What’s under your feet (or however you get around) is as important as anything when it comes to home. That’s why this fall, we collaborated with The Home Depot on an A to Z guide that’ll give you the confidence to make flooring choices you’ll love. Check out the A to Z handbook here.
When you think of or are a designing a house fit for kids, the likes of playrooms, backyards and dens come to mind. But one of the most critical ways to make children feel comfortable in their space — from the time they are an infant to when a closed-door policy becomes the norm —is the look of the flooring. (Really!)
The Home Depot has decades of experience lending families a hand to outfit houses that becomes homes. When your own brood expands, here’s what to consider when it comes to flooring that’ll age well for everyone.
Give them a soft place to land
The physical nature of child’s play — from roughhousing with a sibling to practicing cheerleading jumps indoors — often means young ones spend an extraordinary amount of time in close contact with the floor. Since bare elbows and knees appreciate a soft landing, it’s no wonder that wall-to-wall carpet is a top choice for their areas.
In addition to being far more appealing to crawl around on than, say, laminate, carpet is great for insulation and sound absorption. This means that if your budding diva loves to belt out movie theme songs 40 times a day, you’re less likely to hear it in other parts of the house, or if your toddler jumps for joy (over and over) every time their favorite show comes on, the thuds won’t be quite as noticeable.
Recent developments in carpet technology have also cut down on the previous drawbacks of putting carpet in a kid’s room — most notably, in the spills and messes category.
Stain-resistant carpet does exactly what it promises in repelling spots and discoloration. Innovations like SoilSheild technology stands up against not only juice box disasters, but everyday dirt and grime that can potentially cause allergies to flare up.
Carpet tiles are another good option for kid-friendly spaces, thanks in particular to being easy to replace. (For more information on carpet and carpet tiles, check out letter C.)
Pair hard surfaces with a soft layer
If your home has hard flooring, like luxury vinyl, hardwood and laminate, an easy fix is to lay down something plush: an area rug (more on that under letter A). Using area rugs also allows for changes over time as preferences shift. You can definitely swap out a powder-pink high-pile rug for a black-and-white swirled one as whims morph — a whole lot easier than tearing out carpet that’s highly-specific to the interests of a five-year-old. (Hello, dinosaurs!)
Interlocking foam or rubber tiles, like those used for home gyms, are also a simple way to keep knees from getting banged up without a permanent change. Adding interlocking foam tiles over other flooring — like hardwood — works especially well if you’re thinking about selling your home in the future and won’t want to replace existing kid-approved flooring with something new to increase curb appeal.
Cork is durable and eases transitions
If you aren’t interested in carpet but still want a softer, full-coverage option, cork is cushiony and resilient but still looks cool. It comes in sheet or tile form, and is also ultra stain-resistant when installed and sealed correctly.
The anti-microbial and anti-static properties of cork work to keep a room as naturally dust-free as possible, and the material can easily smooth the transition from playful kids to teens with overflowing laundry hampers: no complete flooring redesign necessary.