Thinking of wall-to-wall foam as the only option for your home renovation ideas?
You might think that padding might be best to offset toppling babies, trotting toddlers and the ever-so-adorable and lego toppling middle-schoolers in your household.
But you have options, and if your taste leans more toward those elegant hardwood or laminate floors than you just may want to keep reading.
Advantages of Hardwood Floors for Children
Hardwood floors are physically warmer than other floors because wood is a good insulator. It has thousands of tiny air chambers that naturally hold in heat. Hardwood can be sanded and refinished, it can literally last for 100 years. Carpeting will not last nearly as long unless it’s never used (and let’s face it, if you’re reading this right now than yours has been through WW3).
Best Kinds of Hardwood for Children
1. Oak – White and red oak are commonly used for flooring. Both are quite hard and wear well. Because red oak has a stronger grain, it hides scratches and dents better than white.
2. Brazilian cherry is twice as hard as oak and withstands moisture well. These traits make the wood more difficult to stain but also make it a good choice for a kitchen or entryway.
3. Australian Cypress, also harder than oak, has a wavy grain and is knotty; it may tend to split or chip more easily around knotholes. However, the busy grain may hide child-produced boo-boos.
4. Bamboo quality varies a lot. Generally, stained or “caramelized” bamboo is not as strong as unstained. Bamboo is subject to dents. Strand bamboo is very strong and probably the least likely to dent.
5. Maple, which varies in color from pale white to light reddish brown, also is very strong and especially resistant to wear and abrasion. Because it grows widely in the United States, maple is readily available.
6. Teak has become more common because it is often grown in sustainable nurseries and forests. Its strength is comparable to oak, and it resists insects and temperature fluctuations.
Pre-Finished or unfinished, which is the best for children?
Hardwood for floors can be purchased either prefinished or unfinished. The advantage of prefinished wood for homes with children is that prefinished boards receive up to six coats of finish. Hardwood floor that are finished onsite generally receive only two or three coats. The prefinished floors therefore stand up to children better, last longer and have longer warranties.
Have pets? Check out “Best Pet-Friendly Wood Flooring” for lots of great tips.
What’s your greatest fear with installing hardwood floors in your home with your kids?