What is the Best Flooring for Pets & Kids?
First of all, there are no hard and fast rules — there is no unspoken ban on installing carpet with kids and/or pets in the home. Thousands of pet owners and kid-parents have done it and are happy with their choices. A lot depends on your pet, your kids’ ages, and your cleaning habits and preferences.
If you have well-behaved, mature pets, and you own a good, powerful vacuum that you’re happy to use each week, then it’s quite possible to mix pets with carpet. If your children are old enough to trust that they won’t track mud in or spill their red Kool-Aid drinks, then, sure, carpet is a viable option.
Conversely, you know your pets and and kids better than anyone. If you have two large dogs who love nothing more than getting covered in mud every time they go for a walk – or if you have younger children bound to run in and out often – then, you’re likely signing up for a lot of frustration and stain-removal duties if you install carpet throughout your home.
The second big question to consider is: What do you mean by the best flooring for pets and kids? Do you mean the best floors for them – or the best floors for you?
Below, we’ve ranked flooring by both criteria. The top result from industry surveys and customer research is vinyl flooring – it’s come a long way, baby! Here are the top types of flooring solutions for families with kids and/or pets, from HomeFlooringPros.com:
Pros & Cons: Pet-Friendly and Kid-Friendly Flooring Options
- Luxury Vinyl Flooring – Durable, waterproof, easy to clean and relatively soft. The options for high-quality vinyl styles – planks that look like wood, tiles that look like stone – are incredible, and quality vinyl is more affordable than ever.
- Linoleum Flooring – Almost as good as vinyl and eco-friendly, but costs more.
- Cork Flooring – Hypoallergenic and less rigid than wood, but cork flooring can be damaged by dogs’ toenails.
- Bamboo Flooring – Quality bamboo flooring is tough, but not so comfortable for kids or pets. If you plan to use area rugs, bamboo is a great solution, as it’s also very eco-friendly and lasts longer than most flooring types.
- Tile & Stone Flooring – Easy to keep clean and in new condition, but it’s hard and cold for pets, kids and parents alike.
- Laminate Flooring – Durable but slippery for kids and loud for pet claws.
- Hardwood Flooring – Softer woods are prone to scratches; it’s a hard surface but easily cleaned; pet urine can ruin the finish in under an hour if unnoticed.
- Carpeting – Pets and kids love it, but you won’t enjoy the cleaning or stain removal when kids or dogs have those inevitable accidents and spills.