Is Vinyl Plank Flooring Durable Enough for Dogs?

So you’ve finally decided your old carpet or worn-out wood floor needs replacing. Maybe the mess from your dog’s accidents has led you to the point of researching flooring options that are easy to clean and maintain. All the information available can certainly become overwhelming. We’ve done some investigating for you on the most viable option to accommodate your furry friend: vinyl plank flooring.

Vinyl plank flooring is an excellent option for dog owners. Vinyl plank flooring is made of durable, versatile plastic. As long as it is installed correctly, this flooring will last for many years to come, even with a messy, four-legged companion. Vinyl plank flooring ranks as one of the best choices for the following reasons:

  • Scratch and tear-resistant
  • Does not require grout and has no seams
  • Water-resistant

What other features make vinyl plank flooring perfect for dog-owners? How do you clean it? Keep reading to find out all the details about this flooring option!

A man installing vinyl flooring plank on the floor over old-battered tiles, Is Vinyl Plank Flooring Durable Enough for Dogs?

The Durability Of Vinyl Plank Floors

In this section, we'll discuss what makes these floors such a great option in more detail.

Scratch- And Tear-Resistant

Vinyl flooring has a wear layer, made of a protective urethane, which aids in resisting scratches and tears. Next, it has a second protective clear vinyl layer. The third layer is the chosen floor design. Lastly, the fourth and final layer generally has a fiberglass or felt backing.

There are many different thicknesses of flooring, so be sure to use the thickest possible vinyl planks to maintain a smooth surface. The price goes up with the thickness, but so does the quality! If you’re going for a floor that looks like a more expensive non-synthetic option, the higher quality planks replicate the look of real wood quite well.

The thickness and protective layering of the flooring make them quite resistant to the wear and tear from the nails of your furry friends.

Does Not Require Grout

Unlike with traditional tiles or planks, vinyl does not require grout to seal together the separate pieces. This is a huge advantage for homeowners with pets prone to creating messes. Grout can absorb odors and grime, decreasing the life of your floor.

Not only can they imbibe bad smells, but grout also stains easily due to its porous composition, destroying the aesthetics you work hard to maintain. Additionally, the vinyl planks are seamless, simply clicking together at installation, leaving no room for pet messes to sneak between. Nothing is more infuriating than a phantom smell that can’t be reached or cleaned.


Since vinyl is a type of plastic, it is naturally water-resistant. That, added to the fact that the vinyl planks snap together without gaps, means a floor unaffected by pet accidents like dog urine or a tipped over water bowl.

Vinyl flooring is ideal for areas where wetness can occur like bathrooms, kitchens, or even basements. Be wary, however, because standing water left unattended can still grow mold or mildew and cause bubbles or curled edges in the vinyl. If the puppy training isn’t going so well and Fido piddles on the floor, the floor will remain in its fine shape as long as the mess is handled in a timely matter.

Odorless Vinyl Floors Planks

Click here to see more on Amazon.

Are There Any Downsides To Vinyl Plank Flooring?

It is important to know that, although vinyl flooring is durable, heavy objects have been known to dent the top layers of flooring. The floor can also tear if heavy metal objects are dragged across it, such as kitchen chairs or large appliances. This issue can be easily avoided by lifting objects to move them instead of trying to push or pull. Too bad the dog couldn't help with moving the oven!

Is Vinyl Flooring Soft?

You might think the word “soft” only applies to carpets or your beloved bathrobe, but believe it or not, vinyl floors are much softer than traditional flooring. Because of this touch of softness, standing for long periods of time on vinyl plank floors is much more comfortable for the feet and back.

The added softness even reduces the sound of your dog's nails as it darts through the kitchen or bathroom. The overall texture of vinyl is appealing to most bare feet and probably to Fido's belly as he enjoys the soft flooring.

Is Vinyl Flooring Warm?

Although carpet is the warmest flooring option, vinyl comes in at a close second. Because other non-carpeted materials are composed of organic materials, they tend to absorb the air temperature surrounding them.

Since warm air rises, the cold air in your home tends to hover around the floor. As vinyl is a synthetic material, it more so matches the overall temperature of your home. You and your dog will appreciate the extra warmth first thing in the morning.

Is Vinyl Or Laminate Better For Dogs?

There are pros and cons to both laminate and vinyl flooring. However, when it comes to owning a dog, which automatically means indoor messes, vinyl is the safer option. Although the design on laminate is less prone to fading, it is not water-resistant. It is recommended not to allow any kind of moisture on a laminate floor; this rule goes for cleaning laminate as well. Cleaning a laminate floor requires special laminate-safe cleaners or steam mops.

Since moisture seems to follow a dog, the most obvious choice is some type of vinyl to maintain the integrity of your flooring. Laminate is also more prone to chipping and scratches, and we all know how pointy a dog's claws can become. There are products to repair laminate damage, but avoiding costly repairs is always preferable. 

How Do You Clean Vinyl Plank Floors?

When it comes to cleaning vinyl floors, a mild, non-abrasive cleaner should be used. There are many cleaning products crafted with vinyl floors in mind. For routine mopping, a traditional wet mop or steam mop works well.

For more pungent pet messes, a solution of apple cider vinegar and lukewarm water can be used to ensure there are no remnants. Use one cup of vinegar per gallon of water. Vinegar works wonders without leaving any type of soapy residue.

Additionally, though it may be tempting, never use any wax products on vinyl flooring to try and shine things up. A spray-cleaner for spot cleaning is recommended to keep small messes small.

Rejuvenate Vinyl Floor Cleaner

Click here to see more on Amazon.

If you just need a brief surface cleaning, then a quick run with the vacuum or broom will suffice. The pet hair and dust will easily be picked up by these things.

Is Vinyl Plank Flooring Cost-Effective?

Just about everyone has a budget.  One of the best things about vinyl plank flooring is that it is easy on the wallet. With the huge variety of patterns to replicate wood, tile, ceramic, and even leather, your home can look exactly how you want it without spending a fortune. Not only is the flooring itself affordable, but it is also easy to install, and it could even be your next weekend DIY project if you're feeling brave.

Having a cost-effective flooring option is every pet owner's dream. A durable, affordable option is ideal when you have a four-legged companion to think about.

In Closing

When it comes to choosing a new floor, we always want to keep our animal companions in mind. Accidents are bound to happen. Vinyl plank flooring offers durability, softness, warmth, and water-resistance, so it works well with the dog-parent lifestyle.

Overall, the most important part of choosing your new floor is to remember to have fun in the process and choose a flooring design you know you will enjoy for many years.

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