Having pets restricts your choice of floor coverings, because until they’re house-trained, they can permanently damage any material that isn’t waterproof. Neither bamboo nor cork are completely waterproof, but equally are water resistant and may utilize pets, provided that you’re diligent about cleaning up fast. Cork is the more pet-friendly of both flooring options, and it is antimicrobial, so a pet accident isn’t prone to result in an odor problem.

Bamboo — As Tough as Oak

One of the advantages of bamboo floors is its durability. Manufacturers use a variety of methods to construct bamboo floors, and the final result is a product using a Janka hardness rating at precisely the exact same range as a result of oak, that is famous for its durability. Bamboo almost always comes packed using a baked-on, water-resistant urethane coating, but even this coating is exposed to standing fluids, like pet urine. Bamboo does have one important advantage over hardwoods like oak: If it gets wet, it wo not swell as much, therefore it is less likely to warp and cup.

Cork — Porous and Resilient

Cork comes from the bark of the cork oak — Quercus suber — and it is a material noted for resilience: It contains millions of tiny air pores and may rebound back to its original shape after being destroyed by up to 14,000 lbs per square inch of pressure. Because of its air bubbles, cork is less dense than bamboo or hardwood, but although it is porous, it wo not absorb water or pet urine. Porosity creates a problem, though. If a pet injury doesn’t occur, urine may collect in the little depressions in the surface of the floor, and you might have trouble mopping it all up.

Benefits of Cork

Your pets will appreciate the softness of cork, and they’re less likely to slip on its textured surface. You, on the other hand, will value the noise insulation which cork provides. Cork comes in planks that either snap together to form a floating floor or which you glue to the subfloor. A floating floor is an advantage when pet mishaps are probably, because if a plank sustains hurt, you can disassemble the floor back to that plank and replace it. It isn’t as easy to replace a damaged bamboo floorboard that is nailed or glued to the subfloor.

Safety and Restoration

The pieces of both bamboo and cedar floors which are most vulnerable to pet mishaps will be the gaps between planks or boards; if urine seeps through, it can result in permanent damage. If injuries are likely, it is a good idea to spread a couple of protective coats of water-based polyurethane to protect the floor, even if it’s new. The uric acid in pet urine may also dull the finish on cork and bamboo flooring. If a spill does occur, it is possible to restore the shine by gently sanding and applying a touch-up coat of finish.

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