Despite thoughtful design and curated decor, some rooms don’t seem to be in harmony with the rest of the home. That’s because one thoughtful design element is missing: flooring. Flooring may seem like an all too easily overlooked component yet it is considered the home’s cornerstone.
Flooring adds ambience and a design element, but it also contributes to the durability, longevity, and safety in a home.
Now, add heavy paws or curious little feet into the mix. With that in mind, flooring can rack up scratches and scuffs rather quickly.
While area rugs and throws can act as an extra layer of design and protection for kids and pets alike, there are still some gaps left to fill. If homeowners are seeking additional safety and durability while adding to their overall value, then it’s time to consider changing up your current flooring options.
Are you considering new floors that are pet and child friendly? There’s much to consider when shopping for hardware for fluffy friends or growing kids. Safety is paramount, and homeowners will want to consider various flooring options for different areas of the house. Whether the room is highly trafficked by children, or an entertainment room that’s cat and dog-friendly, there are many options to explore. Besides safety, two major factors for pets and children are that flooring should stand the test of time and be easy to maintain.
In order to make sound and well-rounded decisions for pet and child-friendly floors, we considered a variety of elements to make the smartest options: durability, price point, maintenance, materials, and safety. Plus, you’ll want the flooring to be sturdy and tough while maintaining its chic look and style. With our tips and research, our guide highlights the strongest options that can withstand your child’s and pet’s activities.
Check out our buying guide below to discover the right flooring options that are literally pet and kid proof.
You will want to keep five critical options top of mind when shopping for resilient kid and pet-friendly flooring options:
- Scratch resistant
- Resistance to damage (ex: dirt or water)
- Non-slip traction
You’ll also want to lockdown three other key elements for the best floor for your home:
- Price point
- Maintenance and ease of cleaning
- Style and finishes
Landing on a budget for pricing is essential, whether you’re replacing an old floor in a large room or renovating a small playroom. And with budgeting, factor in installation when browsing cost-per-foot flooring. It can add up quickly! Maintenance is another factor, so be sure to ask a few key questions about upkeep. Is the flooring easy to replace if it becomes irreparably damaged? Is it easy to clean up dirt, spills, and water? If the answer is no, it might be best to move on. And, as always, trends and style preferences are huge considerations alongside budget, from finishes, paint colors, and patterns, there’s a bevy of nearly limitless options to explore.
Bamboo is a solidly popular option for dogs and kids alike. This sustainable flooring option is not wood; it comes from a bamboo plant. The texture is sturdy and resembles wood, so it’s easily mistaken. In addition to being tough, bamboo is also stain and scratch resistant. Those two factors alone are perfect for kids who love to play fetch indoors with pets.
Did you know? Bamboo is a natural antimicrobial substance, which means bamboo will filter out allergens and mold.
Considering more environmentally-friendly flooring options? Like bamboo, cork is also antimicrobial and sustainable. This material is also unbelievably warm, flexible, and sound-absorbing, making this floor option a strong contender for play areas and dens. The cushy texture is soft and warm to the touch, and for added coziness and safety, add a few area rugs. Furry friends and young children will love the additional warmth and texture.
Cypress adds character and charm, something many rustic and cozy-minded homeowners will love; it too is a wildly popular choice among many homeowners. With knots and lighter washes, cypress will brighten up any area while keeping the area neat and sparkling. The flooring is easy to maintain and clean, but it is a hard surface. With lively animals and playful children in mind, you will want to add a few soft and fluffy textures like shaggy rugs for optimal lounging and warmth.
Oak is the ultimate choice for classic taste. It’s also a superbly sturdy material, making it long-lasting and resistant against wear and tear. The brushed wood tones and hues are utterly timeless. Eclectic homeowners might want to paint the hardwood floor for a touch of playfulness and a pop of color. As with beloved pets and curious kids, oak is a very hard surface, which is great for durability. We recommend adding area rugs for added softness.
Not interested in wood, bamboo, or cork? Stone tile is a sleek, versatile, trendy flooring option that will never go out of style. Cleaning up water and other liquid spills on stone tile is a snap. This durable and hard surface is rather scratch resistant, making it another viable option as it will last for years to come. It’s important to note that this particular material doesn’t offer much warmth or softness. Similar to its harder counterparts like wood and cypress, it’s unyielding; we strongly recommend adding rugs to a space with stone tiles.
Budget-friendly homeowners who crave a long-lasting flooring option should look no further than vinyl. Vinyl flooring is a core layer of flexible plastic synthetic sheets or tiles, followed by an image layer that imitates a wood or stone look, and finished with a top wear layer for shine and protection. The pliable, easily maintained peel-and-stick flooring is durable yet easy to clean with standard mops and cloth. Plus, this material is water and spill resistant, making any messes disappear with a wipe of a towel. As a bonus, your frisky dog won’t easily scratch up the floor, nor will your child during an energetic playtime.
The downside? Vinyl is made of plastic, so if you’re looking for an eco-friendly option, this material can contain chemicals.
Stephanie Valente is a Content Director and Editor in Brooklyn, NY. She’s previously held writing and social media positions at Barkbox, Men’s Journal, and currently works at a full-service advertising agency. She’s a self-confessed home and design enthusiast. Stephanie is an award-winning poet and fiction writer. When she’s offline, you can find her taking a yoga class, running, hanging out with her rescue dog Pepper. Find her on stephanievalente.com.