The Top Kid-Friendly Wood Flooring For Your Home
February 14, 2022
From rough and tumble games to pushing chairs and toys around, and to Wheel races, the number of things kids can do on wooden flooring is only limited by their creativity, it’s not just the daily wear and tear. This is why one of the common questions concerning wood floors is about whether or not they can be child-proofed. Here is a list of options that you can consider.
Generally speaking, wood floors that have stronger graining tend to hide scratches and dents more, giving a camouflage effect. Some of the best examples of this type are red oak, white oak and hickory.
Oak is a less expensive option when compared to Hickory. Red oak has more graining and is appropriate in complementing traditional styles, whereas white oak has smoother graining and has more mineral streaks suitable for a contemporary look.
Hickory on the other hand has stronger graining and is harder than oak (180 on the Janka scale compared to red oak’s1290) and has many colour variations across and within the boards.
Light Wood Floors
This type of wood flooring is more resistant to scratches and helps hide dirt. It makes light hardwood floors child-friendly and easy to maintain. Normally when wood floors are scratched you will see the underlying base underneath (the raw wood below the upper coating).
As such, when wood floors are light, they resemble the raw wood texture and color closely, so even if scratches begin to show the underlying base, they will blend well naturally and won’t show much damage outside.
Hardness is one quality to look out for. The exotic hardwoods, such as Brazilian cherry, Brazilian walnut or Brazilian teak are on the harder side. However, they are dark and tend to have a much smoother graining and show scratches more easily. Maple – if you don’t mind the high cost – is reliable for its hardness and is very light, making it a better choice for kid-friendly home flooring. For budget-friendly options, oak and hickory make practical choices – they are affordable and able to withstand scratches, dents, and harsh usage. The harder the wood floor the more scratch-resistant it becomes.
Woods With More Character
Wood floors with more character in terms of texture and patterns can camouflage scratches and dents better. These textures can be obtained through distressed or hand-scraped floors. Those with knots and character variations like rustic grades can also help blend damages on the floor’s surface and make them look natural.
High Grades Of Polyurethane
If you are refinishing your wooden floors and want to keep them compatible with your kid’s activities, then the best option is to use either a high-grade oil-based polyurethane or a high-grade waterborne polyurethane.
On average 3 coats of polyurethane gives the best protection against scratches and dents. If your kids mostly play or spend time indoors, then go for 4 coats at least. Alternatively, you can also consider recoating with another layer of polyurethane every 4 years or so before the floor gets badly scratched.
Although this is directly not related to the type of wood floor, it’s a preventive maintenance step that can prolong the life of the floor when exposed to scratches and dents, and it is called the “screen and recoat” technique.
To make sure these types of wood floors keep up their kid-friendly properties for longer, get your floors done by a professional wood flooring company. Aside from that, generally, homeowners with kids should also consider avoiding wooden floors that are made out of bamboo, douglas fir, most pines, American cherry and American walnut, as these materials are highly sensitive to scratches, dents, and rough usage.