Top 5 Most Child-Friendly Flooring Options (& What NOT to Use)
Considering your children or pets while planning a room remodel? Flooring is arguably the most important consideration because of its ability to resist odors, stains, and wear that can ruin the beauty of the rest of the home’s decor.
With some careful planning, and proper installation, family-friendly flooring can help maintain the beauty of your DIY room remodel project for years to come.
Here are 5 viable flooring options for families, in no particular order:
Bamboo. A popular renewable flooring material (and technically a type of grass rather than wood) that offers a durable, hard surface that withstands the traffic and rigors of busy family homes with children, toys, and pets. Bamboo is known to be spill-resistant.
Oak. Oak is undeniably hard, hardwood flooring that can withstand a great deal of traffic and abuse from just about anything a busy family with children and pets can drop, roll, drag, and spill on it, if properly sealed and maintained.
Linoleum. Surprisingly, linoleum is actually a sustainable flooring material primarily made of milled flax seeds and byproducts. This material can be a better choice than synthetic building materials for children and those with asthma.
Cork. Yes, the same material used as wine bottle stoppers can also be manufactured as laminated cork floor tiles to create a resilient floor that bounces back from wear and tear quite nicely. One advantage to tiles over a continuous roll is that if an especially bad gouge or dent is made, a single tile can be replaced readily.
What’s Already There... For Now. Sometimes the best approach is to thoroughly clean what’s already there and wait for the days of big spills and skidding toys to pass before investing into something new. If your carpet or hardwood is showing some wear but is not too damaged to be safe, a thorough cleaning (and perhaps a layered area rug in an especially worn area) might be enough for now.
And finally, what not to use: Vinyl flooring. According to the Center for Health, Environment, and Justice (CHEJ), the presence of lead and pthalates in vinyl flooring does not comply with CDC recommendations to eliminate children’s exposure to lead due to serious health risks.
If you (or someone you know) recently installed vinyl or laminate flooring and are experiencing respiratory symptoms, please seek medical care immediately.
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