When it comes to deciding which floors are the best for your space, you may find yourself having to consider your furry, four-legged friends (or other animals) before making any decisions.
You are not alone in asking the question: Is bamboo flooring a good option for pets? The answer is yes, bamboo floors are a great option when considering which floors would work well with your pets in mind. Bamboo floors are especially great because they tend to be more scratch and stain-resistant than many other flooring options.
Now, although there are a number of different pets that people have in their homes, the most relevant for this conversation, and the two that we get the most questions about, are dogs and cats. For that reason, many of the information provided in this article will be geared towards those who have dogs and/or cats as their primary pet(s).
In order to provide you with the most valuable information related to why bamboo flooring is such a good option for pets, we’ve put together the top 12 reasons for you to feel confident about your decision.
12 reasons why bamboo floors are a good option for people with pets
1. They are more stain and scratch-resistant when compared to other materials
As mentioned in our response above, bamboo floors are known to stand out when compared to other flooring materials (both wood and non-wood types) for its resistance to scratches and stains.
Especially when referring to higher quality bamboo floors, these are often coated with an aluminum oxide coating which, among other reasons, is meant to protect the floors from scratches. This is great news when is comes to dogs and/or cats, which sometimes have longer nails that will come in contact with your floors more often.
However, as is the case with many situations in life, it is better to stay away from lower-quality bamboo floors that do not have multiple coats of aluminum oxide, as this will lead to scratches which are not typical with this flooring type.
In addition to its resistance to scratching, if cleaned quickly enough, you will find that bamboo floors do not easily soak in liquids (like pet urine) and therefore do not stain easily.
2. They are extremely durable
As we’ve covered in our post related to the durability of bamboo floors, they are often considered to be one of the most durable materials you can use for both floors and building materials in general.
There are certain characteristics that are naturally occurring in bamboo that allow for this flooring type to have a higher score on the Janka rating scale than other floor types. The rating scale was created to measure the “hardness” of different types of woods.
Ultimately, the higher the score, the more durable the material is, given the solidity. In most Janka measurements, certain types of bamboo floors typically sit somewhere above the average or at the top of the list in terms of the Janka rating.
3. They are essentially spill-resistant
Aside from not allowing stains, this same characteristic allows for virtually no damage to happen to your bamboo floors if cleaned quickly enough; this is also a result of the same aluminum oxide coating mentioned previously. In our post related to bamboo floor damage from spills and other liquids, we recommend cleaning up spills as soon as you spot them, and also give tips on how to clean up different substances (including pet urine) from your floors.
Where this becomes an issue is when you allow pet accidents or spills to lay untouched for a considerable amount of time. This can ultimately lead to discoloring of your bamboo floors or even swelling as the floors begin to absorb the liquid substance.
4. Easy to clean
Should you find yourself having to clean up after your pets, you’ll be glad to know that bamboo floors are extremely easy to clean. Due to its smooth surface, spilled substances can be cleaned in no time.
Not only is this a benefit for humans and their safety, it is great for pets and ensuring they won’t get hurt sliding on substances than can be easily and quickly cleaned up. You can also visit our “Best Of” page to see our recommendations on the best products for cleaning bamboo floors.
5. They won’t develop mold or mildew
Due to the natural antimicrobial properties of the grass, bamboo is able to kill off bacteria that can often lead to mold. While we’re sure we don’t have to spend too much time going over the dangers of mold as it pertains to humans, few people know that mold exposure can also lead to respiratory issues for your pets, as well as the development of other illnesses.
For both you and your pets, it may be a safer bet to go with an option that fights against this for the life of the product.
6. Many brands offer low VOC-emitting options and even options that have no formaldehyde
In our “Best Of” list of the best eco-friendly bamboo floors, we detail our favorite options for those wanting to ensure that they are selecting bamboo floors that don’t have any (or close to non-detectable) traces of toxic chemicals, or volatile organic compounds (VOCs).
One of the most common concerns from consumers when considering bamboo floors is the use of formaldehyde during the manufacturing or installation process. Knowing that there are options available so that you don’t have to worry about your family or your pets being exposed to potentially dangerous chemicals is a big bonus when it comes to bamboo floors.
7. They are sometimes produced with a covering that is slip-resitant
This is especially beneficial for those with pets that are extremely active and/or very playful. You’d hate to see a situation where, when walking through your doors after a long day, your pet’s excitement leads to an accident due to a slip.
Not all bamboo floors are made with this non-slip covering, so be sure to read the notes from the manufacturer before making a final decision.
8. Certain color options can hide scratches more easily
Although bamboo floors come in a wide range of hues and colors, there are many options that are available in lighter colors. While not ideal, if your floors do happen to get scratched, you will find that the lighter shades tend to allow for scratches to go unnoticed.
9. They can often times be refinished
As covered in another one of our articles related to bamboo floors, you will often be able to refinish your bamboo floors should you find that they have been significantly damaged with scratches.
Depending on the quality, the number of coats of aluminum oxide that were applied by the manufacturer, and the thickness of the top layer (sometimes referred to as the wear layer), you may actually be able to refinish your bamboo floors a number of times.
While we generally recommend you consult with a professional before moving forward with the refinishing process, it is good to know that there are options for you should your pet cause scratches in your floors over time.
10. They are sustainable
One of our favorite attributes of bamboo floors is the sustainability. Because of how quickly bamboo grows back after harvesting, it is a much more sustainable option when compared to many other hardwood flooring options.
While not a direct tie to your pets, you are indirectly impacting the wellness of your pets by investing in a product that is better for the environment as a whole.
11. They can be more cost-effective than hardwood floors
While also not directly impacting your pet’s wellness, it is an added benefit to have all of the reasons above when choosing bamboo floors, and also paying less for these attributes. While this can often times vary, in general, bamboo floors can be a much less expensive item when compared to other flooring types (including many hardwood floors).
Be sure to shop around both big box retailers, larger hardware and home improvement stores, and even smaller mom and pop shops that offer bamboo flooring as an option. You may find that, depending on the time of year or other factors, there may be special deals on bamboo floors.
12. You don’t have to sacrifice look or style for utility
One of the things that most consumers find most appealing about bamboo floors is the surprisingly expansive offering of hues, colors, and styles that you can find. If after reading the 11 facts above you believe that bamboo floors are truly the best floors for your pets, but you still have concerns related to the look, just know that this is not an issue.
In fact, because of the different manufacturing methods and classes of bamboo floors, there are hundreds of options to choose from.
A couple of potential drawbacks
We know that, based on the information shared above, bamboo floors may sound like a no-brainer and you may be ready to run to your nearest home improvement store right away. However, it is important to know the potential drawbacks of this flooring type when it comes to your pets.
As we mentioned throughout the reasons listed above, one caution should stand out from the rest: it is important that you understand how different quality floors can impact the benefits of bamboo floors.
Know that, if you decide to go with an option that is lower quality or made in a way that is inferior when compared to other options, some of the benefits (such as the durability, scratch-resistance, and others) may no longer apply.
Additionally, we mentioned lots of benefits with the caveat that your reaction time is of utmost importance. If you allow accidents created by your pets to sit for long periods of time, you will be dealing with much more than just the bad smell. In order to save yourself from headaches in the future, as soon as your are aware that your pet has had an accident indoors, you should clean the substance right away.
- When it comes to looking for the best options for a space with pets, try to stay away from carbonized bamboo floors. During the manufacturing process, these floors are exposed to extremely high heat levels that can actually work against the durability of bamboo floors.
- Many companies will offer the opportunity to order samples so that you can test out the material first. Many of the big box home improvement stores even offer a wide selection of samples that are grab-and-go. Securing samples of the different flooring options will allow you the opportunity to test the floors against the substances and materials that they will come contact with in your home.
- We recommend (if this is not the case already) that you designate a dedicated area inside of your space that is where your pet(s) will eat and drink. Assuming you set this dedicated area, you should place a mat or rug that can catch and/or absorb any substances or foods that could potentially spill on your floors. This will help prevent damage as this will ensure that substances are not left sitting on the flooring surface for long periods of time.
- For the best results, and for the highest likelihood of realizing the many benefits, you should strongly consider strand-woven bamboo floors. The manufacturing process for this involves breaking down the bamboo material and re-combining under high heat. Because of this, you will find that this type of bamboo flooring tend to be much stronger and more scratch-resistant than other types of bamboo flooring.
- Be proactive and check the packaging or the manufacturer’s website for additional information before purchase. You will often be able to see information like what the warranty entails, what chemicals have been used during production, and what additional coating was used during production. This information should help to ensure that you are truly buying the best option given your unique needs with pets in your home.
- Simply asking a flooring contractor may lead to more enlightenment when it comes to which bamboo floors are the best for you when you have pets in your home. Those contractors with more experience may be able to provide guidance and feedback that can help with your decision, as they may have been exposed to installations in homes that had pets. Even if the contractor is not the person who ultimately installs your floors, it’s easy enough to ask for advice.
Wrapping things up
In this article, we’ve tried to do our best to detail the many benefits that bamboo flooring offers when if comes to preparing to make a flooring decision in a space with pets. Given the information provided, we feel it is safe to say that there are seemingly endless reasons why bamboo floors could be the right choice for you.