Best Flooring Options for Kids & Pets

Water and Scratch Resistant Flooring from National Design Mart

In an alternate universe, we might be able to choose our flooring on looks alone. Without threats of wear and tear, we’d be free to choose soft wood and less durable materials for our homes. But, let’s be honest—we’d miss our pets!

Some of the best things in life—our kids, our pets—can also be the worst things for less sturdy flooring. We wouldn’t want our toddler to spill juice on carpet without precautions. Pets’ toenails are the enemies of soft, easily-scratchable flooring. Dogs don’t always make it outside, and cats don’t always make it to the litter box, so the best flooring for pet urine should be on your radar.

If you’re a parent or a pet owner, you probably want to shop for flooring that will stand the test of time against spills, scratches, and accidents, while keeping your family comfortable and safe.

When picking out durable flooring, keep these factors in mind:

  • Scratch resistance
  • Water resistance
  • Comfort
  • Safety

It’s not necessarily true that the best flooring for kids and pets has to be unsightly or look utilitarian. The best flooring for dogs may even be flooring options you may have chosen for their aesthetic appeal, anyways. Read on to learn about the five best options for flooring for kids and pets.

Luxury Vinyl

Luxury vinyl flooring is one of the most versatile flooring options you can find, and some of the best flooring for dogs and other pets. It is available in luxury vinyl planks and luxury vinyl tile, and in a wide variety of colors and patterns.

Luxury vinyl is extremely easy to clean. Depending on the type you choose, it is water resistant or waterproof flooring, so you can clean up spills and accidents with ease. It is also scratch and stain resistant. This combination of protection against spills, stains, and scratches makes luxury vinyl one of the best flooring options for kids and pets.

Keep in mind, however, that vinyl tile and planks tend to dull over time. Color and tone changes are common among many flooring types, but it is wise to be aware of the possibility while shopping.


Hardwood flooring has a reputation for being vulnerable to nicks and scratches. While this is true for a lot of hardwood flooring, pet owners and parents with their hearts set on the look can still choose hardwood flooring, as long as you choose a wood that scores high on the Janka Hardness Scale. Any rating below 850 is considered softwood, and a rating above 1250 is hardwood.

Some of the best hardwood flooring for kids and pets include oak, maple, cherry, walnut, hickory, and sycamore. These woods score high on the Janka scale, and are therefore considered scratch resistant flooring. Softer woods include pine, chestnut, and fir. These woods will easily scratch with day-to-day wear from kids and pets.

You can also buy hardwood flooring with special coatings that make your floor more water resistant, scratch resistant, and stain resistant.


Cork flooring is a favorite among nature lovers. It is naturally antimicrobial and an eco-friendly flooring option. Since cork is soft and malleable, it is comfortable below your kids’ and pets’ feet. As water resistant flooring, cork is easy to clean and maintain. If your pet has an accident on the floor, you can wipe it up without worry.

Cork’s malleability can lead to a few downsides. It is vulnerable to scratches from pet toenails and indents from heavy furniture. Visually, it is similar to hardwood, but may fade from light over time.

Consult with a Design Expert

For more guidance on the dos and don’ts of floor-buying with kids and pets in mind, call or stop by one of our locations and ask to chat with an interior design expert. For no charge, our designers will help you sort out the pros and cons of each flooring option, so you can dig into your next design project with confidence.


From your initial flooring ideas to the final flooring installation, you count on National Design Mart! Shop northeast Ohio’s best selection of carpet, hardwood, laminate, ceramic tile, and vinyl flooring. Our flooring experts inform and guide you to make the best choice for flooring – from lush carpet in your home to durable flooring for high traffic areas in your business, and everything in between.

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