Pet Peeves in Home Design

Things to Remember When Designing a Pet-friendly Home

Designers and pet owners alike have unique dilemmas to solve when designing or remodeling a home that includes large or small furry critters, particularly when determining what’s underfoot—flooring!

Location, climate, durability, price point and aesthetics–the five keys to a mountain of flooring headaches, or a restful, relaxing pet-friendly home!

Location, Location, Location…

The treasure hunt for flooring designed especially for families with pets can be fraught with many question marks related to location. When scheduling an appointment with a home design professional, it’s good to be prepared in advance with answers that make sense both for your family and for the home in question.

Hands down, we all know Phoenix will be hot, hot, hot!  However, your winter hide-away in Flagstaff is another story.  Do you plan on adding radiant heat to floors to keep your toes warm on those long winter nights?  If so, remember that choice narrows the playing field of pet-friendly flooring options.

Sunbelt-residing pet owners might want to consider one of the newer flooring options, cork vi-plank.  This flooring combines the classic cork plank with a sophisticated luxury vinyl finish. The result is a pet-friendly flooring that is both beautiful and practical.  This flooring saves time and money, as it requires no extensive floor preparation, withstands wear and tear, resists scratching and scuffing, cleans easily and requires no waxing.

It’s also perfect for those who want to maintain an eco-friendly home as it provides excellent indoor air quality with little or no VOC’s, is non-allergenic and resists fungal growth.  Plus, it’s warm & quiet underfoot and comes in six available patterns. Wondering which luxurious finish will best accentuate your home—and will appeal to your beloved pet?  Staging Furniture’s design team can assist in determining which finish best coordinates with the distinctive lighting and design of your home.

A second pet-friendly alternative that is trending in home design is wood-look tile.  This option combines the warm look of wood with the practicality of tile—which is highly resistant to pet “accidents” as well as to scratching and clawing activities.  One of the advantages of this faux wood tile is that it is available in a larger variety of sizes than true hardwoods, which can open up a whole new world for your home design plan.

Just remember, if you are considering a DIY project with large-format tiles (those that are 15-18”), there are different floor deflection ratings (L720) with larger formats than what is typical (L360).

The OTHER location challenge…

If you’ve perused any of the many online chat boards related to pets and floors, you’ll soon realize that what works in one climate (or room), doesn’t fare well in another.  This is an entirely OTHER consideration related to location—the location of the room within the home itself.  In bathrooms, laundry rooms and kitchens where there is a greater likelihood of liquid spills, wood-look tile provides not only a pet-friendly, but also a practical alternative.

Where pet or other “dampness” is likely to be prevalent, most flooring experts consider porcelain tile with epoxy grout the “bulletproof” solution, especially for homeowners with more pets than people.  Five dogs?  No problem!  The non-absorbent, stain-free properties of this combination can’t be beat.  Just be certain the installation team is experienced enough to know how to avoid the headaches of using epoxy.

While experts agree tile is a viable option, pet owners who love the warm look of wood, but not the price or upkeep, swear by wood laminate flooring.  As one pet owner with this type of flooring noted, “by purchasing two extra boxes when it was installed, “we were able to pop out a board that showed signs of abuse and pop in a replacement board.  Try doing that with hardwoods!”

Just remember, the harder the surface, the more likely you’ll hear Fido’s antics when scurrying across the flooring.  Thus, you may notice more noise with laminates or tile than with other surfaces.  Additionally, one pet owner on an online chat board mentioned that senior dogs may experience difficulty with extra smooth surfaces…stating one of her larger, older dogs blew out a knee while slipping and sliding across the floor.

Related to aesthetics, as with other design considerations, the shade and pattern of wood laminate you select can make all the difference.  That’s where working with a professional designer can save you those if-I’d-only-known moments. Depending on room lighting, certain shades, surfaces and patterns reflect every uh-oh!

Flooring thickness, whether vinyl or wood, can be another headache-inducing culprit when it comes to visible pet scuffs, scratches and gouges.  You may save dollars upfront by selecting thinner flooring, but your need-to-replace-it-again costs over time may outweigh the initial savings.   If you and your pets plan on living in your home for several more years, think long-term over short-term when it comes to spending dollars with sense.

Design professionals at Staging Furniture are trained to take each aspect of your home’s design into consideration when selecting pet-friendly products.  Like you, we want to make certain all of your family members, whether walking on two legs or four, find your home warm, inviting and comfortable for many years to come.

Reference Links

Cork Vi-plank (Product Review by Thumbs Up!)

Cork Vi-plank installed photo gallery

Wood-Look Tile (Review in Houzz)