The past year has presented challenges to all business owners, pet professionals and dog daycare managers included. The effects of the pandemic have likely reached your business in some way – whether its fewer grooming clients, or less boarding revenue due to reduced travel. While you focus on re-invigorating your business and re-connecting with your client base as we emerge from the pandemic, we want to give you one less thing to focus on and worry about: your flooring. Here are four options that can help you create the best flooring for your dog daycare:
1. Seamless, Pad-and-Pour Flooring
This is an increasingly-popular system for all kinds of animal facilities. It’s a natural fit in dog daycares (as well as barns, zoos, and veterinary centers) due to its low-maintenance nature. It’s easy to clean and resurface, and is extremely durable over long periods of time. The installation process consists of:
- Rolling rubber mats onto the sub-floor
- Filling the pores of the rubber with flexible, slip-resistant urethane
- Letting the urethane dry to leave no seams or pores in the floor, which prevents liquids from seeping into the floor
We’re specialists in installing this system here at Abacus – our system is called Padenpor. You can learn more about it here.
Why could Padenpor be the best flooring for your dog daycare?
Due to the rubber layer, these floors also create cushion and comfort for pets and caregivers, absorb sound and reduce noise, and create a completely level surface to eliminate tripping hazards. The hardened urethane layer is what prevents slipping hazards and liquid absorption. As a bonus, you can also cove up the walls to any height with this system. This cove promotes liquid retention while cleaning, and improves the overall cleanliness and sanitation of your daycare.
Along with all its functional appeal, Padenpor also boasts twelve standard color options. You can easily match your floor to your business’ branding and logos, or just pick your favorite color.
2. Rubber Mats
Rubber mats by themselves are worth your consideration for your dog daycare’s floor. We recommend them typically only for daycare areas and not holding areas. Like Padenpor, they offer comfort due to the natural cushion of the rubber. Rubber also creates sound absorption and has excellent non-slip properties.
Its two huge advantages to consider are its lower upfront cost and DIY possibilities. With the right tools and knowledge, you can install your rubber floors yourself and save yourself some money in the process. It’s also more cost-effective to install only rubber and not include the urethane (or epoxy sealers). Due to its low upfront cost, however, it’s wise to factor in replacement costs for the rubber mats every few years. However, as long as you’re diligent about cleaning and caring for your floor, it’ll give you years of quality performance.
3. Epoxy-Based Systems
Epoxy systems are similar to pad-and-pour. They’re seamless, non-porous, and require very little maintenance. As such, they are natural fits for dog daycares and all kinds of animal facilities. Most manufacturers carry various grades of epoxy, like 100% solids epoxy, which is good for the environment and has little-to-no odor.
Epoxy’s texture needs to balance cleanability with slip-resistance. A tip in either direction on the scale can throw off the entire balance of the floor: too much texture, too hard to clean, too little texture, to easy to slip and fall. If you’re choosing an epoxy system, make sure to find a contractor with proven success and a reference list of animal care facilities. These installers are the ones who will provide you with the perfectly-balanced epoxy floor that will last.
For more information on epoxy surfaces, visit this link.
4. Sealed Concrete
Sealed concrete, like rubber mats, has a relatively low upfront cost and DIY capabilities. It’s versatile and can be used in both the daycare and holding areas. The concrete, as you could probably tell by its name, needs to be sealed using a sealer. There are many levels to sealers – and some offer more protection to the concrete itself than others.
High solid/low solvent sealers offer excellent protection, less porosity, and is better for the environment in general. To get the most out of your sealer, you should always strictly follow the manufacturer’s cleaning instructions. Sealer will still need to be reapplied occasionally to keep your concrete safe and to cut down on long-term costs. If you’re applying your own sealer, make sure to shut down the room you’re working in and allow for plenty of air circulation.
*Bonus*: Turf/Artificial Grass (for Outdoors)
Artificial grass acts as an excellent outdoor flooring option for animal facilities. However, if you believe turf is the right surface for you, you need to exercise caution and plan diligently to make sure your turf floor system performs and lasts. The slab below installed turf must be sealed (or epoxied) so that water and other liquids will flow easily to a drain and not absorb into the sub-base below. To go along with that, proper floor sloping and draining of the concrete is essential. Additionally, many artificial turf manufacturers recommend that turf must be placed on platforms and raised from the sub-floor.
Here are some recommendations from K9 Grass:
- Be sure to start with the correct product
- Invest the money to make sure your turf is installed properly and effectively
- Follow maintenance protocol
This sounds like a lot to think about, but if you plan properly, you won’t have any problems with your turf. It will all be worth it if you follow the plan: dogs will feel like their playing on grass, and it will provide them with a natural environment where they can be safe and thrive.
So, what is the best flooring for you dog daycare?
The real answer is that it depends. It depends on what your needs right now are, how you project your business’s growth into the future, or the types of clients you regularly serve. Take some time to consider what’s best for you, your clients, and the dogs you care for.
As for us, you already know that we’re experts in Padenpor flooring. However, if you need any information at all about all types of animal flooring – whether it be from the four listed above or anything else – please feel free to reach out to us at:
Our team of dedicated flooring experts will help you find the perfect floor for you.