Wide Plank Flooring for Pet Lovers – Styles & Tips

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Depending on who you talk to today, you will get mixed responses regarding the age-old question “Can I have wide plank floors with my pets?”.

Most of this time the response to this question is based on experience not always fact.  It is true that there are flooring styles that are not suitable for homes with pets (or pet owners need to alter their expectation to ensure satisfaction).   It is also true that there are hundreds of different types of floors, finishes, and manufacturers, creating so many types of hard surface flooring today.  Naturally, flooring styles like stone and tile are good for pets in the sense that they resist scratches and stains, but they are generally uncomfortable as flooring in the common areas of the home and are best used in places like laundry rooms and entryways.  This leaves plenty of room for the rest of the home to find a more suitable flooring style that looks good and feels good under feet, enter wide plank flooring.

There are three types of hard surface flooring that are great for homes with pets. Hardwood flooring is probably the most popular and most sought after floor covering.   Homeowners love that you can create any look with a hardwood floor.  The most popular species are Oak flooring, Maple flooring, and Walnut flooring.  Despite the term “hardwood” flooring, these floors can still be prone to scratches. This can occur from dog nails, high heels or even just day to day traffic.

The second type of flooring that is popular with pet lovers is wide plank laminate flooring.  Advances in manufacturing have helped to create a stable, beautiful and realistic flooring style that rivals hardwood in durability.  Laminate flooring is created by printing a high-quality digital image of a particular style of flooring onto planks and attaching it to a substrate to create what is referred to as a floating floor and/or an engineered floor.

Long Island Oak Light

The third type of flooring that is growing in popularity is wide plank cork flooring.  Although cork has been known as a sound deadening subfloor system, it is now being used more and more as the finished flooring.  It is soft and comfortable – and will probably be a quick favorite of your furbaby because of this.  One thing to consider with cork flooring is that it can be more prone to stains if the right finish treatment is not used on the flooring during manufacturing.  You want to make sure the finish that IS used is scratch and stain resistant.

No matter what type of flooring you choose – hardwood, laminate or cork, you want to know how it is made.  This will have the biggest impact the longevity, stability and perfomance of the flooring.   These common questions can help you make an apples to apples comparison.

  • Is it stain resistant?
  • Is it scratch resistant?
  • Is there a touch kit available?
  • How can I replace a damaged board?

The following is a cross-section of a Torlys floating floor, you can see the various components that go into a floor from the durable finish, the aesthetics of the top layer, and the unique design of the core and underlayment. They all play a vital role in the flooring performance.   Be sure to inquire into the design and construction of any floor you are considering to make sure it meets the same standards.

Despite the widespread popularity of wide plank flooring (pun intended), there are some concerns mumbled throughout the industry about its suitability with pets.  The biggest concerns being the prevalence of scratches that can occur with the flooring, pet stains and spills, and how to maintain and repair flooring in the event of either.  Generally speaking, scratches tend to be more in the finish than the flooring, and stains are preventable if they are cleaned up immediately.  When we consider this logic, the issue really becomes how to repair the flooring IF something like that occurs.

As you consider wide plank flooring for your home the ease of repair and maintenance should be paramount.  There is nothing more frustrating than investing in a new floor only to discover that it needs to be replaced if damage occurs due to the inability to touch up the finish, the ease with which it will stain or the lack of a convenient flooring replacement process.

Equally important to this, is the impact of the flooring on the indoor air health quality.  You may think that all flooring is equal in this regard but that is not quite true.  Every wide plank flooring manufacturer uses different glues, stains, and finishes during the manufacturing process.  Each of these steps can add unhealthy VOC’s levels, formaldehyde and other additives that impact the health of your pet but also your home.   To mitigate this risk you want to look for flooring that is CARB2 compliant. CARB2 is an indoor and environmental health standard established by the state of California, it is the most stringent in the world.

When considering flooring from smartfloorstore.com we like to bring special attention to the Torlys Easy Plank Replacer, you can literally pop a board out, if it is damaged and replace just that one board.  It is revolutionary and exclusive to Torlys floors.  It can be a big time and money saver for homeowners with pets.  Watch the video below to learn more.

If you love your pets and desire the beauty of a wide plank floor, don’t be concerned.  Furbabies and wide plank floors are a common companion and there are styles available to make your home beautiful for years to come.

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