Hardwood and Children

Children are one of the greatest blessings families can have—they’re usually energetic, cute, loving, and often funny. One thing they’re usually not, though, is clean.

Most of the time, parents with busy lives find it hard to keep up with the muddy footprints, spilled drinks, and other messes that come with kids. After a while, those messes can accumulate, and elements of home can be damaged—especially floors. Even vigilant parents can often find small disasters around their homes.

That’s one of the reasons it’s good to consider what kind of flooring you want in your home if you have children. While many people grow up with carpet, it can often degrade and start to look shabby quickly with muddy footprints, moisture, traffic, and other messes. Hardwood floors can be a better option, which much easier cleanup and significantly more durability. They may also be better for your kids, too!

Cleanup on aisle five

It seems like common sense, but cleaning hardwood floors is inherently easier than cleaning carpet. No matter what kind of carpet you have, the fibers and pad will be more likely than hardwood to hang onto smells, stains, pet hair, moisture, and dirt.

One of the main advantages is how easily you can clean hardwood floors. Weekly maintenance like sweeping and mopping is easier to find time for on a regular basis and you can just sweep or wipe away messes! This is particularly true with liquids like snow, spilled drinks, or mud. Kids are notoriously chaotic with messes, though. Make sure you wipe up messes like sticky cereals, glue, and spilled food with a paper towel quickly. While it’s important to keep the floors dry to prevent damage, it’s much easier than having to shampoo a carpet or remove a stain. In general, regular sweeping will help control dirt and dander as well and there’s little chance of it hiding anywhere!

The type of wood you have in your home can also minimize the appearance of dirt. Lighter colored wood, as well less glossy finish will actually be less likely to show dust. The brighter stains have the added benefit of brightening up your living space as well!

Wood can, of course, be stained by standing water, potentially requiring refinishing. However, this usually takes some time. Carpet will absorb staining liquids almost immediately and is far more likely to stain.


Hardwood also has a significant advantage over carpet in its lifespan. Kids will trample carpet with frequent comings and goings, flattening tracks in it and leaving darker and lighter section, well-maintained hardwood takes much longer to show the damage. This is especially true in areas with a lot of traffic, such as the entryway, stairs and living room.

While it’s largely more resistant to damage, wood can still be damaged. Pushing furniture, running in shoes, grinding in dirt, and untrimmed pet nails can all lead to scratches. Kids also frequently drop things or push things off desks, leading to potential dents. Putting rugs in high-traffic areas and mats under rolling chairs can also help, but it’s good to keep an eye on areas that look roughed-up and recoat with new polyurethane as needed.

Dense wood species such as hickory, oak, or hard maple tend to be the least susceptible to scratching or denting. Wood hardness is measure on the Janka scale, which can help inform you what type of wood may be best for your home, depending on the activity levels. If you still want that softness for kids on the floor, area rugs are a great option—and while area rugs can also be vacuumed, they can be moved easily when cleaning the wood as well.

When maintained properly, hardwood floors can last generations—longer than you live in your home. They add value as well, as most buyers today are willing to pay extra for homes with hardwood floors.

Health considerations

We all want our children to grow up healthy and happy. With the amount of time they spend on the floor playing and resting, we want to make sure our floors are clean and safe, too.

Carpets are notorious harbors for pet hair and dirt, and even for mold. While these aren’t always an issue for people without allergies, there may be things like fungus growing where you can’t see it. They can also harbor dust mites, toxic gases attached to floating particles, or pesticides. Some chemically sensitive individuals can also have difficulty with the flame-retardant chemicals used in carpets or the adhesives used to install them.

That doesn’t usually happen with properly installed hardwood flooring, and rugs are easier to remove than carpet. Because of their ease in cleaning, they need to be replaced less often as well, leading to less disturbance in your home and less expense over time.

Your kids are one of the biggest defining factors in your life and home. While some may think that hardwood floors will be hard to keep up with once busy with kids, instead they have a number of benefits over other types of flooring for keeping your home clean, and your kids healthy.