Today a reader asks:

We have 3 small dogs and also foster an additional dog each month.  We have carpet throughout the house even in the kitchen.  It is quality carpet and seems to clean well when I use the Bissell and better when I call the carpet pros once a year.  However I am tired of the continual cleaning as it is an ordeal to bring the ‘Bissell up from basement, prepare the solution, then use the machine and clean it.  WHAT OTHER TYPE OF FLOOR is available that would clean with a bucket of water and yet look nice in a home.  I’ve seen rubber exercise mats. But I don’t want black.  HELP.  John in Omaha.

Wanting to be able to clean the floors with just a bucket of water, eliminates some of your flooring choices.  I’d stay away from bamboo and pre-finished wood flooring.  I’d also stay away from most laminate flooring.  While the boards are interlocking and are warrantied from everyday use in kitchens and bathrooms, they still recommend sweeping and just spot cleaning when it comes to water.  I’d recommend a vinyl floor. While vinyl has a reputation for looking fake some styles are very realistic and even have embossed designs to help give depth a high quality look,  vinyl will be be able to resist the dogs paws if they play indoors. It’s a great choice.

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Another option, while still staying in the vinyl family is the type that comes in planks like laminate, but sticks to itself on the edges or gets glued down instead of interlocking joints.  This kind is also water proof.  Plus it’s two layers of vinyl and can take a beating if you have large dogs.  I’d suggest looking at Armstrong’s Lock Haven if you are looking for an easy installation, or one of the MODe planks which is available in more styles.  And comes in a tile look as well.

Another option if you like hardwood floors would be to have unfinished hardwood flooring installed and finished “on site”.  This basically means that installers come to your home and install, stain and finish as they install the flooring.  Also known as Swedish finish.  The great thing about this is the wood flooring edges are protected and you can mop all you want with causing any harm to the wood.  Keep in mind though this process can become pricey and you and your pups will have to leave home for a minimum of 3 days while the process is being done.

Whatever option you choose for your new flooring, just make sure you check the warranty.  You will want something that can withstand dog’s paws, and water.

Do you have questions about the selecting or the installation of: tile, carpet wall treatments (window blinds, etc)? Then email me your tale of woe and perhaps I will be able to answer your questions right here at the Home Makeover Diva Blog!

Written by Amanda Hartley