Guys. Mega problem. I’ve fallen in love with two things – and they can’t co-exist. I’m getting a dog next year. I’m saying this so it happens – because that’s what you’re meant to do with life-long hopes and dreams. Let’s outline how much I’ve wanted one thing and one thing only for my entire life:
A golden retriever. We each need as much attention as each other – it’s a perfect match, and would give Paolo some much needed time off.
“Hi! Hi! What are you doing! Want to talk to me? Want to cook me dinner! Hey! Guy! Hello!”
That’s his reality without a needy puppy. No delusion about the time and commitment doggie will require, but I need this dog. He’s already got a name. But his existence poses future problems to the Ugly Baby Empire. Renovating? Time? Money? … And laminate?
Future flooring: dog vs laminate
A tiny misfire watering a houseplant has proven laminate’s fragility around water – not to mention paw claws (they’re called nails, aren’t they?). It’s a shame because I already picked out the laminate for next time – a product known to nobody but me as ‘Mr. Darcy’. That’s how gorgeous it is.
If not laminate, then what?
If laminate’s out – then what’s in? Engineered hardwood or actual hardwood? Our floor was less than $2/sqft – do we add another zero for hardwood – and pay someone else to install it? Maybe we’ll have to put the dog to work? Give him a paper route. Make him audition for Air Bud XV. Whore him out as a dancer.
Google’s got answers?
- Hardwood: “Pet urine can stain the hardwood…” but if finished “with a high quality urethane, it will be more scratch and stain resistant” (Build Direct). A DIY Chatroom member recommends an “aluminum oxide acrylic urethane finish. Thickness of the finish will vary from one manufacturer to another. It can go anywhere from 3-9 coats, with 5-7 being average.”
- Engineered hardwood: Same problems as laminate, easily scratched. Not recommended.
- Bamboo: “It’s harder than the hardest hardwoods, meaning it will stand up to more traffic” and is resistant to stains. Strand woven comes particularly recommended (Build Direct).
- Cork: “[S]cratch resistant” with “excellent sound absorption” (perhaps not a big deal as we’ll hopefully buy a ground floor unit). It’s water-resistant but will discolour “over time when exposed to sunlight” (Build Direct). Are there installation costs for cork & bamboo?
- Tile floors: Scratch- & spill-resistant. Improve pet comfort with underfloor radiant heat (Brat Dog, coming right up?). Granite’s the hardest, while marble, slate and travertine are the softest. All should be sealed after installation. (Build Direct).
- Vinyl: I had a feeling I’d have more reason to love my groutable vinyl tile. This installation instruction video mentions that she chose it to stand up to her pack of doggies. Maybe the wood-effect vinyl planks are a good route? And cheapy cheap!
- Carpet: No. Not now, not ever.
Cost comparison – Our laminate was around $2/sqft, and Home Depot’s vinyl tile was less. Hopefully the next place will be slightly bigger, so there’s an added cost increase there as well. BuildDirect seemed to have the situation sussed out, they’ve videos of their Bring Your Dog to Work day, and they’re in Vancouver. So I’ll use their site for an average cost/sqft analysis.
Would it make sense – functionally and aesthetically – to perhaps use vinyl planks in the kitchen and living room, and laminate or something else we like in No Dog Allowed areas, e.g. the bedroom?
Ugly Baby II: where does the dog go?
Apartments? Not ideal for big doggies. People move to the suburbs when they’re planning to have kids – is it weird to shop for a house so your imaginary dog can have a better life? What would we have to sacrifice or rearrange in priorities to find a new ugly baby with a large, fenced ground floor patio?
House-train, then renovate?
Do we then live through a horribly ugly state of affairs until house-training is complete? Cut off pieces of shag carpet as we go? If dogs are afraid of vacuum cleaners, what’s he going to make of a Shop-Vac? How much acting will be required to convince the breeder we lead totally stable home lives? Where will he fit when the whole place looks like this?
Hmmm…. It’s tough, you know, being a middle-class girl in a first-world country. Major problems. Major problems.
P.S. Have you entered the Home Depot or Lowe’s gift card give-away?