Big Bob's Flooring Blog

What You Need to Know About Pets, Allergies, And Flooring!

Jul 8, 2019 10:30:00 AM / by Robert Lewis

2,000 FLOORING SWEEPSTAKES
Whether you already know your way around a toolbox, or you’re going through your first remodel right now, it is always important to understand how your floor is maintained.

 

There is always regular upkeep you can complete yourself and maintenance projects that need to be completed by professionals.

 

Some of the most common maintenance concerns and/or repairs come from family pets! Large dogs playing or chasing each other, unamused cats knocking stuff over and using the brand new carpet as a scratching post, anything can happen.

 

 

Along with pet damage and routine maintenance, many flooring materials are manufactured with natural or artificial materials that could cause allergic reactions. Of course, this is something to consider before you have your floor installed, but it is worth mentioning in the conversation about maintenance.

It is important that you talk to your local retailer, designer, and conduct your own research about the floor covering you want in your home.

 

Below is a material-by-material list of how pets and allergies play a role in the maintenance of different types of flooring:

 

Hardwood

 

Prior to installing the hardwood, you’ll need to let it “acclimate” for 5-7 days. Check out this article to get more information specifically about hardwood floors, but we acclimate the wood simply to get it used to the humidity in which it’s being installed.

 

Preventative maintenance is the best maintenance! Here are some steps to preventative maintenance you can take to get the most out of your floors:

 

  • Buying walk-off mats for any and all entryways are the best way to prevent dirt, grit, and anything else from tracking and possibly causing damage.

 

  • Maintain pet (dog) nails constantly, depending on how quickly they grow cutting them once a week.

 

  • As always, make sure all chairs, table legs, appliances, have appropriate footing like felt pads so they don't scuff the wood.

 

  • Periodically check moisture content in flooring and any areas below the floor such as basements. You want to be able to maintain the humidity in your home in the 35% to 55% range regardless of the time of year.

 

  • Upgrade your windows to block against sunlight to hinder fading due to sunlight. Window treatments are a great preventative maintenance tool.

 

  • Maintain temperature on the surface of the floor to manufacturer required temperatures.

Sunroom floors can get really hot even on colder days on the floor!

 

  • Wipe up spills ASAP

 

Hardware:

 

Never vacuum hardwood floors! The beater bar can scuff and destroy the surface.

A microfiber mop and a neutral pH cleaner is the way to go for hardwood.

When a specific cleaner is not recommended by the manufacturer, Bona or Capture Hardwood cleaners work best.

 

The less water, the better.

These products should be micro-fiber-mopped once every week.

 

And while we’re at it, never wax a hardwood floor unless you want to do it every day.

 

Repair:

 

For damaged pieces, its always good to have a few leftover boxes or boards. IT is difficult, but hardwood boards can be popped out and new ones can fill the spots left by old boards.

 

Some stains can fall through the entire board so they cannot be refinished. Replacing the board would be the only fix.

 

Carpet

 

Carpet is probably the best for allergies because holds onto allergens more (which is a good thing!)***

It keeps them there instead of floating in the air 4-7 feet of the ground in front of your face.

A good vacuum sucks them up so they go form the floor into the vacuum and that's it!

 

***Alternatively, some people do have wool allergies so a wool carpet would be a bad choice in that instance.

This is true for people with metal allergies that purchase tiles made from those metals as well.

 

Prior to installation:

 

Buy Walk-off mats for all entrances and exits in the home. Preventive maintenance is the best maintenance.

Take off all shoes and boots and footwear when entering the home.

 

If your carpet isn’t fade resistant, upgrade your windows to block against sunlight to hinder fading due to sunlight. Window treatments are a great preventative maintenance tool.

 

Read our other articles or talk to our people to know which carpet is good for which area

 

Hardware:

 

Vacuum with a decent beater bar that can be raised above the height of the carpet.

And be sure to never use any water on the carpet. Ever. Period. I don’t care if it’s a cleaning agent. Just don’t do it!

 

Lastly, have the carpet professionally cleaned every 18 months and vacuum every 1-2 weeks depending on usage.

 

Vinyl Plank

 

Prior to installation

 

Get yourself some walk-off mats for the entrances and exits. As strong and durable vinyl is, enough build up of dirt, dust, and grit from the outdoors ca cause scuffing in the long run.

 

General

 

Window treatments are a great preventative maintenance tool. Upgrading your windows can block sunlight to stop fading due to sunlight.

Make sure all chairs, table legs, appliances, have appropriate footing like felt pads so they don't scuff the wood.

 

Hardware

 

Do not use a beater bar if you decide to use a vacuum! It could easily scuff the floor.

 

Microfiber mops and sweeping are the safest and most efficient ways to maintain vinyl flooring. Only use neutral pH materials for cleaning.

 

Repair

 

A single tile can usually never be popped out but a whole row must be woven back in.

If a tile in the middle of the floor needs replacement, one half of the floor will need to e removed in order to reach it. That may prove difficult with no experience but many vinyl products can be very forgiving towards beginners!

 

Tile

 

Prior to installation

Buy Walk-off mats for all entrances and exits in the home. Preventive maintenance is the best maintenance.

Take off all shoes and boots and footwear when entering the home.

 

Make sure all chairs, table legs, appliances, have appropriate footing like felt pads so they don't scuff the wood.

 

Verify the deflection is not too high on the floor (i.e. the floor can hold the weight of the tile).

 

Read our articles and talk to our people to inform you of what tile would be best for your project and what upkeep is necessary for a tile.

 

Hardware

 

No vacuum with a beater bar!

They can easily chip corners.

 

Microfiber mop and sweeping every other week. Make sure the broom is not coarse enough to damage the grout.

Use only neutral pH materials for cleaning.

 

Upgrading the grout to epoxy can help eliminate the concern of staining.

Be sure to wipe any spills quickly to prevent people slipping or grout staining.

 

Repair

 

A tile can be popped out and replaced if there are leftover tiles.

 

Spider cracks or cracks in a straight line are indicative the subfloor is failing.

Be sure to keep a close eye on the floor during your routine maintenance to catch any damage.

 

Sheet Vinyl & Laminates

 

Sheet Vinyl and Laminate flooring receive exactly the same treatment as the other types of flooring!

 

Make sure you don't use a vacuum, upgrade windows to hinder fading from sunlight,

walk off mats, etc...

 

The only difference is that Sheet Vinyl is able to stand up against moisture when dealing with cleaning or spills.

Laminate is not the same way! We’ve heard it all:

 

“Laminate is waterproof!”

 

“Laminate is water-resistant!”

 

“No, it’s waterproof from the top down!”

 

Here is what matters - it is not waterproof. Because it isn’t 100% waterproof, I don’t care how Top-Down Water-Resistant my laminate might be, I’m being careful with moisture around it at all times.

It’s an investment you want to protect! Accidents happen and spills are a common issue. There is a laminate that protects well against it! But always remember it isn’t 100% (yet) and treat it as such.

 

Best Flooring For Pets

 

The best flooring for pets is Porcelain Tile.

 

It has the durability that no common pet can damage even if they try to!

Aside from being incredibly durable, it is easy to clean up pet accidents.

 

Alternatively, Porcelain on stairs may make it hard for the pet to ascend or descend safely depending on the pet.

 

There are plenty of great flooring materials that can handle pet damage, but Porcelain stands above all for durability and moisture protection.

 

Topics: cost, diy, maintenance

Robert Lewis

Written by Robert Lewis

Digital Content Manager - Floors and Kitchens Today