32
 676

 Best flooring options for a home with a dog?

Seems like anything really does go here in misc so I'm asking here instead of home or zoo, then cross posting to all of them. smile

So.

We're starting to gather more information about our options so wondered what others have found that have worked well. We're looking at either high grade laminate, actual hardwood or good quality carpet.

Our current carpet is the standard builder's crap. It's a cream colour and EVERYTHING shows on it.

We like the idea of laminate/hardwood, but are concerned about what Finn's claws might do to the surface. And we have two cats who are hellbent on destroying our house so we need to factor that in too.

Would love to hear any personal experiences about what's worked and what hasn't.

Thanks!
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 24 Apr 2012 1:22 PM
 3 Dec 2010
Emmanus
Fan
594
We have a high grade laminate and it held up to our 70lb Golden Retreiver. I have zero complaints about its durability.
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 24 Apr 2012 1:23 PM
 26 Oct 2005
 TO
Gingy
Postaholic
8,194
We have nice high grade (and dark) laminate and an active beagle with longish nails who loves to run and fetch in the house.

Our floor has just a few scratches - all made by DH who was too proud to get help moving heavy stuff and dragged it instead. tongueold
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 24 Apr 2012 1:28 PM
 30 Mar 2006
 GTA
soon2beEmilyC
Chatterbox
439
We have real maple hardwood in a darkish brown stain on our main floor and a 55lb golden doodle and he hasn't damaged the hardwood at all. I have, but it really doesn't show all that much. We also have carpet upstairs in a medium brown shag (new shag, it's very popular apparently!) and I love it. It shows absolutely nothing, and feels so nice on your feet.
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 24 Apr 2012 1:29 PM
 19 Jul 2011
livingadream
Chatterbox
304
We have hardwood on the main level. Despite the fact we groom (fur/nails) our dog regularly and diligently, the hardwood floor is scratched to all hell. It's awful. We're looking to sell and I'm worried that the floor will put off some purchasers. Maybe I'm just being paranoid. Hardwood is amazing for cleanup though - muddy paw prints, vomit, hair ... all come up easily with a swiffer and a mop -that said, to keep my floor spotless, I'd have to use the swiffer daily AND mop daily.

We have carpet on the lower and upper levels. The dog hair is a nightmare but we try to vacuum 2x per week (with a vacuum specifically for pets) and that helps. We bought a Bissell deep cleaner (like a steam cleaner) because we found that vomit and muddy paws were badly staining the carpet so we deep clean once every 2-3 weeks too and spot clean (with the Bissell "Little Green" when there are little spots).

I think there are advantages and disadvantages to both. Our friends put down cork flooring... so far, it seems like the best option and something I would consider in my next house!
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 24 Apr 2012 1:29 PM
 1 Jan 2010
ScubaJ
Unregistered
0
omg our dogs DESTROYED our hardwood. We have bamboo. The flooring in the bedroom is only 5 months old and its covered in scratches.

so i definitely do not recommend hard wood. But you have one dog, I have three.

in the old house we had hardwood upstairs and laminate down. The laminate downstairs definitely was awesome, and had hardly a scratch and it was cheap stuff from 7 years ago. The laminate today is amazing and much more realistic.
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 24 Apr 2012 1:31 PM
 25 Oct 2007
Gracie81
Devotee
1,435
I wouldn't call the laminate we put in our old Condo high grade laminate, it was from Costco. We have a Cocker Spaniel and she never made a dent in the laminate.

We just put new stuff in our house, medium grade, 12 mm, in. With an almost 2 year old and a dog and neither of them have scratched it at all.
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 24 Apr 2012 1:35 PM
 13 Aug 2002
 Toronto
FriendsFirst
Queen of the Forum
28,628
Can't speak for dogs, but I've got 2 cats who refuse to let us clip their claws and who routinely do the cartoon running-in-place thing and often scrabble for traction when cornering at high speeds (i.e. we hear a lot of claw-on-floor contact). We've got hardwood everywhere except the basement (berber) and kitchen (ceramic)... and the only scratches either we did by dropping things, or came with the house.

I will say, though... we only have dark(ish) wood in one room, so it could be that the more golden-toned stuff is more scratched than we realize and it just doesn't show.


ETA: The more golden-toned wood is all original to the house... so about 40 years old.
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 24 Apr 2012 1:41 PM
 27 Oct 2009
mrssp
Devotee
1,502
We have real oak hardwood in our house throughout the main floor, and our 11 month old Golden (60lbs) has scratched it up pretty badly.

We've been in our house for just over two years, and when I look at how damaged the floor is, it pains me. Not just that, but we have very dark hardwood, and every single drool dribble, water spot, paw print and clump of fur shows like you wouldn't believe.

You may have a different experience though if your dog is much smaller/lighter and if you are able to keep his nails trimmed really well.
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 24 Apr 2012 1:43 PM
 3 Jan 2006
 Whitby
diva.jen
Empress of the Forum
34,124
Interesting that the reviews are so mixed. Hmmmm.

Thankfully Finn's a non-shedding breed so that works well for both laminate/hardwood and carpet. But he is a messy bugger - paws dirty all the time, etc. And his beard makes him drip water everywhere, despite the fact that he drinks in the kitchen over ceramic.

But he's also part spaz and loves to do those insane running laps throughout the house. And despite regular clipping he does have narsty claws.
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 24 Apr 2012 1:45 PM
 14 Mar 2009
T&C
Duchess of the Forum
20,838
I think a laminate would be your best bet. My inlaws have two dogs and their hardwood floor is destroyed. It's only a few years old, too...

We have a laminate floor (no dog, but a cat) and there are no scratches. The floor is 6 years old and it still looks fantastic.
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 24 Apr 2012 1:49 PM
 3 Jan 2006
 Whitby
diva.jen
Empress of the Forum
34,124
That's kind of how I'm leaning, too. It's cheaper (I think?) and will give us much more longevity (I hope?) than real hardwood. And don't even get me started on what these three animals have done to the carpet throughout the house. Insane. Doesn't help that it was very poorly installed in the first place, but little kitty claws digging at seams does not a pretty sight make.

And let's not forget that the dog eats the stairs. Good times.
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 24 Apr 2012 1:49 PM
 22 Sep 2004
 In the Land of Misfit Toys
evil.mena
Raving Lunatic
14,430
I'd say laminate then S, as PP's have said, the quality/look of it is much better than in the past and it's more durable. We have real oak and between our previous fur-baby (who was only on it for a couple of months) and our current likes to crash his cars kid, it's dented and scratched. Heck, the wheels under our previous bed frame has made awful marks on it and those are wheels!!!
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 24 Apr 2012 1:56 PM
 24 Jan 2005
 Calgary
tojules
Raving Lunatic
11,202
In our condo we had vinyl laminate and it hid a multitude of sins there. Now we have dark walnut hardwood and you can see the previous owner's dogs scratches...and the ones my sister's dogs have added. Sophie and Maggie haven't really left any marks on it, but Sophie is 14lbs and Maggie is 22lbs...Mags has left some fine scratches if we're not up on nail clipping. Hardwood generally sucks with dogs I think until you go really high end/tough. And the darker the hardwood & lighter the dog...the more you see dog-bunnies rolling across the floor.

My sister's laminate hardwood has some good chunks taken out of it, but then again...she's got an 80lb'er and 40lb'er...they love to rough house too. Their paws catch a seam a tear up little chunks off the edges of the laminate.

Stay away from carpet that has loops in it if Finn loves to tear around the house. He'll catch a nail and either damage the carpet or hurt himself if he gets snagged up in it digging for traction (or just digging...Maggie likes to dig in the carpet). We have just a regular pile carpet across the 2nd floor and it's holding up extremely well, the pups love to run laps around the bonus room and dig in deep while chasing each other around the coffee table. We've been accident free with the carpet, thankfully!! My mom was told berber is great for dogs...they got a middle of road priced berber and it sucks big time. One of her labs almost tore off a toe nail on it...and the other was bored and started plucking at a loop...ended up with a huge patch out of it.
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 24 Apr 2012 2:15 PM
 20 Oct 2003
 Ontario
MrsG2004
Devotee
2,307
When we purchased our home it was 8 years old with high grade wooden laminate that the previous owners had installed when it was built and they had an 80 pound chocolate lab running around on it and there are no scratches from their dog. The flooring held up really well.

I say High grade Laminate.
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 24 Apr 2012 2:15 PM
 23 Feb 2010
Mrs Elle
Chatterbox
335
I'd say laminate as well. My in-laws have 2 heavy labs and their laminate has held up really well. It's light and dark, so maybe it's better at hiding scratches. It's definitely not the "nice" laminate though (maybe vinyl laminate? not sure)
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 24 Apr 2012 2:22 PM
 11 Dec 2002
 Ottawa, ON
MBG
Addict
3,200
I would stay away from the carpet. I find it so difficult to keep looking nice.

We like our hardwood. We just refinished the stairs after living here for 10 years and it looks as good as new. There are a few other spots of scratches, but they aren't noticeable unless you really get down and look at it. No gauges or anything like that. Easy to clean and refinish when it's time to sell. Ours is also a medium brown colour, not super dark or light.

I would say hardwood or a high grade laminate. I would just worry about gauges with laminate.
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 24 Apr 2012 2:24 PM
 13 Aug 2002
 Toronto
FriendsFirst
Queen of the Forum
28,628
Something else to consider (and I can't really say either way)... if, down the road, you DO have damage to whichever kind of floor you end up with... what are your options? Hardwood can be sanded and refinished a few times, generally (well, not if it gets to 40 years old with a lot of wear and water damage, apparently... that's how we ended up with one room of dark flooring *laugh*)... can laminate be refinished? Or would it be a full replace? And if it's a full replace, what kind of cost is that relative to sanding/refinishing hardwood?

Probably a question for a flooring source, though.
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 24 Apr 2012 2:40 PM
 3 Jan 2006
 Whitby
diva.jen
Empress of the Forum
34,124
Yup, definitely something to consider. Even though we have no immediate plans to leave this house resale always is in the back of my mind!

Guess we'll have to go out and do some exploring. Now to figure out the best place to go. And most cost effective!
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 24 Apr 2012 2:49 PM
 6 Apr 2012
Goose
Rookie
232
We have Vintage red oak hardwood floors (in a medium brown stain, with a pretty noticeable grain). The floors are less than three years old and they are pretty much killed because of our dogs' claws (they run around like mad men playing often) and them dropping toys on the floor.

In a few years we will probably get the floors re-finished and then a few years later we will probably rip it out and put something like hand scraped hardwood down so that the floors are already distressed to start with.

We have carpet on the second floor and it still looks good. Though one of my dogs did a number on my parents' berber carpet. His nail got caught in a loop and away he went, unravelling the carpet along his way.
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 24 Apr 2012 2:54 PM
 8 Oct 2008
 Halifax, NS
peggy_sue
Fan
938
We've spoken to the floor people who did our floors (which show all of the scratches of Mister Rex) and he said it's more of the finish that shows off the damage. Our hardwood is a glossy finish, he said if we went with a matte finish the scratches wouldn't have been so noticeable.
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 24 Apr 2012 2:55 PM
 8 Oct 2008
 Halifax, NS
peggy_sue
Fan
938
We've spoken to the floor people who did our floors (which show all of the scratches of Mister Rex) and he said it's more of the finish that shows off the damage. Our hardwood is a glossy finish, he said if we went with a matte finish the scratches wouldn't have been so noticeable.
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 24 Apr 2012 3:02 PM
 13 May 2009
 GTA
muskn
Addict
3,770
Honestly, I hate laminate. Somewhere like a cottage, or a condo, I hate it less, but I just can't stand when I go to see a house (we're on the hunt right now) and there's laminate floors trying to pass as hardwood. It looks cheap to me.

That said, I may not have seen this "high grade laminate" mentioned.. maybe it's better then the floors I have seen...

I say put some booties on your pup and get the floors you want smile
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 24 Apr 2012 3:27 PM
 26 Oct 2005
 TO
Gingy
Postaholic
8,194
Yes, as tj said, it depends on the product. You get what you pay for.

Now should I feel badly that people are calling the flooring in my home cheap and horrible? rofl
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 24 Apr 2012 3:44 PM
 14 Jan 2009
Mariposa_10
Postaholic
5,310
We have some kind of resiliant laminate tile. The previous owner installed it because he had two very large and very rambunctious dogs. We have yet to have anyone who doesn't think it's real hardwood, yet it has texture so the dogs don't slip and slide on it. And it has so far held up without a scratch/mark/blemish to 1 very old and very incontinent dog, 1 very large and occasionally rambunctious dog, and 1 extremely rambunctious and rather incontinent puppy. As well as 2 cats and 2 couch potatoes.

I used to want to rip it out and install some nice hardwood, but quite honestly now that we have 2 dogs again I am appreciating the durability and ease of cleaning up messes.
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 31 Oct 2012 11:59 PM
 30 Apr 2012
 buzzle.ca
buzzle
New Member
0

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 24 Apr 2012 3:47 PM
 24 Jan 2005
 Calgary
tojules
Raving Lunatic
11,202
Your floor shouldn't sound hollow to walk on no matter what you put on it. That's either cheap product or bad installation. I've seen some awesome laminate in show homes and unless you're to go belly down on it...some of it is hard to tell the difference what it really is.
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 24 Apr 2012 3:59 PM
 21 May 2008
 Oakville
Katosmama
Addict
2,662
We have dark maple on our main level and its all scratched to hell from my sisters dog visiting, not even living in my house!

Some woods are harder than others. A hardwood store will be able to show you wood that is much harder than oak or maple, and thus will show scratches less.

I guess I have two thoughts (three really). First, figure out how much scratches are going to bother you vs. how much laminate is going to bother you. For me, the scratches give the wood character (I repeat this often to myself until I believe it) and I'd much prefer that over laminate. I've made my peace with it.

My second thought it that the laminate at Costco looks amazing! It's really thick and comes with an underpad already built in. We bought it for our basement (not installed yet). If you decide laminate, check it out.

My last, totally unrelated thought, is - congrats on the weight loss Diva!! I'm envious! (I just noticed your ticker).
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 24 Apr 2012 4:04 PM
 3 Jan 2006
 Whitby
diva.jen
Empress of the Forum
34,124
Costco - good to know! Will definitely give that a look.

And thanks! Long road ahead still but it's progress! smile
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 24 Apr 2012 4:27 PM
 8 Aug 2008
MooseHead
Raving Lunatic
10,422
I posted quite some time ago about "my" experiences in Home Life.

I'll try and not make this rambling. Hardwood will show marks; the darker the stain, the more unforgiving.

I raved about the laminate we had way back in our other house. It was from Ikea, natural maple I think it was. BEST laminate I've ever experienced (I now have had 4 experiences).

First things first; depending on the wood, finish or look, different woods present differently. For example oak has an open grain so the laminate has to show this or it looks like plastic; maple naturally has a closed grain so looks better as a laminate.

Our BEST experience was with Ikea's 79 cent per sq/ft. but it was "old style" which was a click and lock I think but had glue. My washer overflowed, I had younger kids with horrible toys, big dogs, cigarettes fall on the floor, nail polish - totally indestructable. It looked the same after 12 years of installation.

I won't go into other experiences as they weren't the same - ie. swelling after minor water sitting on a seam.

Now my point is, the post I made was after seeing a designer use http://www.karndean.com/ OMG, when I saw this flooring in real life I couldn't believe it. Start googling and oggling. Its beautiful flooring and has a much nicer "feel" to it. This designer said they couldn't get it installed fast enough.

Given the chance, I'll be looking into this flooring myself on day.
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 24 Apr 2012 4:45 PM
 3 Jan 2006
 Whitby
diva.jen
Empress of the Forum
34,124
That Karndean stuff looks lovely - but is it only available in the US? Can't seem to find retailers in Canada?
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 24 Apr 2012 5:32 PM
 8 Aug 2008
MooseHead
Raving Lunatic
10,422
It definately is - maybe try Karndean.ca - ???? I thought their store/dealer locater showed where. Nonetheless, I saw it our local, privately owned little flooring store here. It is definately available in Canada and widely in Toronto. The decorator I saw on Cityline who was raving was local GTA.
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 24 Apr 2012 5:34 PM
 29 Dec 2008
 Calgary
CateFace
Raving Lunatic
14,596
Laminate my dogs have destroyed our carpet and hardwood and they ar all less then 10 lbs
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 24 Apr 2012 5:44 PM
 3 Jan 2006
 Whitby
diva.jen
Empress of the Forum
34,124
karndeancanada.com gets you there. Thanks!
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 31 Oct 2012 11:59 PM
 30 Apr 2012
 buzzle.ca
buzzle
New Member
0

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