With Pets and Kids, Carpeting or Hardwood Floors?

By Jeremy Strickland

Note: Names and details have been changed to protect the innocent.


Annie’s family got a new addition a few months back, a cute little Pyrenees puppy that one of her three kids named “Oscar.” The family had a lot of love to give but job and school schedules to keep, so the puppy found himself home alone for several hours every weekday, kept in the living room with the doorway gated and the TV on to keep him company. Puppies typically need to eliminate once every two hours, so you can imagine what happened in the absence of his new family. To make matters worse, Buttermilk, the family cat, came down with a bladder infection and took to the living room for relief too.

Once Buttermilk was better and Oscar was potty trained , I was called in to assess the damage and estimate a carpet cleaning. With an ultraviolet light in one hand and a moisture detector in the other, I found the twenty year old carpet to be more than 30% saturated with urine. Pulling up the carpet at a corner revealed that the problem was deep, going through the padding to the wood underneath. The living room carpet was beyond a cleaning, it needed to come up and be replaced.

Between the vet bills, cat medication, and the cost of cleaning supplies (you should have seen the array of spray bottles; Annie had purchased every possible cleaner she could find in-store and online), she had already spent a good chunk of cash. So, Annie’s question to me was, “Should I just avoid carpet altogether at this point and go with hardwood floors?” It’s easy enough to see why Annie would feel this way after what happened with her pets, but I still recommended carpet to her. In fact, there are quite a few vital reasons to consider carpeting over hardwood floors.

Accidents happen with pets and kids, but with technology advancing every aspect of our lives, new kinds of carpeting have been developed that are resistant to both stains and wearing (see: Triexta carpeting). Besides being cheaper than hardwood, carpet is a beneficial choice for a homeowner because it makes for a quieter house, provides warmth in the winter, is cozier on your feet, and cushions your kids’ tumbles. As Mike Sheridan (Randy’s Carpet Care’s senior-most technician) likes to point out, it also helps to filter the air of your house.

Ever see lines of dirt that have formed under a doorway or in the crevices at the baseboards of a home? These are filtration lines, where the air has been forced through the carpet at a concentrated point, and the carpet has trapped all of the particles carried with the air. Everything from dust to dog hair to your spouse’s last sneeze will get trapped in the carpet, and just like your furnace air filter, if you keep it clean, it will help to keep you healthy. Just as your kitchen trash bin needs to be emptied every couple of days, so does your carpet, so vacuum often, and have your carpets professionally cleaned at least once annually. You will see your investment in carpeting last a long time while improving the look and feel of your home and helping your family stay healthy and comfortable.

I called Annie to follow up with her yesterday. I was glad to hear that both Oscar and Buttermilk are happy, healthy, and going to the bathroom in the appropriate places. The living room is freshly carpeted. Annie and her husband feel that new carpeting instead of hardwood floors was the right choice for their family, saying that as much the kids love to play on the floor in front of the TV, it’s nice to know that they have a clean and comfortable spot for it.


Potty training your new puppy can be tough. Here’s some helpful advice from the Humane Society: How To Housetrain Your Dog or Puppy

Did I mention that recyclable carpet is going on the market? If you’re considering new carpeting in your home but you’re concerned about the footprint you’ll leave behind, have a look at this: The First 100% Recyclable Carpets Are Here

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One thought on “With Pets and Kids, Carpeting or Hardwood Floors?

  1. Pingback: DIY – Tackling Pet Odors | Randy's Carpet Care

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