Why Dark Floors Might Not Be The First Choice If You Have Children Or Pets

Just as your décor needs to accommodate your family and their activities, so does your flooring. Unless you want to constantly clean pet and kid residue from your floors, think about what type of flooring will work best in your house given the level of activity and the number and type of residents. In addition to choosing pet-friendly flooring materials, think about the color as well. If yours is an active household with kids, dogs, and other pets, a wall-to-wall white carpet is impractical, so it's all about finding what's best for your particular living situation.

With this in mind, you might think that dark flooring would be better. However, dark flooring in a house with kids and dogs around is just as impractical as the all-white carpet. This is because dark floors show pet hair more than lighter-colored floors do. Also, every muddy footprint will show prominently on a dark floor, and in colder climates that goes double for salt stains.  

Let's hone in on what else you need to know about choosing a flooring color when you have kids or pets.

Choosing the best flooring color if you have children or pets

The color of your floor is going to impact the room's mood. More importantly, the color of your floor is going to impact your mood when it comes to daily and weekly maintenance. The choice you make about floor coloring is going to dictate how often you have to clean up pet hair, footprints, scuffs, and stains.

In addition to its being less likely to show dirt and pet hair, there are other benefits to choosing lighter flooring. In general, lighter floors open up a space, making the room feel larger and airier (per FlooringAmerica). Lighter-colored flooring is less formal, compliments many design styles, and allows furniture and artwork to stand out. However, lighter floors paired with a lot of natural light or light-colored walls can wash out a room. Aim for a balance between light and dark throughout the living space. 

A dark floor has its own beauty. It can draw a room together making it feel cozy while making the ceiling look higher. A room with a dark floor has a more traditional, elegant look. Additionally, dark floors tend to hold their color and not fade. However, as mentioned previously, they may not be the best choice if you're concerned about dirt and pet hair showing up.

If you can't decide between light and dark, consider something neutral; and, best of all, try to incorporate a floor surface with a pattern, or carpeting with different flecks of color to hide dirt that may accumulate between cleanings.

Types of flooring to consider if you have children or pets

The floor's finish matters as well. The glossier the finish, the more scratches, prints, and dirt you're going to see. A floor with a matte finish does a better job of hiding these imperfections.

The most durable floors are those made from ceramic tile, marble, stone, and concrete, all of which come in a wide variety of colors and patterns. However, these materials have no give to them at all, something to consider if you're going to be standing on them for long periods. Also, the materials tend to be slippery, which might create a challenge for small children, older pets, or adults. Also, anything dropped onto these floors has a greater chance of breaking.

Wear-resistant hardwood comes in shades from white oak to dark walnut. Also, know that some types of hardwood are more scratch and dent-resistant than others. Oak, cherry, and hickory have this reputation, while softer wood that may scratch more include pine and chestnut. Too much wear and tear or long exposure to liquid can crack and split the boards, so maintenance is key to keeping splinters out of tiny hands and feet as well as tender paws.

There are many other options for beautiful floors with kids and pets around. Hybrid flooring such as laminate mirrors the look of hardwood but doesn't scratch. Spills clean up quickly from its smooth, polished surface. Additionally, vinyl and LVT (luxury vinyl tiles) are both great for high-traffic areas. For kids with allergies, consider having a cork floor, as it's hypo-allergenic and anti-microbial. Other available materials include engineered wood and bamboo, both study materials that will stand up to the activities of busy families.