Just as first-time parents might baby-proof their home, pet owners should consider ensuring their interiors are suitable for their animals. 

Aside from indoor accidents, many pets shed fur and bring in mud and dirt from outside, all of which need to be considered when it comes to the upkeep of your flooring. 

Both vinyl and laminate flooring are good choices for pet owners, being durable and low maintenance.

While similar, there are some key differences between these two types of flooring. Laminate has a fiberboard core made of wood byproducts, whereas vinyl flooring is 100% synthetic and comprises sheets of plastic pressed together. 

We examine how the two compare and what to remember if you renovate. 

Water resistance – laminate flooring is water resistant, but not waterproof, so if water is frequently seeping into the seams of the boards, they can swell, warp, and crack. Because vinyl, on the other hand, is completely synthetic, it is waterproof (although it’s worth keeping in mind that the glue can be damaged through persistent water exposure, so spills should still be cleared up promptly). If you have pets that are particularly energetic or aren’t fully house-trained and likely to knock their water bowl over for example, luxury vinyl plank (LVP) flooring might be the best choice. 

Durability – Because vinyl is waterproof, it lasts longer on average than laminate. Both are relatively durable, but laminate offers more scratch and scuff resistance than cheaper vinyl sheet flooring. LVP, however, is more evenly matched with laminate when it comes to durability.  

Maintenance – One of the reasons laminate and vinyl flooring are suitable for homes with animals is that they’re easy to clean and maintain. Wiping away spills and other messes takes moments, and pet hair is easily vacuumed, unlike carpet, where it can become trapped deep within the fibers. While both are easy to clean, because vinyl is waterproof, you won’t need to be as careful about what cleaning materials you use. 

Sound reduction – Laminate flooring is known for being a bit noisy underfoot, whereas vinyl plank absorbs sound well, so if you’re trying to minimize noise, you might want to consider this. 

Should I choose vinyl or laminate flooring? 

While a pet owner needs to be practical when selecting flooring that will work in your home, the extent to which this is a factor will depend on what pets you have. An elderly cat is much less likely to dictate your flooring choice than two or three large, boisterous dogs. 

Nevertheless, pet owners don’t have to compromise on style when selecting durable and long-lasting flooring. Both vinyl and laminate provide a smart, luxury appearance in a number of colors and finishes to suit different interiors.

Ultimately, the choice of vinyl or laminate will depend on your personal preference and wider considerations such as budget, but remember that laminate is probably worth avoiding in areas that may be subject to excess moisture. 

Finally, it’s always a good idea to 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.