hire an installation for your project, they will handle the majority of the labor-intensive tasks. For DIY installations, be sure to correctly measure each area and get a few extra supplies in case there are any installation snags.

The expense of upgrading your flooring should be taken into account, as well as how much flooring you will require. When comparing prices per square foot, one kind can appear affordable, but when installing flooring for a full room or home, the costs can mount up rapidly.

Maintenance and Cleaning

Having a dog will inevitably result in messes. Your floor will take the brunt of the damage, whether it comes in the form of muddy paw prints or bathroom oopsie. Simple upkeep and cleaning are major priorities for dog owners. Easy-to-clean flooring not only makes cleanup simpler, but is also less prone to stains and odor absorption.

Vinyl, laminate, and other hard, non-porous flooring options are among the simplest to keep clean. Their surface won’t attract fur, and other messes are simple to remove with a mop.

Hardwood flooring and carpeting demand additional upkeep. Carpets require meticulous cleaning (a good vacuum comes in handy, especially with shedding dogs). Look for a stain-resistant choice if there are liquid messes because they can be more difficult to clean. It takes a lot of work to maintain hardwood floors; they need to be cleaned, polished, and eventually refinished.

Anti-slip Feature

The significance of an anti-slip coating can be understood if you’ve ever watched a dog slide on a wet floor. Senior dogs could struggle with slippery surfaces, although pups might not mind the rough and tumble of slippery flooring. Consider flooring with an anti-slip coating to keep your dog secure and content.

Before you install laminate flooring, it’s crucial to keep in mind that this option has a tendency to be slippery. Consider textured laminate flooring for improved traction. To make laminate less slippery, you may also add rugs and runners. Most dogs may safely walk on tile, vinyl, hardwood, and carpet since they pose less of a slipping hazard.

Scratch Resistance

For dog owners, scratch resistance is a top issue in flooring. Even the cleanest feet have nails that can damage delicate flooring, particularly if you have a boisterous dog.

Because hardwood flooring is often harmed by dogs’ claws, the majority of dog owners avoid it. If you insist on hardwood, think about hard wood or engineered hardwood planks, which often last longer.

The scratch-resistant materials laminate, vinyl, tile, and carpet can withstand the clicking of claws. Additionally, laminate and vinyl may be designed to look like hardwood, allowing you to benefit from the appealing appearance without worrying about your flooring getting harmed.

When it comes to dogs, tile and carpet are naturally rather scratch resistant. If sharp claws are involved, carpets might display some damage, but gouges won’t be visible like they would be on sensitive hardwood floors.

Water Resistance

When it comes to flooring in pet households, water resistance is still another important consideration. Accidents can occur no matter how well-trained your dog is. Not to mention that your dog occasionally knocks the water bowl over and brings water, snow, and mud into the house.

Because of their great water resistance and ability to withstand standing water, tile and vinyl flooring are frequently used in bathrooms and kitchens. Although laminate is intended to be water resistant, if water gets behind its seams, it may become ruined. It is therefore best to keep standing water off of laminate floors.

To prevent damage like warping or molding, keep carpet and hardwood as dry as you can. You should take precautions to prevent standing liquids if you have certain flooring types and dogs.