I'm so glad to have found this forum. I am new here. We look forward to learning a lot!
We are about to remodel our kitchen. We have BIG dogs (Newfoundlands) and this is making our flooring choice more complicated. Here are the elements we need in a floor:
1) Water - these dogs slobber and they leave puddles when they drink. During the day (while we are at work) if they drink - the puddle could be standing for a few hours. So a floor that can withstand standing water (guessing NO Laminates.
2) Scratch resistant - although their nails are short - they each weigh 120+ pounds
3) Non-slippery - we have to protect the joints on these "kids" and can't have them sliding all over hurting themselves
4) Pattern - something that doesn't instantly show the dirt.
So far - we have eliminated hard wood and laminates. Ceramic tile isn't really something we like - it can be slippery and create an uneven surface for chairs etc.
We have been considering Cork flooring - any thoughts on this? It's a "click system" will this react like a laminate? Any experience with it's wear & tear?
Yesterday - we discovered the "Fiber Flooring" at Flooring America (from Armstrong, Mannington or Naturcor). After reading on here - seems like other retailers are carrying this product. Is this a good option for us given our requirements?
We are D-I-Yrs, if we went the cork route - probably would self-install. If we go the Fiber floor route (or whatever the industry term is for it) - we would have it installed since it involves gluing etc......
Location: Today, Under the Wainbow, tomowwo, who knows
Re: Best flooring with BIG dogs
We need a little more info.
How big is the kitchen?
What is the subflooring?
What is your budget?
What are your expectations for the life cycle of this floor?
With more information we can help more. At first glance it sounds like for wearability, ceramic tile is the way to go. You might look at Duraceramic but it can be slippery. With big dogs laminate is a no go as is wood and carpet. My opinion is that cork is too soft for BIG dogs. That leaves vinyl and ceramic. My .02.
Thanks for the reply. Here are the answers:
We need about 240 sq. feet
Our options are not limited by budget - we want to make the best choice.
Life -cycle of floor - this I would consider a product of the budget. If we don't spend too much (ie Fiber flooring) my expectations are low on the life cycle. If we spend more (i.e. cork) I would want more life. 5-10 years is reasonable I think.
The cork will be at least (more) as sensitive to water as laminate, plus as RG mentioned, it is pretty soft. I like ceramic, but solid vinyl tile or wood look planks could be another option to explore. There are some very realistic looks out there.
I'm thinking about this one before making any recommendation but I do disagree with Barry about Linoleum.
Having sold and installed hundreds of thousands of yards commercially, it is absolutely the wrong product if water is an issue at all. I have replaced many thousands of yards of lino in hospitals where it was specified but replaced due to failure when water is frequently present. Northwestern Memorial in Chgo. was a very large project we did when they built the building. There was approximately 180,00 yards of lino and we were replacing areas with vinyl before the building was even completed (a very lucrative extra I might add).
It is inherently anti-microbial but I would not deem it "hygienic".
As far as "green", yes it is made primarily from organic materials (cork, linseed oil, wood flour, cork and jute), except some of the pigments. Effluence from the manufacture of this products would make it prohibitive for a new linoleum plant to be constructed in this country and meet EPA standards.
My initial reaction to your specification/performance requirements lead me to ask if a commercial look is acceptable. What type pattern/design/colors do you have in mind?
As far as Fiber Floor (and similar), they are cushioned vinyl sheet products. My experience is thicker cushioned floors tend to cut easier than flat rotogravures or inlaid vinyls. Rubber flooring may be an option but it can be slippery if there is standing water. There are some commercial products that have a slip resistant grit in them.
Knowing Newfies are relatively sedentary, I have to wonder if slip resistance is even a true need. Growing up, my folks had a kennel. We had slate, walnut parquet, rubber tile, asphalt tile (yeah some of that old dark green 9X9 stuff) and carpet. They all stood up but each had their own need to keep them looking good. The walnut (being domestic) was quite soft and there was scratching present (we also kept nail cut short- these were show dogs and fairly large- German Shepherds). Wax finish that required a little more work to keep looking good, but acceptable to us to have to spend the effort. Your expectations of "performance" are very germane to what will be acceptable for the long run. Are any scratches acceptable? What kind of dirt will the floor be exposed to? I think your comments on water will limit what I could recommend. I'd also love to hear some more on how important slip resistance actually is.
Both of our Newfs are young (one is 2 years the other 10 months) therefore they are very active. We have ceramic tile in the foyer - when they come running for dinner etc and hit that floor - they go sliding. We certainly limit the amount of running in the house - but it happens. They slide on the vinyl we have in the kitchen too - but not nearly as bad as the ceramic tile. Some traction is necessary - but I wouldn't say we need a commercial-grade resistance.
If we didn't have Newfs - we would be going for a high-end product - such as cork or an exotic wood. Something natural looking - and unusual. I don't think an overly commercial look will suit our needs. Regarding wood floors - I don't mind scratches - in fact my favorite wood floors are the hand-planed that have imperfections to them. We have shy-ed away from wood - again - because of the water and how slippery they can be. I don't want to put in beautiful wood and then need to cover with throw rugs.
We saw some black rubber panels last nice shopping - and jokingly we both said it was the perfect product for us - although not the look we want.
As far as dirt - it's mainly paw prints. They track dirt in from the yard. I certainly clean as fast as I can - but I think a patterned floor might help. Right now we have a plain ivory colored vinyl and it shows every paw print, every black Newfie hair, etc.
It sounds like you might do well with a hardwood floor if you protected it from the standing water and hid the scratches well. You seem to like hardwood and many of the species that have a lot of natural character markings, like grain and color variation might work. Also, a distressed finish will not only hide the scratches better, but also be more slip resistant.
The dogs will calm down in a relatively short time, so the protection you need for their active lives now will be short lived. Get a floor that can be refinished a number of times so you don't have to worry so much about repairs or replacement - or getting that industrial look you don't want. Get one that you like. A hardwood floor will also increase the value of your home. Protect the small area around the water and food dishes with a protective and aesthetically pleasing rubber mat of some sort and enjoy you new floor and your wonderful dogs.
Go with a hand scrap hardwood, keep a mat under the dogs bowl area during the day and when you get home you can remove it. Buy an extra carton of wood and if you need to replace any boards because of the water from the dogs, doing a board replacement is no big deal for a good installer.
This is the look you seam to keep coming back to so don't be afraid of it.
The fiber floor is a nice floor but if you are not happy with your vinly you will not be happy in the long run with it.