Shopping for wood flooring used to be as easy as picking a shade you like. However, with the myriad of new options available on the market, it’s easy to feel puzzled about which type to get.
The process also becomes much more complicated if you have kids. When you have a messy household, you’ll definitely want to make every penny count by purchasing the most durable wood flooring you can find.
Well, you don’t have to sweat it or read through dozens of articles anymore. With our simple guide, you’ll be able to make an informed decision. If you’re wondering what’s the best wood flooring for your kids’ room, read on to find out!
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The Short Answer
Red oak is generally the best option for kids’ rooms, combining rigidity and easy maintenance, not to mention, it hides scratches pretty well.
Aspects to Consider When Shopping for Wood Flooring for Your Kids’ Room
Before you jump headfirst and choose a fancy wood flooring, consider the following:
This may be a bit surprising since most trees look the same, but not all types of wood are created equal when it comes to rigidity. That’s why there’s a hardness scale to rely on when determining wood flooring variants’ firmness.
If your kids’ room is the usual setting for small-scale WWE showdowns or you have a young champ who thinks that jumping from the bed will make them a superhero, you’ll want to get the highest flooring on the hardness scale to ensure that it’ll stay in tip-top shape for years to come.
Generally speaking, red oak is favored by many homeowners. While it’s not the hardest wood you can find, it’s still strong enough to resist regular wear and tear. So, it won’t be dented any time soon.
Not only that, but red oak is also pretty affordable compared to other options like white oak. However, if you’re not scared to splurge a bit, you can go for Brazilian walnut or Brazilian cherry.
Word of advice: the more rigid your flooring is, the trickier it’ll be to install since it’s going to be more challenging to nail down. So, make sure to contact an expert installer if you go for those varieties.
Contrary to popular belief, “grade” doesn’t refer to the quality of wood flooring but rather how natural it looks. Real wood isn’t always uniform, so some manufacturers refine it to look more polished.
While it might sound like a simple matter of preference or aesthetic, the type of grade you get determines how durable your flooring is. There are only three varieties of grade: rustic, natural, and prime.
Rustic wood flooring varies significantly in shades and has pronounced knots, which is why some people don’t like it. Although it might look a bit mismatched when installed across a large area, it’s fantastic at keeping scratches at bay, not to mention; it looks charming in a quaint way. If you plan on getting rustic flooring, it’s best to stick to hickory.
On the other hand, natural wood flooring, like red oak, is considered the go-to option for many customers. Don’t let this fool you into thinking that it doesn’t have any knots or color variation, but they’re a lot less conspicuous than rustic’s. Like rustic wood flooring, it’s excellent at hiding scratches.
Finally, prime wood flooring is the least natural-looking type out of the bunch. While it looks aesthetically pleasing, it can make scratches look more pronounced, thanks to its uniform nature. So, we recommend steering away from prime grade because playtime will definitely take its toll, leaving all kinds of scratches on the flooring’s top layer.
Remember to keep your expectations realistic; all wood flooring scratches, but it’s a matter of finding a type that hides wear and tear.
The finish you pick is another aspect that might sound purely aesthetic. However, just like grade, choosing the right finish can mean the difference between changing your flooring again in only a couple of years or keeping it looking sleek for at least a decade.
Even though glossy finishes look amazing, they aren’t suitable for high traffic areas like your children’s room. They tend to show more scratches, which equals more maintenance and extra costs. On the contrary, matte and satin finishes are better at hiding scratches.
One of your kids has spilled their orange juice on the floor? Well, no problem because non-glossy finishes are easier to clean, so you get the best of both worlds; happy children and amazing-looking floors.
4. Solid vs. Engineered
Thanks to its minimal cost, engineered wood flooring is on the rise, but is it the best option for your children’s room? Not exactly. Since engineered flooring isn’t made of wood all the way through (it has a layer of plywood underneath the natural-looking top one), it requires special adhesives to be installed properly.
These adhesives can emit harmful gases and cause severe allergic reactions. Moreover, engineered wood flooring can’t be refinished more than once because it has a very thin top layer.
That’s why we highly recommend investing in solid flooring. While it’s a bit more expensive, it’s the more durable option and can be installed without harmful chemicals.
Being a parent definitely affects your purchase decisions. Since you want to keep your children safe and not burn a hole in your pocket at the same time, you need to really think about the type of wood flooring you plan to install in their room.
So, in a nutshell, what’s the best wood flooring for your kids’ room? Well, any substantial variety with a natural grade, matte finish, high hardness level like red oak should do the trick. However, make sure to check more than one supplier to find the most competitive deal.