Dirty shoes, a discarded toy, a baby learning to crawl is often a familiar site for us mums. When planning your renovation project you need to plan from the ground up and a fundamental choice for your reno is often choosing child friendly flooring.
We all dream of creating a beautiful home and the right floor coverings can make a powerful impact. So how do we juggle the sometimes competing desires of function versus form when making our flooring choices?
In a house that receives as much boisterous activity as a family home, you need to choose flooring that
- will stand up to constant use
- look great doing it
Every flooring type has it’s pros and cons. Renovating Mums have put together a breakdown of the most popular.
Carpet is the perfect option if you are looking for flooring that is soft underfoot. There is nothing better on a winter’s night than to feel the warmth and comfort that carpet can bring. It’s also very forgiving protecting little ones from bumps and bruises as they learn to walk. Carpet is also available in a variety of styles and colours to match any room. The choice is almost endless.
- acts as insulation to retain warm air in cool months
- acts as a noise dampener (there is nothing worse than an untimely creak as you sneak out of your light sleeper child’s bedroom)
- depending on colour and material, carpet can stain relatively easily compared to other flooring types.
- can become difficult and costly to keep clean
- cheap carpet placed in high traffic areas can wear quickly.
Timber floors have become a popular choice for floor coverings for good reason. They are
- give a sense of warmth to a room
- can give the allure of luxury
They are also an excellent choice for those that suffer allergies. The buildup of dirt, dust, pollen and pet hair is easy to manage. There are several types to consider, all with their own particular pros and cons:
Floating Timber Floors
- usually laid over a concrete slab and made from a thinner, stained timber than standard polished floorboards
- generally a quick easy installation as some have an interlocking system
- stain resistant, and easy to replace
- depending on the quality they can show scuff marks easily (think young children with toys, high chairs)
- can be difficult to be sanded and refinished if you wish once the children grow older
- provides a strong, durable and less-expensive alternative to hardwood
- testing has shown that it is harder and more scratch-resistant than hardwood
- a valuable alternative to hardwood for the environmentally conscious due to being a renewable resource
- the real deal and top end of the timber floors, hardwood floors will cost more but you will certainly get a wow factor
- they can scratch and scuff depending on the hardness factor of the timber chosen
- the benefit is that they can be sanded and refinished at a later date
TIP: For those that are environmentally conscious look for the FSC certification to ensure it comes from a sustainable supplier.
Laminate Timber Floors
- variety of styles and colours to choose due to increasingly popularity
- the high-resolution of the images used to create the look of wood grain, or even stone, make it harder than ever to tell the difference between laminate and the real thing
- hard wearing and generally scratch resistant
- easy-to-clean – making it an excellent option for a nursery or playroom
- quick installation that won’t break the bank
Cork flooring can be another excellent renewable and sustainable flooring choice. It is proving to be more and more popular.
- naturally anti-microbial and repels mould growth
- excellent insulation and reasonably soft underfoot
- a warmer choice than tiles
- excellent noise insulation
- requires sealing to ensure its stain resistant
- it is soft it can be easily scuffed and scratched however it is relatively simple to replace individual pieces as they become damaged
- very susceptible to water damage which makes it less than ideal in kitchens, bathrooms, etc
Rugs are a great option to quickly update and refresh the design of any room. Plus they are perfect to soften the fall for little toddlers. Whether you’re looking for an installation free option, or to change the look of a room in a more affordable manner, then rugs are a great choice.
They offer an endless amount of style, shape, and color options. In combo with wooden floors, rugs help define and soften certain activity zones of open plan living space such as the living room, couch and tv area from the dining area.
Tiles are a classic choice, strong, durable and available in a wide variety of colours and designs. Considered in tandem with rugs, we believe they can be a sensible choice for child friendly flooring.
- easily cleaned
- can be stain resistant depending on type and sealant used
- straightforward to replace sections if they chip or crack
- a must in wet areas as they are the most waterproof of floor coverings when laid correctly
- can be hard underfoot
- tough on crawlers and dropped cups and dishes break more easily
- tile grout can attract stains and can be difficult to clean
- the colour and surface finish of the tiles i.e. gloss, can mean that dust and pet hair is quickly seen, cue constantly sweeping!
There you go, a snapshot of some of the more popular options for child friendly flooring to consider for your renovation project. For me personally, I love to warmth of carpet underfoot in the bedrooms, and opt for easy to clean timber laminate flooring with the use of rugs in the common areas.
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