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HANDY MAC: Paws on the floor

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Mrs Mac and I have two elderly terriers who have wreaked havoc on the carpet in our passage. I have been doing research about the best flooring options for homeowners who have pets

I often receive queries from homeowners who have pets who are looking for solutions for the flooring in their homes. Mrs Mac is keen to change the floor finish in the passage of our home.

At present, we have a fitted carpet. Our two elderly Scottish terriers have not been kind to it over the years, so it is time to change. However, I am loathe to do that until our pet status changes.

To keep the peace, I thought I had better at least investigate options for the future because, to be honest, I can’t see one without a four-legged friend. (I would love to have another Irish Wolfhound.)

Here are some tips I found about the best flooring for people with pets: First, you need to consider the damage pet’s claws can do. Even well-trimmed dog nails can gouge hardwood and snag carpet.

Muddy paws and pets that are not yet housebroken are a bad match with carpeting. We have found stains and smells are difficult, if not impossible, to remove, even with the best industrial-strength cleaners. Concrete is a good bet as it resists scratches of all kinds and is easy to clean in case of accidents. 

Pet fur doesn’t stick in concrete. You could always cover concrete floors with inexpensive, easy-to-wash rugs to add some warmth.

Tiles are an option for people with pets but keeping the grouting clean can be a challenge if your pet has bad bladder control. Wooden floors are a no-no, but you can consider faux-wood tiles.

Luxury vinyl is a good choice as it is highly durable, long-lasting and resistant to moisture, scratches, and dents. It also softens the clickety-click noise of your pets’ nails on the floor. I will keep you posted about what we decide to do.


A few weeks ago, I was encouraging contractors to try new ideas and was talking about dry ridge and hip systems for tile roofs.

An old contracting mate Rodney Beck, sent me this: I successfully completed a contract using a dry ridge system and it turned out brilliantly. I can strongly recommend it, but it is not straightforward and is by no means a DIY job.

The work must be carried out by skilled artisans who have a good general understanding of hips and ridges. Depending on the choice of ridge/ hip tile, using the dry ridge system can affect the aesthetic appeal of the roof. When used with butt-jointed ridges you will see the tile clip.

This may not be acceptable to an architect or discerning client, so I suggest discussing it prior to installation. When used with a tapered ridge, the tile clip is hidden by the adjacent overlapping ridge/hip tile.

I will certainly look at bringing it into my company as it is a much “cleaner” system than bedding the hip and ridge tiles in cement. It also won’t be susceptible to the cement jointing cracking and having to be redone over the years.

Industry News

I am pleased to announce building industry employers and the relevant unions have concluded wage negotiations and, hopefully, a new three-year agreement will be promulgated soon.

The increase is fair, certain benefits have been increased and our industry has not seen strikes or violence on the streets or sites. This is thanks to the benefits of a well-regulated industry under the auspices of the Building Industry Bargaining Council.

* Please keep your questions and comments coming to: or SMS only to 082 446 3859.


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