Everyone knows kids can be messy. If you’re a parent, your floors are probably going to fall victim to food and drink spills, arts and crafts mishaps, and plenty of wear and tear. Fortunately, there are plenty of great flooring products that can stand up to a household with kids.
There are tons of variables to consider when choosing the best flooring for your kids and your home – durability, ease of maintenance, safety, and price – here are the best flooring types to consider for your kids.
Durable, resilient, and easy to clean, vinyl flooring is a clear favorite for homes with children. Most vinyl is either water-resistant or waterproof, so spills won’t damage the floor and are easy to clean up. Protective wear layers help boost stain-resistance, and manufacturing innovations have improved vinyl’s scratch- and scuff-resistance. And because of its resilience, it’s soft and warm underfoot. This makes it a more comfortable floor for playing on, and a more forgiving surface for little ones taking their first steps.
Be wary – some vinyl products emit harmful volatile organic compounds (VOCs). If you have kids, be sure to opt for vinyl flooring that is FloorScore certified.
Another resilient, forgiving hard surface option, cork floors are a comfortable choice for homes with children who might be spending a lot of time playing on the floor. Cork also has sound abatement properties, making it a great choice for keeping a quieter home.
Because of cork’s resilience, dirt and other debris can scratch it, and excess moisture can make it warp or curl. Consider cork for playrooms or bedrooms where food and drink spills won’t be as big of an issue if you have kids.
If you love the look of hardwood but cringe at the thought of your child’s walker or Matchbox cars scraping across the floor, look no further than laminate. Laminate was designed to stand up to high traffic and wear and tear, with excellent scratch, scuff, and dent resistance.
Like cork, excess moisture can damage laminate floors. However, more manufacturers are bringing water-resistant laminate products to market, which are more forgiving when it comes to smaller spills like a cup of juice.
We know, this might seem counterintuitive. Food and dirt can easily be ground into carpet fibers, and soft surface options are more likely to absorb stains from spills than, say, a laminate or vinyl floor with a protective wear layer. However, a lot of today’s carpet is manufactured with stain-resistance top of mind, making it very kid friendly.
Nylon is the most popular fiber option on the market today, and its durability and ease of maintenance make it a great choice for homes with kids. While nylon itself is hydrophilic and will absorb liquids, which can lead to staining, most options on the market today use treatments that help prevent staining.
Berber carpet is also a great choice for active households with children, since loop pile carpet tends to stand up to traffic better than cut pile carpet. Berber carpet is often manufactured from olefin, or polypropylene, fibers, which is quite stain-resistant; however, it’s not very soil-resistant.
Be sure to look for solution-dyed fiber, which means the color of the carpet’s fibers is created by adding color when the fiber is being produced, instead of dyeing the finished product. Solution dyed products tend to be more stain and fade-resistant.
And, because carpet is far and away the softest option on the market, it’s good for homes with little ones learning to walk or who spend a lot of time playing or watching TV on the floor.
With some varieties of bamboo being twice as hard as oak, bamboo flooring is one of the most durable options out there. While it can be scratched and damaged due to excess moisture, it’s less susceptible to scratching or water damage than traditional hardwood. Like hardwood, bamboo floors can be refinished if they’re scratched or scuffed.
About The Author
Proud flooring aficionado and office dog mom, "Flauren" has been a professional writer and editor for more than a decade (though she still maintains her magnum opus was "The Day it Snowed Slurpees," written at the age of 6).
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