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So you’re a parent with pets. You want flooring that will work well not only throughout your home for your pets but is durable and safe for children. Try these flooring options:
The durability of a hardwood floor comes from the aluminum oxide layers that make them stronger. One of my favorite hardwood floors is the hand scraped look. They appear to be imperfect but in a beautiful glorious way. This means that if it is scratched by a pet’s paw or a child’s cleat, the distressed look usually hides the imperfection.
Choosing a lighter color hardwood can also help hide scratches or dents caused by a child dropping something. You may also want to opt out of a glossy finish and go with a matte finish instead. Glossier surfaces magnify imperfections while matte finishes mask them.
With hardwood floors, there is an actual durability test called the Janka Hardness test. It can help tell which flooring option is most durable for your family. This test gives a rating based on dent measurements of an object that is dropped on it. This rating system found that for children and pets, any Brazilian-made hardwood flooring is the clear winner.
For pets: The greatest drawback with hardwood flooring and pets is that urine does stain hardwood floors. If it is not cleaned right away, it will leave a black stain that is nearly impossible to remove without stripping and sanding the wood.
The best thing about a laminate floor is that if children damage it, pieces of the area can be taken up and replaced without having to rip up the entire floor. You can also find a hand scraped version of laminate just like with hardwood flooring (at a much cheaper cost).
In comparison to hardwood floors, laminate flooring resists most types of stains caused by crayons, markers, paints, and cosmetics. Luckily, residue from these things can be removed with acetone. Other spills can be mopped up with a dry or lightly dampened mop or cloth.
Many parents also consider laminate flooring for its anti-allergen design. Unlike carpet, laminate does not hold dust particles underneath its surface; anything can be vacuumed or swept away. The hardness of laminate floor may deter some parents from considering it. If your child is just learning to walk, you can always put down soft area rugs until your child can walk sturdily on their own.
For pets: The hardness of laminate is a plus for pet owners who are worried about scratches from pets claws. However, laminate tends to be very smooth which could cause a pet to slide across the floor and hurt them. This can be minimized if you choose a laminate that has some kind of design or texture to its surface.
Bamboo flooring is considered one of the most durable newer floors on the market today. It is considered a great choice for areas that have a lot of traffic and even better it looks like a hardwood floor. These floors are actually made of grass yet are as hard as any oak floor. Besides, it is considered the most ecologically-conscious flooring on the market.
For Pets: It is one of the hardest floorings you can buy, and it will also withstand long pet nails.
Cork is a natural deterrent to allergens and bacteria. It is one of the most hygienically sound floorings to use in a child’s bedroom or play area. It does not easily sustain scratches or stains, but if it happens, cork planks or tiles can be individually removed and replaced without having to take up the entire floor.
One thing that a cork floor has that no other flooring can offer is a natural sound barrier. If this is installed in an upstairs children’s bedroom, any noise made from kids playing will be muffled. Something we all need!
Cork is also great for insulating a room. It adds extra warmth to the ground where kids might be playing. Like bamboo, cork is considered an ecology-conscious flooring choice.
For pets: Cork flooring is resistant to scratches but needs to be swept on a weekly basis. Small stones that may get caught in a pet’s paws could come loose and scratch the surface. Because it is great at absorbing sound, pets can run on it and it will muffle the sound so it doesn’t sound like you have a herd of horses running through your house.
Jessica Kane is a professional blogger that writes extensively on home, family, and self-employment. When she’s not writing, she enjoys spending time with her husband, young son, and two dogs.