Best Floors for Dog Homes

Experts share the pros and cons of wood and laminate flooring.

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After months of testing floors, Consumer Reports magazine in August 2006 declared that if you want solid-wood flooring, consider the finish. “Factory-finished floors should hold up better than site-finished floors,” plus they come with manufacturer warranties. In further contrast, engineered wood -- an easier-to-install, sometimes-cheaper alternative featuring wood veneer over laminate -- “began showing wear far sooner than solid wood in our abrasion test.”

But when it came to enduring dragged-in pebbles and foot traffic, the best flooring proved to be ... fake. “The best vinyl, linoleum, and laminates typically lasted twice as long as solid-wood flooring before their surface began showing wear,” the independent magazine stated.

Tuscon interior designer Michael Albers and his Afghan Hound Aretha moved from a home with oak wood flooring to a place with a laminate floor. Albers says his new floors are a lot easier than wood. “Wood typically takes a lot more maintenance, regardless.”

It’s not as if fake floors are flawless, however. “If you drop a pan on them, they’re going to show some marring,” says Mickey Moore, technical director of NOFMA: The Wood Flooring Manufacturers Association.

Bottom line: The maddening reality for consumers is that all flooring types have pros and cons. If cost is the overriding factor, vinyl wins. But, as Consumer Reports noted, “even the best ... still looks like vinyl.”

Sally Deneen is a DOG FANCY contributing editor who lives in Seattle

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