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Tread carefully

Plan flooring for pets, kids and other perils

Photos courtesy of Beaulieu Canada
Photos courtesy of Beaulieu Canada
Photos courtesy of Beaulieu Canada
Photos courtesy of Beaulieu Canada

WE’VE ALL HAD more time at home these last two years, whether we like it or not. For some, the pandemic has been a welcome break from their busy, everyday lives. For others, the quiet time has been, well — too quiet.

It’s no wonder pet adoptions have been at a high, with the Ontario SPCA estimating that nearly three in 10 Canadians welcomed a pet during the pandemic. Pets are loyal companions. They’re also long-term commitments, and they require long-term planning.

If you’re moving into a new home, you’ll want to consider how it works for your furry and non-furry family members alike.

Put simply, that wall-to-wall, plush carpet you love might not be the best option. Nor is that soft, expensive wood flooring. You want something cost- and pet-effective (and kid- and adult-effective, while we’re at it).

Something durable and stylish. Something that looks high-end, but won’t be ruined the minute your dog skids across the floor to fetch her favourite ball or your cat decides to forego his scratching post.

Durable flooring

"Your best bet is a waterproof laminate," says Evelyn Janz, who specializes in new-construction sales at Curtis Carpets.

"Laminate has the most durable finish for a wall-to-wall product. It’s scratch-resistant and it has a wood visual."

Janz emphasizes the waterproof specification, especially when it comes to pets.

"Regular laminate isn’t waterproof, so if the flooring gets wet around the water bowl or if your pet has an accident, traditional laminate will swell up around the seams."

The waterproof version will resist moisture for 72 hours or longer, without letting water seep past it or cause swelling.

Pet-resistant carpet

There’s no need to shy away from carpet, according to Janz.

"Carpet is still one of our biggest sellers," she says. "People are still buying and wanting carpet, especially for bedrooms. While it’s natural to stray away from carpet when you have pets, there are new technologies that cater to pet owners."

Such technologies include Pet Perfect by Stainmaster and PetGuard by Nyluxe. Carpets with these technologies safeguard against odour and stains, while making it easier to vacuum up pet hair.

"They actually repel pet hair," Janz says. "The hair is easily vacuumed up, instead of clinging to the carpet fibres."

There’s a huge variety of carpet styles with these technologies built in, so you don’t have to worry about being limited in choice simply because you want a pet-friendly option. 

"They come in all sorts of patterns and plushness," Janz says.

They also come at varying price points — from good to better to best. But if you don’t want to invest in carpet that’s made specifically for pet owners, Janz says you can always choose a carpet underlay with a moisture barrier.

"That way, if there’s an accident, it won’t soak all the way through."

Try it out

Samples can make it easier to visualize the kind of carpet or flooring you want in your home.

Janz suggests visiting a showroom to see the options available, and taking a few samples home to see what you like best. Not to worry, COVID-19 protocols are always followed, even with samples.

"Hard-surface samples are sanitized and soft-surface samples are left for 72 hours before they are sent out again," says Janz. "We’re also doing more appointmentbased meetings and following all protocols, to make sure our customers are safe."

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