Is laminate flooring the best choice for homes with pets?
Many of us would not be without our furry friends, but pets and our favourite home furnishings do not always mix. Carpets – especially those with long or looped pile – often look worse for wear thanks to sharp claws, muddy paws and scratching, so what is the best floor covering to keep both you and the four-legged members of your family happy?
Laminate flooring is an excellent and practical choice for most rooms in the home due to its attractive appearance and the ease of keeping it clean. It also solves the problems of cats and dogs catching their claws in carpet pile. As laminate can be wiped, vacuumed or mopped, it is quick and easy to remove muddy paw prints. This makes it perfect for rooms with outdoor access, such as hallways, kitchens and conservatories. If hygiene is of paramount importance to you, you can spot any dirt immediately and quickly wipe it up without the need for specialist carpet shampoos or expensive equipment. This is ideal if your pet spends a lot of time outdoors and you are worried about dirt being traipsed through your home.
Laminates are also a good choice for the human occupants of your home, especially if anyone suffers from allergies. One of the most common allergens is animal dander. This – along with pollen and everyday household dust – can easily become trapped in carpets, and even regular vacuuming will not remove all of these pesky allergens. Laminates, however, are a different matter. As there is nowhere for dust and other allergens to hide, it is considered an excellent floor covering for allergy sufferers. Likewise, if you have a pet with long hair or one that seems to be constantly shedding fur, a quick once-over with the vacuum will take care of it. Unlike carpet, you can see any debris on laminates right away and you will always be confident that your floor is as clean as it can possibly be.
Some pets, particularly dogs, might have a tendency to slip and skid when running on laminates. While tougher versions should not really be affected by this, and should be able to withstand moderate foot – and paw – traffic, it is simple to add a runner or rug to areas that cause your pet the most problems. If your pets tend to race through the hallway, adding an attractive hall runner enhances the area, protects your laminate, and will stop your cat or dog skidding across the floor.