Best Floor for Dog Owners

Tuesday January 13, 2009
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Sometimes the best floor for a dog owner is the best choice for their dogs. Like people, dogs can be sensitive to volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that are often used in the manufacture of new flooring. VOCs are carbon-based compounds that under high pressure emit into the atmosphere. They are often associated with asthma attacks and allergy-like symptoms. By choosing flooring that contains few to no VOCs, you can minimize the amount of VOCs in your home and create a healthier environment for you and your dog(s).

Eco-friendly floor types such as linoleum, cork and bamboo can be made without the use of VOCs and other toxic chemicals. In addition, they're manufactured with materials that are sustainable and biodegradable. Cork floors, for example, are made with bark from the cork oak tree, a material that can be sourced without harming the tree or the environment. Bamboo flooring is made with bamboo shoots (a type of grass) that grows at an extremely fast pace. In fact, some bamboo can grow up to 4 feet in one day! Linoleum floors are comprised of pine rosin, cork flour and linseed oil - all natural products that are also biodegradable.

Other green pet-friendly floor types include rubber (made with latex) and ceramic tiles made with recycled content. While natural rubber floors offer a surface that is easy-to-maintain and resilient, it can be the source of allergies for both people and pets. Many are allergic to latex and don't even know it. Before purchasing rubber floors (or any latex materials for that matter) make sure that you're not sensitive to these materials.

Ceramic tiles are not only green and hypoallergenic, they are also extremely durable. Ceramic tiles are made by firing clay, minerals and talc up to temperatures of 2000 degrees Fahrenheit in a kiln. When properly sealed, ceramic tiles can hold up to heavy foot traffic as well as spills and standing water. Ceramic tiles can be a good fit for an active pet.

Wood floors may not be recommended for pets as spills, accidents and nails can damage the surface. Even the denser hardwood types that rank high on the Janka Hardness Chart can incur pet damage over time. If you want hardwood flooring but don't want the unsightly damage, lay down area rugs in high traffic rooms and mats in water-susceptible areas (e.g. kitchen sink). Make sure that any mats or rugs you put down on hardwood is not rubber backed, as this could cause floor discoloration.

For more information on pet-friendly floor types, check out our pet section on


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I don't understand how bamboo can be VOC free - its is made from many bamboo strips and glue and most are made in China. Knowing what I know about Chinese and environmental problems over there and all the bad press about poisonous ingredients that they have been slipping into foods, I don't trust Chinese made floors or glues. I can't imagine a Chinese glue factory being sustainable environmentally. So I think bamboo is not environmentally friendly. Also, I would imagine they may be like the Brazilian soybean farms that clear cut, bulldoze and burn jungles in order to grow a single crop. Plus my neighbor across the street has a bamboo floor and they constantly complain about how their dog and every piece of furniture leaves dents in the floor - it's way too soft. I bought a Morgan & Teach wide plank floor ipe and it's awesome, gorgeous, hard as a rock and all natural (no chems), easy to clean too. Check them out I love my floor!
February 12 2009
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