According to the Pet Food Manufacturers’ Association, there are around 8 million dogs living in homes throughout the UK. Coupled with that, many of us are busy making babies too, judging by the 691, 739 babies that were born in England alone last year.
Because of this, it can be tricky when it comes to choosing flooring for your home. Not only will you want it to look nice, you’ll also want it to be practical. Nobody wants a slippery surface where children and claws are concerned!
Although there is a range of flooring options and materials to pick from, some will be a lot better than others. It may be well loved, but the carpet is not always the best choice…
So what else can you pick? Well, that depends on what other requirements you have but your best bets are vinyl, rubber, bamboo or lino.
Flooring options and materials
Vinyl looks polished and is scratch and stain resistant. Whether it’s baby food, water or wine, all you’ll need is warm water to wipe off the mess. It’s ideal for both wet and dry areas like the living room and bathroom floor and there’s no set template to be followed.
You can choose tiles, planks or sheets in a colour and pattern of your choice to make rooms look similar or different to each other. Many companies offer stone and wooden effects like oak, so you can get the rustic, wooden look minus the warping problem that is specific to wood if you wish!
Best of all, it’s very quiet to walk on so your dog’s roaming and any pacing the floor on the night feeds won’t disturb your family.The downside is that unlike wood, it can’t be refinished and it’s prone to fading after frequent exposure to sunlight.
Rubber’s big selling point is that it’s humidity proof and shock absorbent. If a family member falls, the risk of injury is lower. It’s also quiet to walk on, even quieter than vinyl. The only downside to rubber is that it’s very slippery when wet, so spillages will need to be cleaned quickly. Most people think of rubber in its lego-like form and are put off –
But, it’s worth remembering that it does come without the studs too!
Although rubber may seem like a cheap option, in reality it’s actually quite expensive. There is cheaper rubber available from just over £1 per square foot but you’ll be making sacrifices on the quality. More expensive options will match the price of vinyl flooring at around £7-£9 per square foot, but they will be a lot thicker.
Bamboo is very durable and grips well. Thanks to this, it’s perfect for pet friendly homes. Water doesn’t faze it either so it’s suitable for bathrooms and other wet areas where wood is normally absent. The good news is that it’s stain resistant and although it can scratch, this only adds to the natural look.
That said, don’t despair if you’re not too keen on a few scratches underneath your feet. There’s always the option of refinishing it with a hard urethane finish to protect it against any scuffs.
Most people are swayed by bamboo’s renewable and sustainable qualities. It matures in three years and is actually reasonably priced. In general, you’ll find it cheaper than traditional hardwood but dearer than laminate. If you’re keen on investing in bamboo, it’s worth researching the range that’s available as some are more sustainable than others. It all depends on whether each type contains formaldehyde or a more natural adhesive.
Last but not least, lino is brilliant for protecting against fire hazards. It’s also perfect for protecting against illness thanks to its hypoallergenic qualities. No mould or bacteria are able to grow on its surface.
For even more protection, avoid a smooth finish as this may make it slippery to walk on. There’s no point having quiet-to-walk-on flooring if you’ll disturb the peace when you hit the floor!