If you are a parent and think about having a wooden floor installed in your house, you will most certainly have several things to consider before making a choice. This includes, among other things, safety and suitability. When it comes to the comparison between a wooden floor and a carpet which is so frequently pointed out especially by parents, bare floor is a definite winner in terms of hygienic benefits and maintenance, but a carpet, on the other hand, can be a desirable option when it comes to comfort, due to its softness.
As mentioned in our previous posts, just because wood is a natural product, hardwood flooring usually expands and contracts to depend on changing ambient conditions. As a result of these expansion and contraction processes, gaps occur in the floor. Gaps between individual planks can be dangerous for your child, so if you’re concerned, better go for an engineered wood floor to avoid them.
Solid wood floors are made up of planks manufactured from a single piece of wood. Engineered wood flooring is, on the other hand, made up of several layers of different types of wood with a hardwood layer at the top, which makes it look like hardwood. Therefore, engineered wood flooring doesn’t expand and contract, and thus, by installing it, you can avoid gaps.
This argument may be a crucial factor for parents who are up for a floor-related decision. In this way, you can prevent your child’s fingers or toes from getting stuck.
A carpet can be a much softer option than wood flooring. Parents are often concerned that their children can fall on a hard floor and harm themselves. The mere fact that you’re worried about your child doesn’t mean that you have to get yourself a carpet – there are specific ways to make a wooden floor slightly softer.
What you can do is, for example, install your floor using a floating method. A wood floor fitted in this way is neither nailed nor glued down to the sub-floor. In this case, glue is used only between the tongue and groove of the boards. When it comes to residential buildings, a floating floor can be installed over a sub-floor or even over an existing floor (you only need to lay the right underlay).
This underlay is the key to reducing the hardness of the floor and thus protecting the children. It’s also worth mentioning that it’s a good sound barrier.
The finish is the next thing that needs to be considered by parents who think about having a wooden floor installed. We’ve got a variety of options. Lacquers and hard wax oils guarantee protection against wear and tear, as children can put the floor to the test in this respect. Another question that may be of interest for families with kids is environmental factors.
As children love to play on the floor, run barefoot, touch or even lick it, you may want to ensure that the new floor and the finish you’ve used on it have a low volatile organic compounds (VOCs) level, which means harmful substances don’t evaporate at room temperature.
All in all, a hardwood floor is an excellent solution for families with children, provided that you make the right choices when implementing your new flooring project.