Ideal Flooring for Small Children

LushKnitterMay 23, 2011

We are building a house, and using solid hardwoods in the kitchen, living areas, and master bedroom. I am torn about what materials to use for the children's bedrooms and the play room. Our kids range in age from babies to a 3-year old (as of move-in date).

On the one hand, I am really hesitant to use hardwoods because I am afraid they will be damaged/destroyed by kids being careless now and as they get older as well. I can remember when I was a kid I wouldn't have been so great about remembering to clean up spills right away or even telling someone about it. On the other hand, we would use area rugs, which would help, and wood can always be refinished.

Wall-to-wall carpet bugs me for several reasons: I feel like it's not as clean, and you can't clean it as well as a hard surface. Also, it can be problematic for people with allergies, which my husband and I both have and so our kids will likely have them as well.

Any ideas about what would be a good, sturdy, durable, clean flooring surface for small children (and growing kids, teenagers, etc.)? Thanks in advance!

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Please remember that carpet is now being recognized as a better flooring for people with allergies than hard surface. Carpet traps the particles and refuses to release them as opposed to hard surface ..particles are released and become airborne just by walking through the room. I have always felt this way and to my surprise..the studies are now being release confirming my thoughts on the subject. Shaw has recently emphatically declared this which has always been obvious in my mind. They sell both hard and soft surface.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2011 at 12:28AM
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Some biopollutants, such as animals, dander, house dust mites, and mold, have been linked to allergies and asthma, and many of these substances are commonly found in the average home. It is important to understand that the mere presence of allergens does not in itself pose a hazard. The allergen must be inhaled for exposure to occur, and in order for inhalation to occur, the allergen must be airborne.

Carpet acts as a trap for allergens

Carpet is capable of holding significant quantities of soil, dust, etc., without appearing very dirty. It has been demonstrated that carpet is quite efficient at keeping allergen and other small particles such as pollen out of the air. In fact, data from a Swedish government study indicates that when use of carpet declined, the number of people reporting allergy problems increased.

Regular vacuuming with a vacuum using a high-efficiency filter and periodic cleaning using the hot-water extraction cleaning ("steam cleaning") removes the majority of allergen from carpet as well as significantly reducing mite populations.

Research has clearly shown that there is no correlation between allergen contained in carpet and allergen in the air in the carpeted room.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2011 at 12:31AM
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What about marmoleum? Not sure if I spelled it right but its in the linoleum family and these days depending on where you look can offer some nice choices and is very easy to clean and hard to ruin. You could put some area rugs on top(not wool) that could be cleaned and also perhaps cheery for your children.

    Bookmark   May 25, 2011 at 5:11AM
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"Carpet is capable of holding significant quantities of soil, dust, etc., without appearing very dirty."

Lovely. Why even vacuum, the mite population can take care of the trapped filth right? Where is a link to the studies claiming that carpet is better for allergies?

Hmm. Anyway, I second the marmoleum! We have linocorkoleum in our family room and hardwood everywhere else downstairs. I love how easy to clean solid surface are (a $20 dust mop does the trick), and the linocorkoleum stands up to all kinds of abuse.

When we let the dogs in from outside, that's where they go first while they do their jumping and running around in circles. It doesn't scratch or dent, is made with natural materials so it isn't off gasing formaldehyde and other VOCs... It's softer and warmer to stand on than tile.. I can't say enough great things about it.

I wouldn't shy away from the wood floors either. My only complaint is we went with a softer wood and we need to come up with a good solution to protect it from the dogs' nails.

You can never really get wall to wall carpet clean, and it off gases like crazy. We avoided it for that reason.

Here is a link that might be useful: US Floors Lino Corkoleum catalog

    Bookmark   May 28, 2011 at 12:38PM
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