Floors for Children and Pets


When it comes to building or renovating your home, you need to pay close attention to your choice of flooring, especially if you have children and pets. With these important and beautiful creatures in your home, you need to worry about children and pet comfort, children and pet traction on the flooring. You also have to worry about flooring durability, scratches, dirt, and stains on the flooring, etc. There are a lot of things to worry about…

In this flooring guide, we will look at how to select the best floor that is children and pet-friendly. We will also look at the kinds of floor you should avoid for the sake of your children and pets. Let us get started now!

Why Do We Need To Be Extra Careful in Floors Selection for Children and Pets?

We would like to talk about two major reasons. Firstly, children and pet will not cherish your floors like an adult. You have to consider a couple of things such as such as scratches from plush toys, plastic wheels of high chairs, ride-on cars, Hot Wheels races, and of course pet urine.  Your floor should be able to withstand the impact of all these to some extent. In other words, durability should be at the top list of what to consider when choosing the flooring for your home. 

Apart from the wear and tear that can happen to your flooring, you also have to consider the health implications of your floor choice on your children and pets. There are a few flooring types from unqualified manufacturers that pose health hazards when children and kids are exposed to them.  A few flooring materials might have health effects on the cognitive function, and endocrine systems of children.  You need to carefully deal with this kind of flooring. 

What Kind of Floors you should consider?

Now let us look at the various kinds of floors that will be ideal for your home:

  • Strong Graining

Choose hardwood option that has stronger graining such as hickory and oak. This is because hardwoods with stronger graining can hide dents and scratches more than any other types of wood. Hickory, white oak, and red oak are good examples of such hardwoods. Hickory has many advantages because it is harder with about 1,800 on Janka scale. It has excellent color variation and strong graining. Oak hardwoods are less expensive which offers a great price advantage, although their rating on Janka scale is about 1290. White oak features a smoother graining than red oak and also has high mineral streaks which give a more modern look. The red oak is more traditional and it has more levels of graining.

  • Light Hardwood Floors

Choosing a light hardwood floor is also an excellent idea because it reduces the appearance of scratches and dirt. Normally, when there is any scratch on the wood floor, the underlying base wood will be very conspicuous. With a light hardwood floor, it will show less simply because it is comparable to raw wood color. Therefore, you might want to consider the option of natural or a light color hardwood for your home flooring.

  • Satin and Matte Finishes

Many homeowners love shining floors but the downside to it is that the shinier your flooring, the more noticeable the scratches, dirt, and dent will be. It is, therefore, preferable to choose a satin or a matte finish for your floor. It will look better for a longer period of time and it will also be easier to maintain and clean. Interestingly, both satin and matte finishes are more trendy and stylish than many other types of floor, so selecting this option of flooring is actually an excellent choice.

  • Harder Hardwood Species

No doubt about it, harder hardwood species are stronger and holds up better than many other hardwoods. Exotic hardwoods like Brazilian Teak, Brazilian Walnut, and Brazilian Cherry are all on the harder side. On Janka rating scale, Brazilian Teak measures 3,540 while Brazilian Walnut measures 3,684. Brazilian Cherry, on the other hand, measures 2,350 on Janka rating scale. These three are the highest on the Janka scale which makes them great choices for homes with children and pets. However, these hardwoods tend to have smoother graining and are darker than many other types of hardwood. What this means is that they will show scratches and dirt more. If you want a light but harder hardwood, you might want to consider Maple. Maple is harder than oak; however, it is more expensive in terms of the first installation and refinishing.

  • Distressed, Hand-Scraped, Character Grade Floors

Hardwood floors that have a high level of characters conceal dents and scratch more. You can achieve this look and feel with hand-scraped or distressed floors, hardwood with many color variations, and floors with several knots. When these floors experience scratches or dents, they easily blend into the floor and look very natural.

What Kind of Floors you should avoid?

As there are ideal hardwood floors for homes with children and pets, there are also hardwood floors that should be avoided because of these cute creatures. Below are some of the hardwood options that should not be used in homes with kids and pets.

  • Avoid Shiny Finishes

Shiny finishes tend to show dent, scratches, and dirt more. This is major because light reflects on them easily. In addition to this, shiny finishes are also outdated and not trendy in homes anymore. Instead of selecting shining finishes, you might want to consider matter or satin finishes because they will look better in the long run, and of course, they are very stylish.

  • Avoid Softwood

Softwoods dent easily. Soft and darker woods also show scratches more than other hardwood options. These are therefore not great options for homes with kids and pets. Examples of softwoods include American Cherry, American Walnut, Douglas Fir, and most pines. In case you are moving to a new home with softwoods, it is recommended that you add an additional coat of poly and minimize the shiny effect on your finish.

  • Avoid Bamboos

Bamboo flooring is a no-no when it comes to homes with children and pets. First, they don’t hold up well when it comes to dent and scratches, or even water. So they are really bad choices for your homes if you have kids and pets. Second, the scratches on them tend to show more. Of course, there are some other stronger options of bamboos that hold better, like the strand woven bamboo. However, they still have many problems with scratches. Bamboo flooring is usually cheaper when it comes to the installation but the durability is very poor. So why sacrifice the durability of your floor for a cheap price?


You must take some time to consider the perfect option of flooring for your children and pets when making the choice. Your floor selection should be children and pet-friendly and must be able to withstand the wear and tear that are associated with having kids and pets around the home. This will save you a lot of money on repairs and maintenance in the long run. We have highlighted the types of hardwood floor to consider when choosing your floor as well as flooring options to avoid. It is highly recommended that you follow this professional advice in order to avoid replacing or refinishing your floor every a few years as a result of the wear and tears from children and pets.

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