Hazards to one’s safety are always a big worry in many families, particularly with regard to rough and rambunctious children and pets. It is essential to guarantee the safety of floors by ensuring that a fair degree of slip resistance is maintained and by selecting a flooring material that is soft in places where dogs and children congregate.
This article will analyse these safety concerns and provide recommendations for the best flooring solutions that are friendly to both children and pets in order to address them. Visit our flooring website for more information on flooring products in Sydney.
Alternatives for Flooring That Should Be Considered
The first thing that has to be done is find the flooring that is the safest for both children and animals. In addition to respiratory irritants and fire safety, parents and pet owners will want to think about the material’s resistance to slipping and its level of hardness. Always keep in mind that you may improve the level of safety by applying a floor covering over them.
Vinyl Plank Flooring
Vinyl flooring, which is made up of polyvinyl chloride (PVC), which is a kind of plastic, provides more comfort underfoot and has a stronger resistance to slipping than the majority of conventional flooring alternatives, such as laminate flooring or hardwood floors. The synthetic print layer of vinyl flooring allows it to mimic almost any appearance. It is a fantastic technique to protect oneself without sacrificing one’s sense of style.
The following are some benefits of vinyl plank flooring:
Slip Resistant – The majority of vinyl floors come with certified slip resistance, which is difficult to generate in other forms of flooring material. This is because the synthetic structure of the plank makes it impossible to achieve the same effect with other types of flooring.
When it comes to cleaning and maintenance, the fact that vinyl is completely waterproof makes it simple to scrub and wash the floors without the worry of causing harm from water.
Disadvantages of Vinyl Plank Flooring:
Since vinyl planks are constructed of plastic, rather than genuine wood, they have a synthetic feel. This gives the impression that vinyl flooring is not as robust as other types of flooring. As a result, they are more frequent for use in commercial applications than in residential ones.
Vinyl planks are not made of wood, despite their synthetic appearance. The print layer is the only one that simulates the appearance of wood. Marks made on the floor might also detract from its aesthetic value since it does not have very good resistance to scratching.
Air Quality: Vinyl flooring of lower quality and lower cost may generate respiratory irritants known as volatile organic compounds. These chemicals may be found in the air. When looking for flooring that is safe for children and animals, this is an essential consideration to make.
WPC Hybrid Flooring
There are two varieties of hybrid flooring: stone plastic composite, also known as SPC, and wood-plastic composite, also known as WPC (WPC). Both are impervious to water, however items made with WPC are noticeably more comfortable to walk on due to their greater degree of give. It has an advantage over SPC in terms of being a somewhat safer option for all members of the home due to its superior level of softness and comfort.
The following are some advantages of WPC Hybrid Flooring:
Waterproof: Since hybrids are completely waterproof, we are able to clean and scrub floors without causing any damage to the surface.
Since there would be no absorption, the floor will be subject to less stains that will be permanent and hard to clean.
Comfort: The WPC hybrid flooring has a comfortable feel to it since it is somewhat softer than other types of flooring.
Disadvantages of WPC Hybrid Flooring
Hard hybrids of WPC continue to have a high amount of hardness, which indicates that hits are more likely to result in injuries.
Since hybrid flooring has not been subjected to a slip test, it might still be hazardous for both dogs and children.
Flooring to Avoid:
While many of the following kinds of flooring are appropriate for a variety of purposes, they are not always the most suited flooring for busy family houses with small children, dogs, and other active members of the family.
Ceramic Floor Tiles
The typical composition of tiles is baked clay that has been coated with oxide crystalline compounds. In spite of the fact that their slip ratings are acceptable, the material is exceedingly difficult. To create a contrast, you will surely sense it more on stone flooring selections as opposed to solutions involving hardwood flooring.
The Many Benefits That Floor Tiles Provide
Structured Surface: Floor tiles with a structured surface will have a higher coefficient of friction and, as a result, will be safer to walk on than tiles without a structured surface.
For ease of cleaning, and due to the fact that tiles are waterproof, you may scrub and mop them to get rid of dirt and stains without causing any harm from the water. Because of this, it is an environmentally friendly choice for flooring.
Disadvantages of Floor Tiles
The fact that tiles have such a high level of hardness makes them less safe in the case of a fall, despite the fact that they are long-lasting flooring that is resistant to scratching.
Since the floors are often cold and lack insulation, going barefoot within the home could be an unpleasant experience.
The whole surface of solid wooden flooring is constructed out of actual wood. The veneer on engineered lumber is quite thin, and it sits on a plywood core. Both of these floor design options have surfaces that are quite abrasive. In addition, the smoothness of their surfaces will not contribute to an effective reduction in slipperiness. Children and animals are at danger because of this.
Benefits of Hardwood Flooring:
- VOC levels are often rather low in natural wood, making it a healthy choice.
- Aesthetics and beauty: the real wood under your feet provides this hard flooring a genuine appearance while also making it more comfortable to walk on.
Disadvantages of Hardwood Flooring:
- Hard Surface While being more resistant to scratching than other alternatives such as cork flooring or rubber flooring, the harsh nature of wood presents a danger to children and animals in the event that they take a fall. Other flooring options include rubber flooring and cork flooring.
- Expensive; natural lumber may cost up to three times as much as its synthetic counterpart.
- Hardwood forest products.
What exactly does Floor Safety mean?
To ensure the safety of floors, there are two primary steps that must be taken: first, preventative measures must be taken, such as increasing the slip resistance of surfaces in order to prevent falls, and second, protective steps must be taken, such as making surfaces more forgiving in the event that someone does fall.
Slip-Resistant Flooring as a Preventative Measure
For determining the degree to which a floor is slippery, the surface of the material is first drenched in water, and then a wet pendulum is slid over the surface. As a result, we have a grade that ranges from P1 to P5, with P1 being the most slippery.
P1: Regular domestic usage in locations with minimal traffic and high levels of safety.
P2: Hospital wards and residential care facilities for the elderly
P3 refers to public restrooms and stalls that may be found in places like shopping malls, hospitals, and food courts.
P4:Exterior ramps, such as driveways and sidewalks.
P5 has ramps for swimming pools as well as commercial kitchens.
An additional test uses a surface that has been saturated with oil rather than water. A safety shoe with a shaped tread is placed on the oily plane. We generate a grade that ranges from
R9 to R13 by measuring the slope of the plane at which the shoe starts to slide. The rating R9 represents the surface that is the most slippery when it comes to oiled surfaces.
- R9 – Slope of 6 to 10 degrees before sliding.
- R10 represents a slope between 10 and 19 degrees before sliding.
- Before sliding, the slope must be between 19 and 27 degrees.
- Before sliding, the slope must be between 27 and 35 degrees.
- R13: Before sliding, slope must be at least equal to or more than 35 degrees of inclination.
When it comes to the oil slip test, kitchens and dining spaces are more likely to have circumstances that are comparable to one another. Making sure that your floor has a certified rating will provide you with the assurance and peace of mind that your children and pets will be safe on it, even in situations where it may get greasy or damp.
Impact Absorbing – Floor Protection
Everyone agrees that a comfortable bed is preferable than the floor in the event of a fall. The severity of the blow to your bones will be dramatically increased due to the abrasive nature of the hardwood. It is possible to alleviate this discomfort by increasing the cushion of the flooring in particular areas by placing rugs, carpets, or foam mats on top of the floor. You may give the floor a degree of softness while maintaining an appearance that is similar to that of wood by laying vinyl over the sections that need it. Protecting victims from harm is dependent on mitigating the effects of their collision with the floor.