MADISON (WKOW) -- When it comes to flooring, you may love hardwood, and realtors say it's the best option for selling your house. But if you have a pet, especially a big dog, it may not be the best option.
Cost is an important factor in home improvement decisions, but so is value. Angie's List says pet owners should consider what abuse new flooring can take. Carpeting, for example, may be less expensive, but it's a poor choice for a puppy that's not potty-trained. Hardwood can also be easily damaged. Angie Hicks says, "Many people love hardwood floors, but if you have pets they may not be your best option because if your pet has an accident the urine can seep into the wood and stain it. Also, when the pets run across the floor, their claws can scratch it."
One good option is laminate. Flooring professional Harry Tishler says, "Laminate generally is the most scratch-resistant flooring for active families, so we're doing more and more of that in the flooring business, and we really recommend that if scratching is a big consideration."
Angie has another suggestion. "Vinyl flooring can be a great option if you have pets because it's just more durable and is scratch-resistant."
And recent advances in vinyl plank flooring will give you the look you want and the durability you need. Tishler says, "The manufacturers have learned how to make it so it looks a lot like the natural textures it's supposed to replicate - stone and wood - and they got it right. It's less expensive and it's warmer to walk on in most cases."
If you go the pet-friendly flooring route, Angie says to look for the textures and finishes that will help hide any pet damage. You should know how to care for the flooring to keep it looking great, so find out if it can be refinished and ask if there's a guarantee against pet damage.