Bamboo Flooring and Pets

Savvy pet owners keep their pets in mind when they think about updating the furnishings and materials in their homes. Our furry and feathered friends are part of the family, so it’s no wonder people are interested in information pet-friendly flooring.

Why Bamboo is the best flooring for pets?

Stone offers some of the most scratch-resistant and water-resistant flooring for homes, but it’s not pretty or practical to put tile everywhere. Stone is cold, hard under foot, and just not the look that people want throughout a home. Hardwood has a timeless look, but can be susceptible to scratches and wear that cause the floors to look old or need refinishing. With the popularity of hardwood, bamboo flooring then becomes an easy alternative that still fits with many different interior designs and can better hold up to pets.

If you think your best option is hardwood, you might be barking up the wrong tree because there are many benefits to bamboo flooring for pet owners.

bamboo flooring with dog
water resistant bamboo flooring pet playing outside
scratch resistant bamboo flooring bamboo flooring pet friendly

Bamboo flooring offers many benefits to pet owners

  • Hardness – Some types of bamboo floors are even harder than hardwood, meaning they’ll hold up better to scratches even from big dogs.
  • Finish – Bamboo floors come in different types of finishes and colors. Pet owners will do best with less glossy finishes and lighter colors. These characteristics don’t show wear as quickly as dark and high-gloss floors do.
  • Texture – Just like finishes, bamboo flooring has many options for texture. Hand-scraped and distressed versions won’t look worn as quickly because stray scratches will blend in.
  • Resistance to Moisture – Most strand bamboo floors are water resistant. Even with more resistant floors, water damage is usually still possible so it’s important to be vigilant. Still, some types of bamboo flooring are more resilient and would take longer to stain than other types of wood.
  • Aluminum Oxide – It sounds intense, but aluminum oxide is a safe material added to the finish of some bamboo floors. Tiny pieces of metal form a protective layer that is proven to last longer than other options.

Keep Bamboo Flooring Looking Great Even with Pets

Though bamboo is the best option for pet-friendly flooring, you’ll want to follow these steps to help prevent or minimize damage to your floors:

pet nails

1. Take care of your pet’s nails

Regular trimming helps prevent scratches on flooring and furniture. Cats aren’t usually a problem because of their smaller size and thinner nails, but dogs can do a number of floors just from running and playing in the house. Here’s a great video with advice on how to cut your dog’s nails.

2. Clear up accidents ASAP

With very young or elderly animals, accidents can happen. It’s not their fault and it needn’t be a problem for you. Just mop it up as soon as you find it to prevent water damage and staining. Also, consider investing in a pheromone diffuser if you fear that the toilet trouble is being caused by nervousness, rather than age.

pet urine bamboo floor
food water on mat

3. Keep food and water on a large mat

Many animals (dogs in particular) are messy eaters. They’ll chow down on their dinner and spray a good deal of it onto the surrounding floor. By keeping their food and water on a wipe-clean mat, you reduce the amount that will actually end up on the floor.

4. Protect flooring around cages

For those of you with smaller animals (birds, hamsters, rabbits), you might wish to put down mats to protect the area surrounding their cage. You never really know how far they can spread their food, bedding, and less savory things, until you find it on the floor.

mat inside door

5. Use mats at every door

If you’ve ever taken a dog for a walk, you know that they have a tendency to bring the whole park back with them. By putting mats inside and outside every door, you can reduce the amount of dirt that Fido tracks in. Scrubby mats and pads to wipe feed inside and outside are both a good idea.

6. Put down mats in play areas

Most people choose to put area rugs in lounging and playing areas for the comfort and for protection of the floor. If you’ve got a big critter that likes to jump at a certain window or do a dance in the dining room, take extra care to protect those spots. Pet owners with rambunctious pets can also try nail caps that protect floors and furniture.

pet play mat
bamboo floor cleaner spray

7. Keep up with weekly cleaning

Clean around the areas your pet frequents. No doubt you’re already doing this, but bamboo floors generally just need a sweep to clear up fur and dirt. If the area needs something a little more substantial, bamboo floors can be lightly mopped, but make sure to only use cleaning products specifically designed for bamboo. Avoid cleaners or waxes that are not meant for bamboo as they can cause issues.

What to Look for in Pet-Friendly Bamboo Flooring

Remember that lighter colors, less-shiny finishes, and distressed textures help hide the occasional scratch. Bamboo flooring is susceptible to extreme scratching, but less than other types of flooring. And look for hardness if you are concerned about scratches, especially from larger animals like big dogs.

Check out strand bamboo flooring first because it’s the strongest. Strand woven floors are designed by pulling apart pieces of the cut bamboo stalks and weaving or braiding them together to create an extremely tight bond. These pieces are heated and compressed to form a floorboard stronger than most floors on the market. Look into water-resistance of the flooring, too. Some will be less likely to show a stain from your furry friend’s accidents or spills.

pet friendly bamboo flooring

Test Bamboo Flooring for Your Pet

Just like testing hair dye on a hidden part of your head first, it’s a great idea to get samples of a bamboo flooring and test it before you choose which one to buy. Maybe you can teach your dog how to high-five and have it repeatedly high-five the floor sample until it shows a scratch. Or you can just put it up to the test of your own implements and see which one seems to work the best while also giving you the look you want.

You might also be able to test it with water and see how long it takes for moisture to affect the look of your sample. That sounds like a fun experiment, right!? It’s a good excuse to get out your lab coat.

Still Curious About Bamboo Flooring for Pets?

Lots of manufacturers have information and testimonials from their happy customers who can attest to the durability of a particular floor in regards to having pets. Here’s a good example of someone who wanted a specific look and needed highly scratch-resistant floors for their big doggies.