Non-Slip Flooring in Canine Hydrotherapy

by | Mar 24, 2022 | Hydrotherapy for Animals

When you are preparing (or upgrading!) your hydrotherapy practice, one of the questions that will inevitably be asked is, ‘What is the best non-slip flooring to use?’ Time and again, this question pops up in our Hydrotherapy community, so we thought we would break it down for you and include all the advice and experiences shared over the last few years as an answer to this question!

The recommendations and experiences shared by the Hydrotherapy community can be broken down into two kinds of flooring:

  • non-slip paint or
  • rubber matting.

Below, we share information on the various flooring types available under each of these categories, and how Canine Hydrotherapists have found them to stand up to real-life use.


Factors to consider

When choosing flooring in a Hydrotherapy centre, we need to consider a few factors:

  • The amount of traction it will provide to patients, both dry and wet
  • Ease of cleaning
  • Longevity of the flooring
  • Cost of the flooring
  • The amount of floor space we need to cover.

Let’s look at a few of the most commonly used flooring options:


Non-slip paint

Non-slip paint can be applied to a variety of surfaces, including tile, stone, wood and concrete. It is designed to increase traction on the floor under a variety of circumstances, including when wet.

Non-slip paint comes in a range of different products, with some increasing traction through small particles in the paint, creating a bumpy surface, while others are smooth and clear. If you decide to use a paint to increase traction on your floors, you will still be faced with a few choices!


Non-slip epoxy paint

Non-slip epoxy paint is specifically designed to provide a hardy, long-lasting and barefoot-friendly textured finish. It can be used on a variety of surfaces, including steel, fiberglass, concrete, tiles and natural stone, making it a great choice for hydrotherapy flooring and equipment. It is easy to apply, long-lasting, chemical resistant, has a barefoot-friendly finish that won’t irritate the feet of neurological patients, and is affordable.


Non-skid urethane paint

This is a much hardier, more deeply textured paint designed for warehouses, walkways, loading ramps, etc. It can withstand more abuse and higher traffic, but can be much harder on our own and patients’ feet. The deeper texture can also be difficult to keep clean.


What our Vetrehabbers have to say:

Jemma Cooper

I’ve put grip paint down … absolutely amazing for non-slip but cleaning it is an issue. I’ve also got rubberised floor paint in the pool suite. Easy to clean, great colours available, anti-slip-on shoes but slippy for furry feet. 

Megan Kelly

I did something similar, with grip paint on a concrete floor. The dirt gets caught around the bumps. The floor never, ever looked perfectly clean. My floor was blue. I think a mottled colour is also better.

Laura Hackett

Yep, I made the same mistake. Have to use a sponge mop to clean else you get all bits stuck to it. Also always looks dirty even when freshly mopped .

Michelle Lauder

I put an epoxy flooring down with coloured flakes thrown into it to make it grippy.

non-slip hydrotherapy floor

Betty Wood

I’ve got grip paint epoxy flooring. If you clean daily it’s not too hard to keep up. It still can be slippery with a lot of standing water. Neuro dogs can quickly abrade the tops of their paws if they drag on it. It’ll also do the same to the tops of your shoes and forget nail polish on your toenails.

Non-slip canine floor

Sara Seymour

I’ve just got painted concrete and lots of different mats/surfaces for the dogs to walk over.


Rubber flooring

Rubber flooring is commonly used in a wide range of settings, and has many advantages. It is durable and resilient, and great at absorbing impact, making it a comfortable surface for patients. It  provides great traction even when wet. Rubber flooring can be purchased in rolls or tiles.

Rubber flooring tiles

Rubber tiles give us great versatility, as they can be fitted into any space, come in a variety of colours and textures, and allow you to replace any damaged areas rather than the entire floor.

One of the biggest disadvantages of rubber flooring tiles is that water gets through to the floor beneath the rubber through seams between tiles. This can be problematic, depending on the flooring that you have beneath the rubber. Smooth floor surfaces can create a very slippery interface between the rubber and the floor.

Rubber flooring rolls

Rolls are a more permanent flooring surface than tiles, and are usually installed with a glue or tape. They are seamless and easier to manage than tiles, easier to install in large spaces, fit securely, cannot slip or move if water gets beneath the mat, and offer much greater water resistance.

Rolls are, however, much harder to install, and getting them professionally installed is recommended.

What our Vetrehabbers have to say:

Natacha Paquette

We have interlock rubber flooring like many gyms and love it. Easy to clean and great grip. Such good grip that it definitely could be abrasive for a non-injured pet running and playing, but for casual walking it’s amazing and not slippery when wet. Here at least you can get them in interlock or large roll-out. Large roll-out is best as there is no seam for water, but interlock allows for quick, easy change if one gets damaged.

canine hydrotherapy floor

Jo White

I have this too and love it. It was so easy to put down, easy to clean and non-slip.

Bernadette Kerbey

If you need to be able to lift them for cleaning, then roll-out rubber ones make good pathways/ tracks that provide visual guidance for the dog, too.



While it can feel like there are more flooring options than we can count, they boil down to paint or matting – or a combination of both. What works best in one practice may not work as well in another. Be sure to look at what is available to you locally, what the costs are, and what will work best in your practice and space.

If you are not yet a part of the Hydro Vetrehabbers community on Facebook, be sure to join us! This is a community for like-minded professionals, ready to learn from one another, discuss cases and ideas, and support and uplift our profession and the professionals in it!

Further reading


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