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We are purchasing a place and one of the things we are looking at doing is replacing the carpet downstairs with something more wood like. I say wood like because of pets and the damage they can do to hardwood floors. We had been considering laminate floors but I've been reading about bamboo and how it can be highly durable too.

So would a bamboo floor with a high Janka rating hold up well to pets or should we stick with laminate flooring?

Thanks

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This is really about your expectations of the flooring. If you are more worried about looks then you need to go with a solid hardwood. Bamboo is a very hard wood and will last many pets - when we are talking about surface damage.

However scratching will eventually breach the stain/poly finish - and then when they pee/poop that will get in the wood and it is basically never come out. So this depends how well you upkeep the floors and how many accidents you have. The "look" of the floor will be dependent on the wood rating and bamboo is very hard (oak would be fine too), the grain of the wood (wood with more character hides things better and flat woods show), and the color - a light color will hide scratches.

Your other option is pure vinyl/rubber laminates. Here is something that I have installed - also Home Depot has a line of planking (and some look like porcelain tile) that I have used. Both were great - installed easy and pure rubber. Have used them in many many basements. This won't give you the exact feel of hardwood but they look great and can be FULLY cleaned.

So it really comes down to the upkeep you want to do, how truly clean you want everything, and the look/style you are going for.

  • Well we like the look of hardwood/bamboo, and want something that will last a while (with care) with pets in the house. Hence my concern with laminates, long term they may not last and if something happens there not much we can do to repair them. With hardwood or maybe engineered wood floors we could at least do some re-finishing with them. Thanks for the info – Wayne In Yak Mar 4 '15 at 2:57
  • @WayneInYak - You aren't understanding what I am explaining. The laminates are pure rubber - they aren't even laminates but categorized there because they are not hardwood and they are click lock. Go down to HD and grab a sample, it is thick rubber - basically indestructible, waterproof and certainly more durable than hardwood. – DMoore Mar 4 '15 at 4:57
  • I'll take a look, but now the wife (final decision maker) is thinking ceramic tile in the living room and hardwood in the bedrooms. We aren't in a hurry to do anything right now, just trying to do research up front. – Wayne In Yak Mar 4 '15 at 14:56
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Do not install a laminate floor with pets. Barf, urine etc. will swell the edges of most laminates. Even using mops that are too wet will swell the edges of the flooring.

Your best bet will be with bamboo or the like. Talk about this with your installer, or if you are buying directly, check with the supplier what their warranty covers. You may find different forums online about what people installed and how it fared with pets.

  • sell the edges? Can you pleas explain? – Wayne In Yak Mar 3 '15 at 14:55
  • Sorry, that was a typo, I corrected it. It is supposed to reaed, "swell the edges". Most laminates are made of super compressed materials to get the density strong enough for flooring. A simple little thing like liquids of any sort will enter the core through the joints and start the material to swell like a dried up old school sponge that has just been set into a bucket of water. It won't take long. Our floor was done in laminate and our 2 dogs and 4 cats seen to it that the edges started to swell. – Jack Mar 4 '15 at 0:40
  • We used a snap-lock engineered floating floor. The joints are amazingly tight. Our puppy peed and barfed more than a few times on it and it is (surprisingly) no worse for wear. – DA01 Apr 3 '15 at 4:45
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I've never seen an oak floor with high-heel divots like I've seen in almost every other type of wood flooring. Bamboo is the only wood on this list that has the caveat: (represents one species) -do your homework on the species and the supplier. IMO, anything other than oak is only for esthetics (unless you can afford ironwood).

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