If you have children, keeping the floors (and the rest of the house..) clean, can be a nightmare and becomes an ongoing exercise. Carpets can get grubby very quickly from little feet going in and out of the garden, not to mention making it difficult to manoeuvre push chairs and bikes and scooters, so what is the best kind of floor to have with messy and creative children?
Ideally you want something easy to clean, durable and that won’t end up getting scratched to pieces by wheels, toys, building blocks and anything else children want to throw onto it. But there are all sorts of other things to think about so here is a quick rundown on picking the right floor for kids.
Chris from IB Flooring agreed “People quite often buy flooring because it looks nice and then it turns out to be a nightmare to keep nice, especially when you have kids running about.”
- How do I choose the right flooring?
When choosing the flooring for your home, think about where it’s going to go – is it a really busy area, like an entrance hallway or play room or kitchen, where your children spent a lot of time running around and playing with their toys, dragging in bikes and prams? If so, then you need to go for durability and practicality.
In a room where they don’t spend so much active time, like a bedroom, or a TV room, you could choose a different type of flooring and would probably be fine with a dark coloured carpet in these types of rooms.
You also need to think about safety issues and the ages of your children – if they are young toddlers, just starting to work, then avoid floors which are very slippery, and wooden flooring does tend to fall into this category. Older children are not so likely to experience this problem.
- What types of flooring should I consider?
While an elegant hardwood floor might be durable and easy to clean, it is not going to be scratch resistant and might also be too hard for young heads when children have a tumble while playing, so probably not the best option for kids, however much you might like the look of it as parents.
Bamboo and cork flooring are very popular at the moment due to the green credentials, however, when it comes to being robust enough to handle messy and creative children these types of floors are not so likely to last under all of the daily wear and tear.
Wooden flooring and vinyl or laminate floors are the best options for areas where children are going to be spending a lot of time, coming in and out, playing and actively using the floor so look for these flooring materials in the rooms with the most family traffic. With wooden flooring you can go for engineered wood or veneer which gives you easy installation. If you are looking for less slippery floors to avoid accidents, vinyl tends to have more grip than wooden flooring.
- 3. How will the flooring be installed?
If you are having a new floor installed and you have children, one of the things to think about is the actual physical installation – keeping children out of the way but also, depending on the type of flooring, if it is being set with glue it could involve nasty fumes.
It might be worth looking into floated flooring which doesn’t need glue or fastening and also means you can do the work yourself as well as reducing the risk to your children’s health. Floors which can be floated include plastic laminate, ceramic tiles, lino and engineered wood.
It also means the floor is very easy to replace if it did get damaged or once the kids have left home or grown out of all the scratchy toys and you can finally get the elegant wooden floor you always wanted!
When installing flooring for messy and creative children you need to consider several aspects including durability, safety, scratches and scuffs, and also how easy it is to clean. You need a floor that will survive daily family life without becoming a complete mess.
Opting for a floating floor will make installation quicker, easier and with no fumes, and will also allow you to change the floor very simply at a later date, perhaps once the kids have grown older, or when the floor is beyond its best and needs replacing again.
Think about the area it will be in, the installation process and also make sure it fits with the overall aesthetic of the house, so that you don’t end up with a practical floor which just looks hideous!