Whether Fido is a housetraining pup or a geriatric who's having accidents, your floor will suffer. Covering the floor with newspaper or pee pads is a makeshift solution, but if you're installing or replacing floors, you have limited options for Doggie-proof flooring materials. Forget carpet and hardwood floors and instead choose waterproof -- or water resistant -- materials that are Doggie-friendly.
Vinyl is either completely or almost completely waterproof, depending on type and brand, according to the Floor Coverings International website. For example, the typical peel-and-stick vinyl tiles sold everywhere are not waterproof. On the other hand, Floor Coverings International points out that "luxury vinyl" is thicker and it must be glued on -- it doesn't have a "sticky" backing like cheap vinyl -- so it's waterproof and often recommended for bathrooms and kitchens. Or, in this case, for Doggies prone to accidents.
It's a common misconception that tile is completely waterproof, according to Tile Art Center. Different types of tile offer different levels of protection against liquids, so if you have a choice, pick the one that's most water-repellent for the rooms where Doggie seems to urinate the most. Impervious tiles -- including porcelain, ceramic and glass tiles -- are the closest to waterproof, since they absorb less than 0.5 percent of their weight in water. Vitreous tiles are a close second, although their water absorption varies from 0.5 percent to 3 percent, depending on the type and brand. Keep in mind that some ceramic tiles fall under vitreous and others under impervious, so you'll need to read labels to find out what type of tile you're buying or consult an expert if you need help. Marble is porous and thus not suitable in areas prone to Doggie accidents. When tiling your floor, use grout to seal the space between tiles and prevent water absorption.
Laminate floor usually looks like hardwood, but it's made using a core board covered by a melamine wear layer. This layer protects against scratches and makes the surface water resistant. Laminate is not technically waterproof, so it doesn't work very well with standing water -- as it would be the case if Doggie decides to pee on it while you're out and you can't clean it for hours. However, you can buy laminate flooring that have been treated or coated with waterproofing substances. These are usually sold as "spill-proof" or something similar and are labeled for use in bathrooms or kitchens, when water spills are frequent.
Materials That Won't Cut It
Dog urine and carpeting don't mix well. You could wash or dry-clean rugs if your dog has an accident, so they could be a better choice than wall-to-wall carpeting. Still, you don't want to be washing rugs all the time for myriad reasons. Hardwood floors are ill-advised. Even if you clean the urine right away, staining of the wood is inevitable -- a dog is drawn to urinate on a spot that smells of urine. Typical hardwood surface treatments won't keep a dog's pee from being absorbed, so stay clear of wood.
Tammy Dray has been writing since 1996. She specializes in health, wellness and travel topics and has credits in various publications including Woman's Day, Marie Claire, Adirondack Life and Self. She is also a seasoned independent traveler and a certified personal trainer and nutrition consultant. Dray is pursuing a criminal justice degree at Penn Foster College.