When getting a new floor for your home, considerations such as your family are critical, especially if this includes kids and pets. Other factors to consider include scratch-resistance, comfort, durability, colour and stain options, and water resistance. What you should go for is a practical flooring option that compliments both your taste and lifestyle. So, what are the best flooring options to consider when you have kids or pets?
1. Cork Floors
Cork floors are ideally suited for people with allergies and toddlers. They are however not recommended for rooms with a lot of sunlight or heavy furniture. While cork surface may appear strange to use as a flooring material for your home, their eco-friendly nature has endeared them to many people who are conscious about the environment. Since it is naturally antimicrobial, cork minimizes allergens and the growth of mould.
If you have children in your house, this aspect of cork floors has beneficial health implications, especially in areas where children play in. Besides, it is soft and safe enough for toddlers to learn to walk on. However, since it is highly pliable, it’s susceptible to dents from heavy items such as furniture. Another downside is that it loses its colour when exposed to sunlight for a long time. To circumvent this problem, use dark shades to camouflage the discolouration.
2. Laminate Flooring
This type of flooring is ideal for homes with young children. They mimic the appearance of hardwood floors, but not the price tag; they are much cheaper. They are, however, great for homes with children since they are water-resistant and easy to clean. Besides, if you have pets in the house, laminate floors are not easy to scratch, and even when they get scratched, they don’t show. However, laminate floors have one downside; they are very slippery. Always go for the textured version, especially if you have members of the furry family around.
3. Hardwood Flooring
Since they can be refinished as many times as you want, hardwood floors are ideal for homes with families. While it is true they are easily scratched and, unlike laminate, are not as water-resistant, sanding and re-staining them will restore them to ‘as good as new’ state. How often you refinish your hardwood floor will ultimately depend on the wear and amount of traffic it is subjected to over time. A home with kids and pets and high foot traffic might need more attention than one with light wear.
Whatever exerts pressure on the floor, however light, will create wear on it. To tone down the appearance of scratches, use lighter floors since they don’t show scratches the way gray or dark colours do. You can also use a water-resistant sealant to keep your hardwood floor looking new in spite of a few spills.
4. Carpet Flooring
Carpet flooring is ideal for bedrooms and playrooms. They are, however, not recommended for homes with young pets or for areas that are prone to spills. The fact that carpet is soft makes it an ideal flooring material for a home with kids and pets. If you install them in the family room or the kids’ playroom, use carpet tiles instead of the large rolls.
With carpet tiles, if a section is damaged or stained, all you need to do is to replace only the affected tile and not the entire floor. While carpet is neither easy to clean nor anti-microbial compared to other flooring options, it’s very comfortable for crawling toddlers and dogs that enjoy running around the house.
Tip: Keep off long carpet fibres if you have children with allergies or pets since they are not easy to clean. If you have active pets, you should also avoid carpets with loops, which easily get snagged on cat and dog tails.
5. Bamboo Flooring
This flooring is ideal for families with pets and areas with high-traffic. You should, however, avoid using them in high humidity rooms and basements since bamboo absorbs water. The beauty of bamboo is that it is scratch-resistant. This makes it ideal for homes with active pets and kids.
If yours is the kind of house with high traffic, bamboo flooring is a win. To keep potential damages such as stains and scratches concealed, go for the natural looking finish.
6. Vinyl Flooring
A vinyl floor is perhaps the most stain-resistant among all other flooring options. It is also highly durable, making it an excellent choice for areas with heavy traffic. Besides, it is ideal for areas such as kitchens and bathrooms, which have high moisture levels. It is highly recommended for homes with pets or kids. Compared to other types of floors such as laminate and ceramic, vinyl floors can cost as much as 70 percent less, making them some of the most affordable floors in the market today.
Depending on your budget, taste and lifestyle preference, any of the above flooring options can be an excellent choice for a home with pets or kids.