We got this great reader question the other day, and it deserved its own post!
I am looking to open a daycare. The current floor had dirty carpet on it. I pulled it up and have plywood floors! I need an easy, cheap and easy-to-clean for children. Any suggestions?
Oh, yes! Yes we certainly have a few.
First, let’s look at this person’s lifestyle. They’re renovating their space to open a business, a commercial area as opposed to a residential one. That means they need a floor that can withstand heavier foot traffic, as more people will coming in and out. It also means they’ll want a floor better suited to things that get tracked in on people’s shoes, like dirt, water, and debris.
Next, they tell us about the business they’re going to start: a daycare. In other words, a business with kids, fun, and a little bit of chaos! Any floor in a daycare will need to stand up to a lot of wear and tear; it also needs to be easy to clean in case of spills, accidents, or who knows what else.
Life with kids in a nutshell.
So, what are the options? We can rule out carpet right away. Hardwood, although gorgeous, isn’t the best for commercial spaces, as it can scratch and scuff. Porcelain is waterproof and easy to clean, but it can crack if heavy objects are dropped on it and it’s very slippery when wet.
From a solely durability perspective, laminate is your best bet. It’s strong, stable, available in a huge range of colors, and it’s water resistant. The key word there? Resistant. Modern laminate is much better than it used to be about water and spills due to advances in protective coating and sealing, but the inner core boards underneath will still soak up moisture like a sponge if they’re exposed. New advances in flooring technology recently brought us the most water resistant laminate on the market (link); it’s even got a 48-hour water warranty, a first for laminate.
If you decide to go with laminate, be sure to check the AC rating (link to RC). That’ll tell you how durable the floor is, and while they’re all pretty dang durable, you’ll be surprised at just how much of a beating laminate can take.
If you want a waterproof floor, you want vinyl. You can literally overflow a bathtub onto vinyl flooring and clean it up without any trouble or flooring damage.
(No, that’s not hyperbole. We’ve done it.)
Vinyl used to be available in sheets only, but thankfully for your style and your wallet it’s come a long way since then. Today’s vinyl isn’t the spongy mess of yore; instead it’s sold in sturdy planks and tiles designed to look like wood or stone. It’s also highly durable and a top choice for pet owners because it’s so easy to clean. Vinyl is one of your best choices for a busy environment like a daycare; it can handle the delightful chaos that inevitably results from daily life with kids.
It’s easy to care for, easy to love, and easy to install. If you want to go one step further, there’s WPC vinyl. WPC is a virgin (non-recycled) material that’s engineered specifically for toughness. Thicker than normal vinyl, WPC floors frequently have attached pads like premium cork to ensure a softer and quieter sound underfoot. It’s the closest thing on the market to a waterproof laminate!
Do you have specific questions about the right floor for your home or business? Call our flooring experts at 1-800-804-5251 today!