Choosing Vinyl Flooring: Considerations for Parents and Pet Owners

Jim Williams
Posted in:
Buying Guides

Parents of young children and pet owners have unique considerations when choosing vinyl flooring. Busy households will typically experience more wear and tear, so it’s necessary for homeowners with children and pets to take this into consideration when choosing flooring material.


Children and pets can be messy, and spills are a regular part of that mess. Fortunately, vinyl flooring is easy to clean up and can withstand short-term moisture. Because of this, vinyl flooring is a great option for family houses and high traffic areas including mudrooms, kitchens, and bathrooms. 

Care and Maintenance

Not only are budgets stretched when raising a family and pets, but time is too. Vinyl flooring is easy to care for, maintain, and easy to clean. Reader's Digest notes that the following steps will elongate the life of your vinyl flooring:

  • Learn low-impact cleaning techniques: Clean your vinyl floor using the mildest possible method. Sweep or vacuum it every evening, and wipe up spills right away. After you sweep, a few times a week use a mop dampened with warm—not hot—water. If all else fails, use soap, but make sure the soap is designed for your flooring.

  • No shoe policy: Have a strict no shoe policy in the house. And even though it's invisible to the naked eye, chemicals from asphalt can stick first to your shoes and then to the floor, causing yellow streaks.

  • Use the right cleaner: If your no-wax vinyl needs cleaning, wash it with a cleaner made specifically for no-wax floors, following the directions on the container. If you have older vinyl that requires waxing, clean it with warm water and detergent. Avoid cleaners with high amounts of chemicals, as this can eat away at the flooring material.

  • Soap scum = dirt buildup: If you use soap and warm water to clean your laminate floors, make sure that all soap is wiped away. Soap scum actually attracts dirt buildup, believe it or not!

Other considerations:

  • Safety: Vinyl flooring can be slippery when wet, so consider safety of young children at all times. 
  • Mildew:  If not properly installed, moisture can seep into seams causing mildew. To avoid this, make sure to seal the edges of the vinyl and  don't leave moisture on the surface for long periods of time. Also, keep in mind that water from an overly wet mop will work its way into the cracks, seams, and edges, destroying the adhesive that holds the vinyl to the subfloor, causing it to come loose or corners to potentially curl.
  • Versatility: Because vinyl is available in many shapes and finishes it’s easy to create unique looks throughout your house: think playrooms, kitchens, and bathrooms. The design versatility is vast as finishes can range from distressed to low gloss; mimicking natural elements like stone and wood. 

Families are busy, and no one wants to spend extra time thinking about their floors. Vinyl flooring is long lasting, and with proper maintenance and care, durable for many years. That way, families and pet owners can spend less time remodeling and more time enjoying their homes with their loved ones.