Nothing makes a house feel more like a home than a furry friend. Our cats, dogs and other pets are part of the family — even though sometimes they can make everyday life a little messier. There are some key considerations to keep in mind when choosing pet-friendly flooring for your space — from shedding and muddy paws to little bathroom accidents. With that in mind, we’ve created an ultimate guide to finding your perfect pet-friendly tiles, including the best (and sturdiest) styles on the market.
What makes tiles pet-friendly?
It may seem like any solid flooring will do the job when it comes to creating a pet-friendly space, but it goes deeper (literally) than just being able to wipe up spills easily. There are a bunch of reasons that tiles are the ideal choice for home flooring if you have to deal with fur, claws, mud and wee.
Easy to clean
Pet hair, dust and dirt don’t stand a chance against tiles. All the nasty bits and bobs sit on top of the tile’s surface and are easily wiped away with a mop or cloth. With regular cleaning, your tiles will look as good as the day they were installed for years to come — which can’t be said for certain other flooring options.
Doesn’t trap odours
Most people would have encountered the “dog smell” or “cat smell” before. No matter how clean you keep your pets, their natural odours and their urine tend to impart a lingering scent that can seep into porous surfaces. If you opt for treated tiles, you won’t have to worry about these strong scents embedding themselves into your floors — and if you’ve ever copped a whiff of cat pee, you know how important this factor is.
Accidents happen — whether it’s a human spilling a glass of pinot or an overexcited puppy not making it outside in time. One of the main benefits of tiles is not having to worry about unsightly stains. If your tiles have been pre-treated correctly, you should have no dramas just wiping away any liquid and spot-cleaning for hygiene. Carpet or hardwood could never!
Even the most well-groomed critters can cause scuffing or scratching as they zoom around the house in excitement. If you invest in quality tiles, you won’t have to worry about cat or dog claws causing permanent damage to your flooring. While wood can be easily marked and carpet can catch on little toenails, tiles remain unscathed by the daily wear and tear of foot (and paw) traffic.
The best tiles and flooring for households with pets
When it comes to tiles, not all styles are created equal for pet-proofing a house. Some materials stack up better than others for stain, odour and scratch resistance, which are three of the crucial factors that make tiles so suitable for animals. The below options are the best picks for pet-friendly tiling across all variables.
1. Porcelain tiles
Let’s start with the MVP of pet-friendly tiles — porcelain! Not only do porcelain tiles come in every shape, size and colour you can possibly imagine, but they are also designed to withstand the rigours of even the busiest households (including those with four-legged members). Porcelain scores top marks for being rock solid, scratch-resistant, spill-proof and easy to maintain. Its low moisture absorption rate and sturdiness make it a perfect match for households who don’t mind getting a bit messy.
2. Natural stone-look tiles
There are several schools of thought surrounding natural stone tiles and their suitability for pets. While genuine stone is sturdy, it is also quite porous — so it requires more attention, maintenance and upkeep than other materials. The solution? Natural stone-look tiles. These low-maintenance beauties come in plenty of colour and patterns that mimic the real thing
3. Terrazzo tiles
A classic terrazzo tile never goes out of style, not to mention they are tough as nails. Made from marble, glass, granite and other chippings mixed in with cement, these eye-catching tiles are designed to go the distance. Don’t let their beauty fool you — terrazzo-look tiles can withstand scratches, spills, moisture and chipping, making them a fantastic candidate for pet-friendly homes. Added bonus: their production process is one of the most environmentally friendly!
It’s hard to pass up the elegance and sophistication of polished concrete floors. Once the concrete is poured, it can be ground down to a finish of your liking, which produces a gorgeous glossy effect. Concrete has the benefit of being durable, versatile and very easy to clean. Polished concrete floors also don’t need wax or sealants once they’ve been adequately ground down, so you don’t have to worry about nasty toxins.
Flooring to avoid when you have pets
Now that we’ve covered off why tiles are the superior flooring choice for pet owners, let’s talk about some of the less-than-ideal options you might be faced with. From stain-prone styles to slippery surfaces, here are the types of flooring to avoid if you’re living with animals.
If you’ve ever heard your pet retching like they’re going to be sick and had to sprint to move them off the carpet, you know all too well why this plush flooring isn’t exactly pet-friendly. While carpet can be comfortable, it presents a host of issues for pet owners — the first being that it’s much harder to clean. Carpet also tends to hold onto dirt and allergens no matter how thorough you are with a steam mop, so it’s best to avoid it if you live with indoor animals.
While hardwood floor looks stunning, it’s also far more fragile than tiles. Its more slippery surface means less traction for little paws, which in turn leads to unsightly scratches from pets trying to find their footing. Hardwood is also prone to set-in stains, which doesn’t leave a lot of room for bathroom accidents.
You might be fooled into thinking laminate is an affordable alternative for tiles, but that’s not the case. This is another option that can be quite slippery underfoot for pets, not to mention that spills (or urine) can seep between planks and cause swelling.
Finding your paw-fect flooring match
Now that you know a sturdy, sealed tile is the way to enjoy comfortable (and hygienic) living with pets, it’s just a matter of finding the right match for your home. Instagram is one of the best ways to find inspiration, so be sure to check out the top interior design IG accounts to get your creative juices flowing.
Another way is to search and sample your way through various options to find something that fits in your home. TileCloud makes it easy to shop by style, material and even colour, so you can take the hassle out of searching for something that suits your vision. Not sure where to start? Take a free style quiz or book a design appointment with an in-house expert for some extra guidance.