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I admit it, I am a bit of a fanatic when it comes to child safety.  I worry about bumps and bruises, agonize over tumbles and falls, and am the very picture of the “hover mother.”

So, it came as no surprise to anyone when flooring options for my children’s newly redecorated playroom became such a tough decision.  Between safety and our redecorating budget, I had to find a way to blend the two to create a perfectly safe spot for my kids to play that was also perfectly priced.

The Options

Unless you are looking for flooring, you may not have any idea how many different options are available.  Everything from hardwood floors to wall-to-wall carpeting to colored concrete is fashionable these days.  Since sticking to our budget was paramount, I studied the pros and cons of each option before finally making my decision.

Stone and ceramic tile flooring

I love the classy look of stone tile.  They come in so many beautiful variations of color and texture that I would love them in every room in my house.  Ceramic tiles are a more manufactured item as opposed to a pure, natural surface like stone, but they are also beautiful in their own right.  They look lovely in the playroom and are easy to clean.  Unfortunately, they offer no cushioning for dropped items, and for falls.

Even the fact that we could install radiant heating under them could not sway me.  They are a beautiful flooring option and might be great when we redecorate as the children get older. But for now, they are a bit too hard and will not absorb those tumbles and spills.

Laminate floors and  real wood flooring

We are lucky, because our older home has wood flooring that is in relatively good condition.  We could easily sand and refinish the playroom floor, install an area rug, and call it a day.  Laminate flooring would be great if we needed or wanted to install a wooden surface, and I would definitely consider it because it is easy to clean.

The problem with wood flooring is that it is very hard on little heads and food and drink spills need to be cleaned up immediately.  In a house full of small children, immediately can sometimes mean four hours have gone by.  I left the wood floor option open though, because even with the refinishing it would still be an economical choice.

Carpeting

Wall-to-wall carpeting with thick padding underneath was my initial dream flooring.  I loved the idea of a soft, padded floor where the kids could sit and play comfortably and if they took a tumble, the floor would be forgiving.  However, many of the drawbacks associated with carpeting s became apparent right away once we started looking at samples.

Because the room is small, we needed light colored carpeting which is a stain-magnet for food and drink spills by small children.  The cost for the high-quality carpeting and thick pad we wanted was also over budget.  As much as I liked the thought of it initially, I realized that it would really limit how much playing, painting, and Play-Doh play the kids could do in the room.

Final flooring decision

When it came down to it I opted for refinishing our existing floors and using soft, foam squares as a sort of area rug.  The foam squares are padded, easy to clean, and relatively durable.  They are also inexpensive, so if one gets stained or damaged we can easily replace it.  Best of all, we stayed within our budget and protected the children.

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Jessica Ackerman writes for WallDecorandHomeAccents.com where she provides detailed instructions for decorating with wall candle holders and contemporary metal wall decor.

 

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Jessica Ackerman

Jessica Ackerman grew up working in her family’s construction business beginning in the back office and migrating to the actual, hands on construction side of the enterprise. In addition to writing posts on the BuildDirect blog, Jessica is currently a senior staff writer for an online home decor store called Wall Decor and Home Accents.