Hardwood Floors And Kids: Tips For Proper Care

Posted on: 9 June 2016

Many people balk at the idea of hardwood flooring in homes with young children. Some are worried about the kids, stating that falls on soft carpet are safer. Others are more concerned about the wood, afraid that kids will destroy it. Fortunately, both fears can be unfounded if you know the proper ways to manage wood flooring in your home. The following tips can help.

Tip #1: Choose the right wood

Not all hardwood is created equal. Opt for hard species of wood, as opposed to softwoods. True hardwoods have a tighter grain that makes them more dent and stain resistant. Options include oak, cherry, and walnut. Although not technically a wood, bamboo is also an excellent option because it naturally resists staining. Make sure the flooring you select is also true hardwood flooring, and not engineered hardwood. This is because engineered hardwood is only a veneer of wood, so it can't be sanded down and refinished once the kids move out.

Tip #2: Invest in rugs

Rugs can alleviate nearly all the injury concerns during the toddler years, since they will add padding for falls but at a fraction of the cost and with none of the commitment of carpeting. Opt for plush rugs with tapered edges, since these are less likely to cause a tripping hazard. Also, use a rug pad underneath to prevent them from slipping. You will need to remove the rug periodically to clean beneath it, otherwise dirt and grit can work through and scratch the hardwood.

Tip #3: Maintain a heavy seal

The finish on your floor goes a long way toward protecting the wood beneath. When having the floors finished, ask for a thick coat. This way, when a child accidentally gouges the floor, they are gouging into the finish, not the wood. The finish will also create a barrier between the wood and many stains. Also, skip the glossy finish and opt for satin or matte. Glossy finishes show off every speck of dirt, which can be a disaster when there are kids in the house.

Tip #4: Aim for a daily sweep

Finally, try and sweep the floor daily to keep it free of grit, which can scratch the finish. Implement a no shoes rule and place mats by the doors as well, to help eliminate as much tracking in of dirt as possible. Wet spills, of course, should always be wiped up immediately.

Talk to a wood flooring company like Kenmark Hardwood Floors Inc for more help in picking out the right type of flooring for your growing family.