The flooring you choose for your child’s room will significantly impact their surroundings, health, and development – making it a concern for all new parents. Besides look and feel, there is a range of factors to consider when weighing your flooring options.
Nursery Flooring: Key Factors to Remember
When it comes to your little one’s safety and healthy development, providing the best and most suitable nursery flooring should be a priority. But before we do that, let’s examine some of the key characteristics to keep in mind when making your choice.
Though rare in babies, allergy symptoms like sneezing, coughing, wheezing, chest tightness, and itchy, red eyes may be triggered by dust, dirt, pollen, animal dander and other airborne contaminants.
If you’re concerned about allergens affecting your baby’s health, consider picking hypoallergenic flooring. Vinyl, laminate and hardwood are some of the best choices when you need to minimize allergens and create a healthy environment for your child.
● Scratch Marks
Scratches and dents are inevitable on nursery flooring thanks to rough play. If these bother you, consider installing a carpet over hardwood or laminate flooring. Alternatives like vinyl are less expensive and can be replaced periodically.
As baby grows, they’ll be spending lots of time on the floor learning to sit, crawl, play, and run. That’s why it’s important to make sure it’s warm and comfortable. Cork and carpet are great choices, but if you want a more lasting option, consider installing an underfloor heating system for hardwood or laminate flooring. Carpeting the floor or placing cushions around the crib can minimize the impact of heavy toys and accidents. Also, consider using padding under the carpet for extra comfort and safety. When babies sleep well, it helps with their brain development.
● Noise Absorption
Bouncing balls, falling toys, and screeching toy cars are familiar scenarios in a child’s room. Considering how noisy children can be, especially when at play, choosing a flooring material with sound-insulating properties such as vinyl tiles or area rugs is a good idea. Materials like hardwood or engineered hardwood are often noisy, under even normal circumstances.
● Easy Maintenance
Stains are inevitable with a newborn, what with all the milk spills, diaper leaks, and other messes. So, make sure the nursery flooring you choose is easy to clean and maintain.
● Future Use
Your child won’t stay a toddler forever, and as they grow, they may no longer like their room. If you plan to redesign it to fit the requirements of a teen or adolescent, choose a durable and permanent flooring option like laminate or hardwood. Use area rugs or carpets to avoid slip-and-fall accidents.
Top 5 Flooring Options for Newborns and Toddlers
Ensuring a safe and comfortable atmosphere for your baby is a must for responsible parents. Since there’s no such thing as perfect nursery flooring, you need to weigh your options to decide what’s best for your little one. Here are a few ideas.
A traditional choice for nurseries and kids’ bedrooms, carpets are known for their warmth, softness and comfort. As babies start crawling and grow into toddlers, they are prone to falling down and bumping into things. Carpet acts as a cushion, providing necessary support and safety to avoid trip-and-fall injuries.
Aside from protecting your baby from bumps and bruises, it also keeps you comfortable as you’ll definitely be spending more time on the floor with them! It will also keep the nursery warm (due to its insulating properties) and cut out external noise – something that will help with night feedings.
However, carpets do trap dust, mould, and allergens that cause wheezing, rhinitis and severe allergic reactions in kids with weaker immune systems. The best option is to use carpets with high-quality natural materials like jute, hemp, wool, or sisal. They should also have no latex backing, be tacked down, and supported by a wooden base.
Note: Make sure that the carpet you choose is free from toxic substances like adhesives, VOCs (volatile organic compounds), and formaldehyde. Vacuum the entire carpet every other day to get rid of any trapped dust and dirt particles. And always make sure it’s dry, as dampness can cause moulds and fungi to develop.
The best thing about cork is that it provides many of the qualities of carpet, minus some of the drawbacks. Although naturally soft and yielding underfoot, it can be made even softer by choosing thicker tile materials. Unlike carpet, cork is water-resistant, which means you don’t have to worry about damp and microorganisms like mould and fungi. Cork also repels dust and dirt because of its anti-static properties, ensuring a clean and healthy environment for children.
When installed and sealed properly, cork floors are nearly impervious to stains; maintenance is usually just sweeping or regular vacuuming. However, since cork is soft, the pointed edges of hard plastic or wooden toys can cause rips, tears, and gouges. This can be avoided to some extent by using floor rugs or cork tiles, which can be spot replaced as required.
Note: Make sure you only choose organic cork made from 100% cork oak bark that doesn’t contain any formaldehyde binder and doesn’t emit any VOCs
Known for its hardness, durability and easy maintenance, hardwood is a great flooring option for nurseries and kids’ rooms. Just make sure that it’s nailed down and contains natural sealant without UV protection.
Since hardwood doesn’t trap dust, allergens or chemicals, it’s perfectly safe for kids. However, considering its hardness, it could potentially be a health hazard for toddlers who have only just learned to sit, crawl or pull themselves up to stand. Also, since hardwood doesn’t absorb sound, it can interrupt the baby’s sleep. The only solution is to use wool rugs, rubber tiles, or natural cotton mats to make things safer, quieter, and more comfortable.
Note: Depending on the kind of wood and finish, the cost per square foot of hardwood flooring can be higher than any other flooring option.
If you like the look of hardwood but find it too expensive, laminate is a good alternative.
Like hardwood, it doesn’t trap dust particles or chemicals. Cleaning it is easy; all you need is a vacuum cleaner and a damp mop to remove dirt and stains. In case of accidental food spills, a simple wipe should suffice.
Since laminate flooring is scratch-resistant, it’s great for toddlers with toys or kids who run and/or jump. What’s more, unlike hardwood, laminate doesn’t need polishing or waxing to retain its aesthetic appeal.
Note: Low-priced laminate floors are usually cheap because they have adhesives that emit harmful VOCs. Be sure to choose a flooring store that deals in high-quality laminate wood flooring.
5. Floor Mats
Although not a typical flooring option, floor mats can prove helpful if you have carpet or hardwood already installed in your kid’s room. They provide a safe and comfortable place for children to crawl, walk, and play while protecting the floor underneath. They are also easy to clean, and in case one gets ripped or damaged, you can simply replace it with a new one.
So, planning the perfect nursery is not all about cribs, curtains, lighting, and wall decor. It’s also about choosing the right kind of flooring and considering its effect on your child’s safety, development, and overall well-being. Weigh the pros and cons of the above-mentioned nursery flooring options and choose the one that best suits your budget and needs.