Pet-Friendly Flooring: Laminate vs Vinyl Plank for Homes With Pets

laminate vs vinyl plank for pets hdr

Are you looking to replace the flooring in your home?

There are plenty of options with varying features and benefits to suit your home and lifestyle.

It can be difficult to decide which type of flooring is best, especially when choosing between similar options.

This article compares the suitability of laminate and vinyl plank flooring for homes with pets to help you make an informed decision about your renovation.

What are your flooring requirements as a pet owner?

You may already have a type of flooring in mind, but how well does that suit your needs as a pet owner?

Here are some of the key things to consider before shopping around:

Do you need easy-to-clean flooring?  It’s no secret that pets can be messy, whether they shed fur or drag dirt in from outside.

If you find yourself regularly clearing up after your pet, you’ll benefit from a flooring material that is easy to clean.

Do you need durable flooring? If you have a large or overly energetic pet, you may need to consider a durable flooring material.

Your pet’s claws may damage weaker materials, so investing in something strong from the offset can reduce the cost of maintenance or replacement down the line.

Do you need water-resistant flooring? Does your pet regularly knock things over, such as drinks or their water bowl?

Perhaps your pet is particularly old or young or has health concerns that mean accidents indoors are likely.

Not every flooring can withstand exposure to liquid, so if this is a concern, opt for a material that is water-resistant or even waterproof to be extra secure.

Do you need flooring that absorbs sound? Pets, especially more boisterous ones, can be fairly noisy around the home.

You may have multiple pets that collectively make a lot of noise when moving around the home, downstairs neighbors that you don’t want to upset, or simply prefer a quiet home environment if you want to reduce your pet's noise when running or playing inside the home, opt for flooring with good noise reduction.

Why are laminate and vinyl plank suitable for homes with pets?

laminate and vinyl plank

Laminate and vinyl plank flooring have similar compositions.

Each board has four layers, from a bottom moisture barrier to the uppermost wear layer, which protects the design of the boards.

This wear layer can resist abrasion and prevent scratches, dents, and stains. In terms of durability, the two materials are very comparable. Both are long-lasting flooring choices that can resist potential damage from your pet’s claws.

Both laminate and vinyl plank are very simple to clean. The boards can be wiped down and vacuumed to remove messes and pet fur.

You may have a particular style of flooring in mind to suit your home's existing interior.

The good news is that laminate and vinyl plank are available in various colors and styles.

Both materials allow you to mimic natural flooring materials like wood, stone, and ceramic but also come in plenty of other designs and finishes to suit almost any interior.

If you have a budget for your new flooring, you’ll likely be able to find suitable laminate and vinyl plank products.

Lower-cost options are available, and new styles and higher-quality products become available as the price point increases.

Laminate vs vinyl plank: which is more pet-friendly?

Despite their similarities, some key differences between laminate and vinyl plank may sway your decision depending on your pet's needs.

The upper wear layer protects the boards from immediate water damage, but both laminate and vinyl plank require you to clean up any spills promptly.

This is more important for laminate, as the liquid may swell, warp, crack, or lift if it seeps into the seams. When this occurs, you are forced to replace all affected boards.

Vinyl plank is a bit more forgiving. Water seeping into the seams can still damage the flooring, but the planks' adhesive takes the hit rather than the planks themselves.

Water damage tends to be quicker and cheaper to fix for vinyl planks than for laminate.

If you have concerns about your pet knocking on its water bowl when no one is home, leaving the water to seep into the flooring, vinyl plank is the better option.

Regarding noise reduction, vinyl plank absorbs sound well, whereas laminate flooring is inherently louder underfoot.

If overall comfort is a concern, laminate and vinyl plank offer smooth and even surfaces, meaning most pets will be comfortable walking around and lying on the floor.

However, vinyl plank tends to be softer and warmer than laminate, making it a great choice for homes with older pets or pets with health conditions that will benefit the most from comfortable flooring.

Choosing the right flooring

Both laminate and vinyl plank flooring are suitable options for most homes with pets.

Ultimately, the right flooring for your household will depend on your family's and your pet's needs.

If opting for laminate flooring, make sure to check the specifications of a particular product before purchasing.

Ensure the product is water-resistant, or opt for waterproof plastic laminate instead. It’s also important to check the slip resistance, as some laminate products can be slippery underfoot.

Most vinyl plank products are anti-slip and water-resistant, so you can instead focus on finding the right product to suit your aesthetic wants and budget.

Always have your flooring installed by a professional to increase its lifespan and ensure maximum safety for you and your pets.


Powerhouse is a full-service home and commercial services company based in Texas.

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