Your floor is probably the surface that takes the most amount of abuse. From traipsing shoes to dragging furniture, they don't have an easy time. And that’s even before we factor in children. Whether your little ones are crawling or toddling or even whizzing around the house on scooters, they really push everything (including your sleep levels) to its limits.
As well as requiring a level of hardiness from our flooring, when it comes to children there are other requirements. They need to be easily cleaned, stain-resistant, kind on crawling knees and safe for trips and tumbles.
Here’s a look at the main types of flooring – carpets, hardwood and laminate – and what to look for in each when it comes to the most child-friendly options.
A carpet can seem like the most logical option when it comes to child friendliness, and they certainly are ideal for giving your little ones a soft landing and a great surface on which to explore their surroundings. However, there are a few things to consider.
First is that carpet will stain easily, so if your child has grown up on it, it can look like, well, a child has grown up on it. Spills and accidents are inevitable, so pick a carpet with a pattern in it, even in light shades. Plain-coloured carpets in any colour will show up stains almost immediately. If you do want a plain carpet, this Stainfree Royale from TC Matthews has a subtle mix of threads through it to provide just enough of a blurring effect. It also comes with a stain guarantee.
Stainfree Royale carpet, TC Matthews
Carpets too will absorb a lot of dust and odours, so if you have a child with asthma, a dusty carpet can aggravate them. Even if your child is allergy-free, carpets require frequent hoovering to ensure it’s as clean as possible.
Solid timber floors are an expensive investment but if you’re sure you want them then they’re an excellent one. Incredibly hard-wearing and capable of standing the test of time, they’ll take a battering of bikes and toys and broken plates and stay looking good. Timber also has some natural anti-bacterial properties. If you feel you want to be extra safe, opt for timber with a strong grain, that way any potential scratches won’t be too evident. For a huge range of timber flooring, pop into any TC Matthews showroom.
Laminate is a great and relatively inexpensive flooring option. Hard-wearing and easy to clean, they’re ideal for mopping up after sticky fingers and dinners that went everywhere but their mouth. However, if you opt for laminate, you will need to limit scooters around the house, as scraps and scratches may show.
Amtico Form's Rural oak embossed wood vinyl flooring, available from TC Matthews
Luxury vinyl also makes for a great option as you can run them from living room to kitchens and bathrooms with ease due to their water resistance. Available in wood and tile effects, the choices are almost endless and they’re warmer underfoot than ceramic tiles.
Rugs are an ideal way to make a space temporarily kid-friendly. They’ll protect your floor from marks and spills and will be kind of little knees crawling about. Place them in areas your children are most likely to be, like playrooms and around the sofa. They can also be easily changed out and you can make them last longer by protecting with an underlay.
Blade Silver rug, from €195, TC Matthews
The slight colour difference in this Blade Silver rug from TC Matthews is subtle enough that it won't stand out, while also working hard to hide any spills or stains.
Featured image: Sloan black rug, from €65, TC Matthews
TC Matthews showrooms are located in Co Dublin, CO Louth and Co Meath. Stop in to see their huge range of carpet, rugs and flooring.