Many homeowners with kids are unsure whether to opt for carpet or laminate. Both flooring options can be a great choice in a family home. However, each one also has its drawbacks. This post explores some of the important factors to consider when choosing child-friendly flooring, as well as identifying which flooring is better in each case.
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What to consider when deciding between carpet or laminate child-friendly flooring
Kids – especially infants – will fall over. Laminate can be a fairly hard surface to fall onto. Carpet has a sponginess that could help to make for a softer landing. All in all, carpet is safer. It’s also undeniably more comfortable as it stays warmer longer and isn’t hard on the knees (although carpet burn is a possibility).
Carpet is high maintenance. Infants and young kids naturally make a lot of mess and you could find yourself constantly vacuuming. Food and liquids can much more easily cause permanent stains in carpets – you may have to hire professional carpet cleaning to remove these stains. With laminate flooring, you can easily wipe or mop up these spillages without worrying too much about staining.
Laminate can amplify the pitter-patter of feet. This may not be ideal if you live in an upper-storey apartment. Carpets are much better at muffling sound and tend to be favoured in upstairs areas and apartments for this reason. This could be something to consider if you have young kids.
Laminate flooring is not as susceptible to damage as carpet. Within 10 years, carpets are likely to get worn by constant footfall. Laminate flooring can last a lot longer before needing to be replaced (high quality laminate can last 20 to 30 years). Laminate flooring is also less likely to be damaged by moisture and will not stain as easily.
When it comes to the cost, carpet is generally cheaper to install than laminate. Of course, it depends very much on the quality you opt for – a high quality carpet will cost more than a low quality laminate floor. If you’re on a tight budget, carpet will usually be a better solution.
Looking for a DIY child-friendly flooring solution? Laminate flooring can be laid without too much hassle. Carpet is typically a lot more fiddly and you may want to hire professionals to install it if you’re not DIY-savvy or don’t have much free time. Of course, you can still hire professionals to lay laminate flooring too if you want to make sure it’s done properly.
Which child-friendly flooring should you choose?
The best choice of child-friendly flooring largely comes down to what matters most to you. If you value your time, laminate is likely to be a better option – it doesn’t take as much time to install, and you won’t spend as much time cleaning it. Carpet has the advantage of being softer, quieter and cheaper, and is generally a better option in apartments where laminate may not even be allowed.
Of course, there’s nothing to stop you having both types of flooring – laminate downstairs and carpet upstairs is a popular combo. You may even decide to choose neither – options like vinyl flooring may be a good middle-ground.
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