Hard Surface Floors Face the Kid Challenge

Monday October 27, 2008
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Hard floors like hardwood, tile, and laminate offer a smooth surface, perfect for toy racecars and big wheelers. Some hard floor types such as porcelain tile are resistant to moisture and can even handle spills without staining. That being said, not all hard floors can stand up to the wear and tear of kids. In fact, low-end hardwood and laminate can dent easily or possibly warp when exposed to standing liquid.

Hardwood, Laminate and Bamboo Flooring
When installing hard-surface flooring for your kid-friendly home, it's recommended you go with more durable options. Some examples include strand woven bamboo, Brazilian Cherry (hardwood), and commercial laminate that has an Abrasion Class rating of 3 or higher. The Abrasion Class (AC) scale is used to measure the strength of laminate. While this additional strength usually comes with a higher price tag, in time it may save you money on the cost of floor repairs and replacement you would otherwise spend on weaker flooring.

Turn your hard flooring into a more comfortable surface by adding area rugs, runners and mats to high-traffic areas. Make sure that any rugs or mats are non-slip to minimize the risk of your kids falling. It may also be a good idea to stick with neutral shades (such as olive green, taupe or cranberry) that can hide most stains and debris. Adding area rugs or mats can also help increase the longevity of your floors. Avoid rugs and mats that have a rubber backing as rubber tends to stain certain surfaces such as hardwood flooring.

Tile and Stone Flooring
Many types of tile and stone flooring are highly durable, easy to clean, and can resist spills better than wood surfaces. If sealed properly, tile and stone floors can also be antimicrobial, discouraging mold and other forms of bacteria from growing.

Note: Tile and stone floor surfaces tend to be slippery when exposed to moisture and liquids. They are also extremely hard and can be unforgiving on kids who are just learning how to walk.

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Lots of helpful points in this article. For a newborn's room, cork is also an excellent choice. It's soft, antimicrobial
October 30 2008
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