Flooring for children’s rooms: a comparative overview
The choice of flooring in the children’s room – quite a task! The wrong approach in this matter can turn into problems in the future, such as asthma and allergic reactions in the child, spoiled in the first year expensive coating, rotten floor boards under the laminate and visible scratches. That’s why this choice must be approached with great responsibility, if you’re not burning desire to make a new repair every summer.
Children’s room: a thousand and one requirements
So what is so different from any other children’s room? And why is the choice of flooring is always given so much attention? The fact is that in this room always:
- High dynamic load (children run, jump, and sometimes with friends).
- The risk of moisture getting on the flooring (kids drawing and drinking juice).
- Scratches, chips and scuffs in the most unexpected places (children are always playing moving games).
- “Marble” stains from felt-tip pens (the kids’ favorite activity).
We are to the point, how resistant to abrasion and stains should be coating in the children’s room. But it also has its own specific requirements:
- Eco-friendliness. The child should not, after a few months, start choking on dust or allergens.
- Cushioning of steps. For young children, too hard coating is even dangerous to health: it’s a serious load on the spine and the risk of developing flat feet.
- The surface should not be slippery – to avoid accidental injury.
But if you add all these requirements together, there is probably no such flooring in the world. Each of the types that exist today has some kind of advantage, and to make the right choice you need to focus not on the pros, but on what disadvantages you can put up with. In addition, each age has different requirements.
An overview of suitable traditional floor coverings
So let’s take a closer look at what are popular floor coverings for the nursery today, what their composition and laying process is, what substances are used in the installation process (an important question) and much more. On your way!
Cork – warmth and cushioning
This is by far the most in-demand flooring for the nursery. Soft, environmentally friendly and quiet – what can be better? But it is not an uncommon situation, when in one family cork was laid only for two years and already has a torn look, and in the other family it has served faithfully for ten years, and children in both families are equally active. So where, in fact, are so many negative reviews about this coating, when along with no less praise?
It’s simple: cork is different cork. That is, you can buy a really high quality material, but you can simply stumble on a fake. Let’s understand all this a little bit.
So, there is such a thing as technical cork. It is made from residues and are used as a substrate for laminate. Its function as a soundproofing and softening stroke performs well, and it can be purchased cheaply from unscrupulous sellers under the guise of a full-fledged coverage. But in a regular children’s room, such cork will not last long.
The second type of cork flooring – adhesive. They can be found on sale in the form of tiles, which are fastened with glue butt to butt. Gaps are not visible, the moisture is not afraid of such a floor, but the very presence of glue confuses many parents.
Cork parquet (cork laminate) – is a cork floor of individual panels. Moisture is already afraid, and the seams over time deformed by the slightest dampness, and therefore suitable only for the bedroom and living room. If you remember Dr. Komarovsky with his appeals to make the air in children’s rooms humid and even control it with a hygrometer, you will realize that the cork flooring must be forgotten.
Also, cork is different by the method of laying: the castle and the adhesive, and in the first case, you do not need the low-environmental glue. But in the second one, and cork itself in the composition of the coating is very small, pay attention to this fact. Here is one of the laying options:
Real cork flooring has remarkable advantages:
- Soundproofing. The result is grateful downstairs neighbors.
- Warmth. Fewer typical childhood illnesses.
- Cushioning of footsteps. A healthier child’s spine.
- Eco-friendliness. No fear for all sorts of volatile and hazardous substances.
- Elasticity. Any dents are smoothed out fairly quickly.
But of the disadvantages it is worth noting that under the cork coating can not install a warm floor. And cork laminate can be placed on the underfloor heating system, but the cork sheets – no. Simply, this material will let out no more than 20% of the heat energy, such is its nature. And the price, of course, is high, considering that cork is also wear-resistant. Also, the surface of cork is rough enough, a child once again will not slip, but home shoes and socks will be washed quickly.
Cork flooring lasts for about ten years, and its partial repair is possible – today sells a special varnish for it. Modern cork floors are no longer like just a loose terracotta-colored surface – they are available today with a beautiful photo print and a variety of colors.
Laminate – practicality and impact resistance
This is by far the most popular choice for children’s rooms. It is easy to clean, looks nice, and on top you can put some mats. Laminate is best suited for a warm flooring system, it easily tolerates temperature fluctuations and can be laid without much difficulty, even with the most complex schemes conceived. Only cheap laminate from 8 mm should not be laid on a heated floor.
And now – about the disadvantages. Let’s just say that not everyone puts laminate in bedrooms or children’s rooms – more out of fear that this material releases formaldehyde, acrylic and melamine resins. Although the manufacturers themselves do not confirm this information. Therefore, if you are going to lay it is laminate, buy only a well-known brand and ask the seller to see the appropriate quality certificates.
Laminate is also quite noisy. It likes to squeak, it fades in the sun and requires a perfectly flat surface. Even a cat that just walked across the room can make a sound as good as heels. And, if you don’t think through quality soundproofing for your downstairs neighbors, you will be angry. Laminate is also slippery, which is not very good for the nursery.
But there is another “but”: the laminate – it’s compressed cardboard, impregnated with glue and covered with melamine resin. That is, for all its appeal, it’s not the most environmentally friendly product. But practical and can withstand the antics of more than one child.
Today there are so many brands of laminate, that it is not easy to understand even the expert. So if you buy this coating, be sure to go first to the brand site (not the seller), and look at the information about it. Fakes and low-quality product does not usually have its own site. While experts recommend such brands as Quick Step, Kronotex and Egger for children’s rooms. Here is the laying of the first of those listed:
Parquet flooring – style and solidity
More importantly, the noise from the parquet board is much less than from the laminate, which rumbles even a falling pencil. In addition, you can easily lay this coating yourself, in contrast to the parquet. By the way, any scratches on the parquet flooring can be repaired – with a special lacquer and sanding.
Parquet flooring, due to its more natural bases, is subject to scratches and dents. Handle with it to be careful, and in the children’s room to do this floor is only possible if you have a very neat child. Moreover, the eco-friendly hardwood flooring is designed more for bedrooms, where there is little traffic. Also, the hardwood flooring poorly tolerates fluctuations in humidity and air temperature – quickly shrinks and swells.
Bottom line: the hardwood flooring is finicky, but it is beautiful and environmentally friendly enough. For children’s rooms – for quiet and tidy children, who spend almost all day at school, and prefer active games in the open air. So, there are also specially created collections of hardwood flooring for children’s rooms – for example, Barlinek Young and some others. Typically, such a floor consists of almost 100% wood, has an antibacterial system and anti-fungal properties.
Carpeting – comfort and safety
It is not convenient for a child to play on a hard floor – after all, you usually have to crawl or lean on your knees during all the action. For these children, a warm carpet is more suitable.
But many modern parents, trained by the many shows and the Internet, actively discard all the “dust collectors” from children’s rooms, leaving only a sterile, clean space of plastic and wood. But they forget that children’s rooms should not resemble research laboratories or operating rooms, because it is the coziness that counts. And designers around the world will agree that the first steps in this direction are textiles and soft materials.
So, modern carpet manufacturers offer a variety of options in color and design, thickness, quality and dressing. Choose what you like! After all, just a few years, when a grown-up child wants to radically change the interior of his room, this floor covering will be easy enough to dismantle.
There are expensive types of carpet, which are designed specifically for children, and they can safely be placed on the underfloor heating system. And the process of installation of this coating is extremely simple:
Here are all the pros and cons of modern floor coverings for children’s rooms. We wish you a successful choice!