Most parents have faced the dilemma of whether to splash out on replacing flooring now and risking the kids ruining it or just putting up with the existing one until they’re older. The thought of kids using the floor as an ice-rink, scratching it with wheeled toys or scraping furniture across it, is enough to make many decide to just save their money and put off the decision until the little ones are older.
There are also safety considerations. How non-slip is it? How likely is it to splinter and crack? Is there anything that poses a risk to childrens’ health? The good news is that because of the great variety of flooring available, it is possible to have a wooden floor that is safe and resilient enough to withstand the daily activities of a young family and still stay looking good. Because of that great variety, however, choosing the right solution is not easy.
Indeed, at a recent “Knowing your Home” workshop at Lakewood, Ohio, the greatest number of questions from attendees were about the choice of flooring options.
Vinyl floors can emit volatile organic compounds, (VOCs). VOCs have been linked to symptoms such as dizziness, headaches, and respiratory problems. Vinyl that has the FloorScore certificate emits lower levels and is therefore considered to be safer. People are often advised against opting for vinyl flooring if they have very young children as there is a risk of lead and phthalate content, both of which can affect developmental health.
If you’re looking at re-flooring an area that gets a lot of use, durability is key. Laminate, solid wood or vinyl will all withstand the test; save engineered wood for rooms that are less likely to get heavy use. Think about the finish, too. A ding or two from a dropped toy will look more at home on a distressed wood floor than one with a pristine finish. Online outlets like wood floor warehouse provide a wealth of information about floors and flooring alongside the range of flooring types they offer, and there is also plenty of online advice on installation.
Whatever you decide for your family home, enjoy your new wooden floor. Once your great looking, kid-friendly, kid-proof floor is down, you will wonder why you didn’t do it earlier.