Kid-Friendly Surfaces: Carpet and Cork
Monday October 27, 2008
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Carpet is one of the most popular floors in homes with children. It provides a soft, slip-resistant surface that can cushion even some of the hardest falls. Carpet is resistant to climate change, meaning it can maintain a moderate surface temperature in both hot and cold weather.
Carpet is not the best surface for liquid spills. Although some carpets are labeled "stain-resistant," they are just that, stain-resistant not stain-proof. Stain-resistant carpet is treated with chemicals that can help prevent permanent staining, but the chemical finish only helps slow down the rate at which the carpet absorbs liquid. If, for example, red punch is left on your carpet surface overnight, it will most likely cause damage. No matter what kind of carpet you install, make a habit of cleaning up spills as soon as they occur.
Tip: Carpet made from nylon, polypropylene or polyester tend to stain less than carpet made from wool, cotton or acrylic.
Cork floors are a comfortable alternative to carpet. Produced from natural materials, cork flooring is environmentally-friendly and has many features which can help with indoor air quality. When properly sealed, the surface of cork flooring is resistant to moisture as well as the growth of fungi and mold. Cork is also naturally hypoallergenic. These factors make cork flooring ideal for growing kids who have allergies, asthma or other respiratory illnesses.
However, note cork (like other wood floor types) can expand and contract with changes in humidity or under standing liquids. Make sure day-to-day spills are cleaned up so as to minimize floor damage and staining.
Talkback – Leave a commentThere are 2 comments
I prefer cork to carpet. It's a lot easier to clean and maintain.
I've also heard of rubber flooring being a soft surface for kids to play on. They have synthetic rubber for kids that are allergic to latex as well.