17 Best Floors For Children’s Playroom: With Tips and Suggestions


Play is an important stage of a child’s development. It is one of the ways they develop their imagination and creativity, physical, cognitive, and emotional strengths. With this in mind, a well-designed children’s playroom that aids with these developments is important.

Choosing the right flooring to use in a children’s playroom can be a bit hard and tricky if you have no idea what to consider. You can start by listing down all possible activities your children will do in their playroom. Then list down how you want your floor can support and handle these activities.

Below is a table showing an overview of the list of floors you can use for a children’s playroom with a corresponding rating for each of the criteria I’ll be discussing later on. I gave each criterion a rating from 1 to 5, with 5 being the highest rating. Use the table as a guide when choosing a floor for the playroom.

If you want to jump straight ahead to the detailed list of best floors to use for a children’s playroom, just click the link.

Floor MaterialComfort & SafetyDurability & Scratch ResistanceWater & Stain ResistanceEase of Cleaning & MaintenanceNo Negative Health IssuesFun Colors & Patterns
1. Wall-to-wall Carpet531115
2. Carpet Tiles551115
3. Area Rugs531315
4. Artificial Grass545321
5. Cork Flooring433451
6. Linoleum Flooring333453
7. Wall-to-wall Rubber Flooring555543
8. Interlocking Play Mats555544
9. Solid Hardwood Floors333441
10. Engineered Hardwood Floors334441
11. Engineered Bamboo Floors344441
12. Laminate Flooring245541
13. Vinyl Sheet Flooring255545
14. Luxury Vinyl Flooring355541
15. Ceramic Tiles255553
16. Porcelain Tiles255553
17. Polished Concrete Flooring255453

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Things to Consider When Choosing a Floor for Children’s Playroom

Before I share with you the best floors to use for a children’s playroom, it’s important that you know some of the important aspects to look for when choosing a floor.

Comfort and Safety

Since children can get really active at times. They can fall down and tumble, or be on the ground crawling or run barefooted. The floor should be safe enough to allow these kinds of activities without the risk of any major injury to your child.

The floor though doesn’t always have to be soft. Although a soft floor will have some cushion when your child falls, falling on a hard floor will train them to be more careful. A hard floor though should have good traction to lessen the risk of them slipping when they walk or run around.

Durability and Scratch Resistance

Children’s play can sometimes be rough and you can’t avoid hard objects from falling or making potential scratches or dents to the floor. Choose a floor that can handle these kinds of abuses. It should be durable and has high scratch resistance. Preferably, a floor that can last for more than 10 years or until your child matures is good.

Water and Stain Resistance

Art materials, water-based toys, foods or snacks can make a big mess and could also cause damage to a floor. Choose a floor with high water and stain resistance. Cleaning up a floor with high water and stain resistance will also be easier for you.

Ease of Cleaning and Maintenance

Cleaning up the floor after your children’s play can be time-consuming and tedious at times. There are other floors that require additional periodic maintenance to keep them in top shape. If you don’t want to spend more time cleaning and maintaining the floor, look for one that is very easy to clean and needs little maintenance.

No Negative Health Issues

If you are very particular to your child’s health, consider floors which have a very low to zero volatile organic compounds (VOC) emissions. Also, if your child has allergies, consider floors that do not trap dirt or dust, or promote the growth of molds, and bacteria.

Fun Colors and Patterns

Since you’re designing for children, the whole room’s design, including the floor’s, should be appropriate for children’s taste. Floors that offers bold colors, patterns, and designs will be a good choice to use for a children’s playroom.

There is actually no one-size-fits-all kind of floor and you would not find a floor that will have all the above criteria present. One thing you can do is to list each criterion in the order of your priorities and choose a floor based on that. Another thing you can probably do is to combine floors that can fill up one another’s inadequacies.

17 Best Floors for a Children’s Playroom

1. Wall-to-wall Carpet

PROS

  • Soft; Good cushion when your child falls.
  • Non-slip.
  • Warm underfoot; Gives some comfort during winter.
  • Quiet to walk on.
  • Comes in a variety of bold and fun colors.

CONS

  • Hard to clean; Needs constant vacuuming.
  • Can trap dirt and dust; Not good for children with allergies.
  • Not water resistant.
  • Can get stained.
  • Carpet with long piles can be a tripping hazard.
  • Too soft for certain toys that needs a hard smooth surface.
  • Not DIY installation friendly.
  • Hard to repair when damaged.
  • Lasts 3 to 5 years before it starts to look degraded.

Wall-to-wall carpets are one of the top choices to use for a children’s playroom because it can prevent your children from injuring themselves when they fall down during play. Choose carpets that have piles no longer than 3/4 inches or shorter to prevent any tripping hazard. They also have different designs and patterns you can choose from for a fun looking children’s playroom.

It can be hard to clean especially carpets with long piles. It traps dirt and dust which can cause allergies and can trigger other respiratory diseases. If you’re child suffers from allergies, or asthma a carpet flooring might not be a good choice.

They are not water-resistant and can easily stain. Your child may bring in food and drink and can accidentally ruin the carpet flooring. You could however shampoo your carpet to do a deep cleaning and remove the stains.

A wall-to-wall carpet is not DIY friendly and you usually need to hire professionals to install it for you. It can last 3-5 years before you notice any kind of degradation after it is installed.

Because they’re too soft, carpet floors might not work well with some toys that need hard and smooth surfaces.

2. Carpet Tiles

PROS

  • DIY installation friendly.
  • Easily replace one tile if damaged.
  • Soft; Good cushion when your child falls.
  • Non-slip.
  • Warm underfoot; Gives some comfort during winter.
  • Quiet to walk on.
  • Comes in a variety of bold and fun colors.
  • Can last up to 15 years before it starts to look degraded.

CONS

  • Hard to clean; Needs constant vacuuming.
  • Can trap dirt and dust; Not good for children with allergies.
  • Not water resistant.
  • Can get stains.
  • Too soft for certain toys that needs a hard smooth surface.

Carpet tiles are usually made for commercial functions and heavy-traffic areas. They are made more durable and can last up to 15 years before they start to look degraded. They are more DIY friendly to install and usually comes in a peel and stick system. The video below shows how carpet tiles are installed.

They have almost the same qualities as a wall-to-wall carpet, the difference is that you can easily replace one tile if it becomes ruined with stain or if it gets damaged.

3. Area Rugs

PROS

  • Can be placed over other floors.
  • Easy to remove or replace when damaged.
  • Depending on the size, it can be placed on a washing machine or be cleaned by hand.
  • Soft; Good cushion when your child falls.
  • Non-slip.
  • Warm underfoot; Gives some comfort during winter.
  • Quiet to walk on.
  • Comes in a variety of bold and fun colors.
  • Can last for 5 to 15 years, depending on its quality and how it is used and maintained.

CONS

  • Can trap dirt and dust; Not good for children with allergies.
  • Not water resistant.
  • Can get stained.
  • Carpet with long piles can be a tripping hazard.
  • Too soft for certain toys that needs a hard smooth surface.

Area rugs are another type of carpet with similar properties and characteristics. They are usually placed over an installed floor and can come in different sizes with a lot of designs and patterns to choose from. This flooring is a good option if you already have an existing flooring installed in the playroom and you want to add a soft area for your children.

Depending on the quality of area rug you bought, it can last for 5 to 15 years.

What’s nice with area rugs is that you can easily take them out if you need to wash or clean them, or if you want to convert the playroom into another function.

4. Artificial Grass

PROS

  • Easy to lay.
  • Shock pad layer can add cushioning.
  • Stain-resistant.
  • Water- resistant.
  • Non-slip.
  • Quiet to walk on.
  • Can last up to 20 years.

CONS

  • Can trap dirt and dust; Not good for children with allergies.
  • Needs constant vacuuming.
  • Too soft for certain toys that needs a hard smooth surface.
  • Does not have options for fun colors and patterns.

Artificial grass is great floors if you want to bring the outdoors inside your house. It’s soft just like carpets are but it’s water-resistant and stain-resistant. You do need to vacuum it constantly just like how it is with carpets to remove any dirt and dust trapped in between the grass blades. It is also made tough and can last to up to 20 years.

The video below shows how it can be installed in a space. Although synthetic grass are usually used outdoors, just like how it is shown in the video, it can definitely work well indoors as well and will be a great floor for a children’s playroom.

Since it’s artificial grass, you are only limited to different shades of green for color.

5. Cork Flooring

Feet running on cork floor. Concept of warm floor

PROS

  • Very durable.
  • Quiet to walk on.
  • Resilient and has some “give” when your child falls; It’s hard but not as hard as stone floors.
  • Easy to clean and maintain.
  • Non-slip.
  • Water-resistant.
  • Stain-resistant.
  • Antimicrobial.
  • Can last up to 25 years before it starts to look degraded.

CONS

  • Susceptible to water damage.
  • Can be punctured by sharp objects.
  • Not DIY installation friendly.
  • Needs periodic resealing.
  • Does not have options for fun colors and designs.

Cork flooring are great floors if you want a good combination of hard and resilient flooring. It’s not as soft as carpets are but it is not as hard as stone or tile floors as well. It will give a bit of cushion to your child if they fall.

It is easy to clean and maintain and is water-resistant and stain-resistant to a certain degree. It is also naturally antimicrobial, a good floor to use for children with allergies or asthma.

This is a natural floor that can last to up to 25 years if maintained well.

Water spills may damage the floor if left standing for a long time, so make sure to wipe the floor dry as soon as you have a chance. Also, although it is quite resilient, it can still get dented or punctured with a very sharp and hard object.

You do need to reseal cork flooring periodically to maintain its water and stain resistance.

For a playroom, it wouldn’t have options for bold and fun colors and it usually only comes in shades of brown.

6. Linoleum Flooring

modern public school, corridor red floor

PROS

  • Easy to clean and maintain.
  • Non-slip.
  • Water-resistant.
  • Stain-resistant.
  • Antimicrobial.
  • Can last up to 40 years before it starts looking degraded.

CONS

  • Susceptible to water damage.
  • Can be punctured by sharp objects.
  • Not DIY installation friendly.
  • Needs periodic resealing.
  • Can be slippery when wet.
  • Relatively cold underfoot.
  • Very limited options for fun colors and designs.

Linoleum flooring is another natural flooring product, just like cork, that can be used for a playroom floor for children. It is easy to clean and maintain and also is naturally antimicrobial, another good option for children with allergies or asthma. If you maintain it well, it could last up to 40 years.

It is water-resistant and stain-resistant to a certain degree but don’t let spilled water sit on the surface for a very long time as it can still damage the floor. Also, it can get dented or punctured by a sharp object.

Though linoleum floors is non-slip, it can get slippery when they get wet, so be sure to wipe spilled liquid as soon as it happens to avoid any accidents your child can get into while playing.

Linoleum does have bold colors available that you can use to decorate the playroom but the choices are very limited.

7. Wall-to-wall Rubber Flooring

PROS

  • Offers good cushion when your child falls.
  • Non-slip.
  • Very durable.
  • Water-proof.
  • Stain-proof.
  • Easy to clean and maintain.
  • Can be installed DIY.
  • Easy to clean and maintain.
  • Limited options for fun colors and designs.
  • Can last up to 20 years.

CONS

  • Can be a bit expensive.
  • May off-gass.

Wall-to-wall rubber flooring is another good resilient floor you could use for your children’s playroom. Also a choice flooring for gyms, it can absorb impact from heavy objects very well without breaking. It will give a good cushion if your child happens to fall on it.

The video below shows how it is installed for a gym area.

It is water-proof, stain-proof, and is very easy to clean. You can also install this on your own easily. It will be a bit expensive though but the investment is well worth it as it can last up to 20 years or more if maintained really well.

8. Interlocking Play Mats

PROS

  • Cheaper than wall-to-wall rubber flooring.
  • Offers good cushion when your child falls.
  • Non-slip.
  • Very durable.
  • Water-proof.
  • Stain-proof.
  • Easy to clean and maintain.
  • Can be laid on top of existing floors.
  • Can last 10 to 15 years.
  • Offers options for fun colors and designs.

CONS

  • May off-gass.

Interlocking play mats are another type of rubber flooring that is placed over another floor surface. Just like area rugs, these types of floors can be assembled when needed or disassembled if no longer needed. They have the same characteristics as the wall-to-wall rubber flooring but more portable and are cheaper as well.

9. Solid Hardwood Floors

PROS

  • Warm underfoot.
  • Very durable.
  • Easy to clean.
  • Can be sanded and resealed to remove scratches.
  • Gives a warm and homey feel.
  • Can last up to 100 years if maintained well.

CONS

  • Susceptible to water damage.
  • Susceptible to staining.
  • Can accumulate scratches overtime.
  • Can be expensive.
  • Needs periodic resealing.
  • Does not offer any cushion when your child falls.
  • May get damaged with extreme changes in moisture and humidity.
  • Does not offer any fun colors and designs.
  • Finish used may emit low levels of VOCs.

Solid hardwood floors are a staple flooring to many homes and are usually used for most of the rooms because of its beauty, durability, and the value it gives back. Although hard, and does not offer some cushion, it can still work well for playrooms. It gives this warm and homey feel to any space.

Its hard surface works well with some of the children’s toys and games.

It is very easy to clean. A quick sweep or vacuum usually does the job. You do need to reseal it periodically to maintain its water and stain resistance. It is on a higher price point but if maintained well the investment is well worth it as it can last for up to 100 years.

It is susceptible to water damage if left soaked in water, and can also stain if spills are not attended to quickly. It can also accumulate scratches over time. you do have the option to sand and reseal it multiple times to remove the scratches and bring it back to looking brand new.

You’re only limited to choosing a shade of brown wood though. Also, the finish applied to the surface might emit some low levels of volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

10. Engineered Hardwood Floors

PROS

  • Warm underfoot.
  • Very durable.
  • More stable than solid hardwood floors in fluctuating moisture and humid areas.
  • Easy to clean.
  • Can last 20 to 30 years, depending on how well maintained it is.
  • Cheaper than solid hardwood floors.

CONS

  • Susceptible to water damage.
  • Susceptible to staining.
  • Can accumulate scratches overtime.
  • Needs periodic resealing.
  • Does not offer any cushion when your child falls.
  • Does not offer any fun colors and designs.
  • Can only be sanded and resealed a few times to remove scratches.
  • Finish used may emit low levels of VOCs.

Engineered hardwood floors are very similar to solid hardwood floors in that they look the same and feel the same when installed. They are however made more stable and can be used in areas with extreme moisture and humidity changes. They are also a bit cheaper compared to solid hardwood floors.

The solid hardwood part is just a thin layer on top of a plywood core layer of the engineered hardwood floors. This only allows a few times of sanding and resealing if you wanted to renew the look. And depending on how well you maintain the floor, it can last from an average of 20 to 30 years.

Other than those mentioned, everything else is the same as solid hardwood floors when it comes to using it for a children’s playroom floor.

11. Engineered Bamboo Floors

PROS

  • Warm underfoot.
  • Very durable.
  • Harder than hardwood floors.
  • Does not scratch as easily as other wood floors.
  • More water resistant than hardwood floors.
  • More stable than solid hardwood floors in fluctuating moisture and humid areas.
  • Easy to clean.
  • Can last up to 50 years, depending on how well maintained it is.
  • Cheaper than solid hardwood floors.

CONS

  • Susceptible to water damage.
  • Susceptible to staining.
  • Needs periodic resealing.
  • Does not offer any cushion when your child falls.
  • Does not offer any fun colors and designs.
  • Finish used may emit low levels of VOCs.

Engineered bamboo floors are one of the best alternatives to using solid or engineered hardwood floors. They not only look similar in look and feel like hardwood floors, but they are stronger, denser, and more durable. These make them more water-resistant, stain-resistant, and scratch-resistant as well.

Just like engineered hardwood floors though, engineered bamboo floors can only be sanded and resealed a few times to make it look brand new again. But because it is harder and will take a long time before it can accumulate enough scratches to prompt the need of sanding, you might not have to sand it during its lifetime as a floor for the playroom. It can last up to 50 years under the normal wear and tear.

12. Laminate Flooring

PROS

  • Cheap alternative to real wood floors.
  • DIY friendly.
  • Can be installed over existing floors.
  • Stain-proof.
  • Water-resistant.
  • Scratch-resistant.
  • Does not need periodic maintenance.
  • With foam underlayment, it offers a little bit of cushion when you fall.
  • Quiet to walk on with foam underlayment.
  • Can last up to 10 years or more depending on quality of product and how well maintained it is.

CONS

  • Susceptible to water damage.
  • Does not offer any fun colors and designs.
  • Can be slippery.
  • Adhesive used may emit low levels of VOCs.

Laminate flooring is a good floor to use for your children’s playroom if you wanted the look of solid hardwood floors but cheaper. It is also DIY friendly and can be installed over existing floors. The existing floors though should be level and are fixed to the subfloor well.

Although it looks like wood, it’s not wood. The top surface is an image layer to mimic the look and sometimes the texture of real wood. It is also a bit thinner and installed as a “floating floor”, without any adhesive, above a foam underlayment. The underlayment makes it a bit softer and quieter to walk on. It can give some cushion if ever your child falls, although not as soft as carpet or rubber flooring.

It is durable and has high scratch-resistance, high water, and stain-resistance. They can still be damaged with water if spills are left unattended for a long time so spills should be wiped dry as soon as you see one.

Depending on the product, it can be a bit slick or slippery to walk on.

Since it’s not real wood it can’t be sanded and it doesn’t need resealing. It doesn’t accumulate scratches as much as real wood though so it doesn’t really need to be sanded anyway. The top thin layer will however wear and fade out eventually. When this happens, it will already need to be replaced.

This floor can last up to 10 years, but depending on the quality of the product, it can last longer.

It is however limited to mostly stone or wood looks may not have any styles specifically for a kids’ playroom.

13. Vinyl Sheet Flooring

PROS

  • Very easy to clean.
  • Very durable.
  • Fewer seams.
  • Scratch-resistant.
  • Water-proof.
  • Stain-proof.
  • One of the cheaper floor options.
  • Non-slip.
  • DIY friendly.
  • Limited options for fun colors and designs.
  • Can last up to 25 years or more.

CONS

  • Can become dull with accumulation of scratches.
  • Does not offer any cushion when your child falls.
  • Adhesive used may emit low levels of VOCs.

Vinyl sheet flooring is synthetic resilient flooring that sometimes can be mistaken as linoleum. Its made from a type of polyvinyl chloride or PVC. It is one of the cheaper floor options you can use for a children’s playroom.

It is very durable and has high scratch resistance. Since its made from PVC, it is virtually waterproof and stain-proof. It also has good traction, but it can become slippery when it gets wet.

It’s very easy to clean, a quick sweep or mop is usually all you need to keep it clean.

Vinyl sheets comes in different designs, looks, and patterns. Although limited, you’ll surely find a design that will suit well for a children’s playroom. It is DIY friendly and easier to install as compared to linoleum flooring.

It is a hard floor though and will not give enough cushioning if your child happens to fall. Also, vinyl sheet floors will accumulate scratches making it dull looking.

Vinyl sheet flooring can last up to 25 years, and even more, if kept well maintained.

14. Luxury Vinyl Flooring

PROS

  • Very easy to clean.
  • Very durable.
  • High Scratch resistance.
  • Water-proof.
  • Stain-proof.
  • Non-slip.
  • DIY friendly.
  • Can last 10 to 20 years. Depending on the product, it can last longer.

CONS

  • Does not offer any cushion when your child falls.
  • Adhesive used may emit low levels of VOCs.
  • Does not offer any cushion when your child falls.
  • Very limited fun colors and designs.

Luxury vinyl flooring is another type of vinyl flooring that comes in tile or plank forms. They are still made entirely of PVC and are DIY friendly, if not easier than the vinyl sheet type. You can choose between a peel-and-stick or a snap-together system, both will work well as a children’s playroom floor.

Just like vinyl sheets, luxury vinyl flooring are very easy to clean and very durable. It can last from 10 to 20 years, and even longer depending on the quality of the product that you get.

It has high scratch-resistance, and also waterproof and stain-proof as well. This floor can hold up well against any rough play or messes your children throws at it.

It is a hard floor though, and your child can still hurt themselves if they accidentally fall on it. There are, however, options to add foam underlayment to make the floor a little bit softer.

15. Ceramic Flooring

PROS

  • Very easy to clean.
  • Low price point.
  • Very durable.
  • High scratch-resistance.
  • Water-proof.
  • Stain-proof.
  • Limited fun colors and designs available.
  • High-grade products can last 75 to 100 years.

CONS

  • Hard and cold to the touch; Offers no cushion when you fall.
  • Can be slippery especially when wet.
  • Not a DIY friendly material.

Ceramic flooring comes in different shapes and sizes. Their most common shapes are in tile and in plank forms. They can also come in different colors and patterns but often offer wood-like or stone-like designs. Ceramic flooring is made from a mixture of clay minerals and water which is then baked into a hard and durable material.

They are usually on a low price point but is one of the durable flooring options you can use. It is very versatile and can be used in any area. It has high scratch-resistance, water-proof, and stain-proof. High-grade products can actually last 75 to 100 years.

It is hard and cold to the touch, and you can definitely hurt yourself if you fall on it. It usually is glossy in finish and can sometimes become slippery especially when they become wet.

This can be a good flooring to use for a children’s playroom if you are on a budget. Since this flooring is very versatile, you can easily transition the room to another function without the need of changing it in the future.

16. Porcelain Flooring

PROS

  • Very easy to clean.
  • Low price point.
  • More durable and denser than porcelain tiles.
  • High scratch-resistance.
  • Water-proof.
  • Stain-proof.
  • Limited fun colors and designs available.
  • Available in non-slip options.
  • High grade products can last 75 to 100 years.

CONS

  • Hard and cold to the touch; Offers no cushion when you fall.
  • Not a DIY friendly material.

A very similar flooring to ceramic floor, porcelain flooring is also made from a mixture of clay minerals and water. It is, however, made denser and stronger. It is somewhat a better version of ceramic flooring.

Unlike ceramic flooring, porcelain floors offer non-slip surfaces with textures and better traction.

17. Polished Concrete Flooring

PROS

  • Very easy to clean.
  • Very durable and harder than most floors.
  • High scratch-resistance.
  • Water-proof.
  • Stain-proof.
  • It can last a lifetime.
  • Texture can be added to make it non-slip.
  • It can be colored with any fun patterns or designs.

CONS

  • Hard and cold to the touch; Offers no cushion when you fall.

Polished concrete flooring is a hard floor that can last a lifetime. It is extremely scratch-resistant, waterproof, and stain-proof. It can be a good flooring for a children’s playroom if you want a floor where children can run around and can get as messy as they want to.

When it comes to design, concrete flooring is very versatile. You can have it colored in any fun pattern or design.

Below is a video showing different options for polished concrete.

You have an option to place a soft rug or interlocking rubber mats if you want an area of the room with a soft surface.

Concrete floors can work well with any space and you won’t have any problems in the future if you want to convert the children’s playroom into another functional room.

Additional Tips and Suggestions on Floors for a Children’s Playroom

Here are some other tips and suggestions you can consider when choosing for floors for your children’s playroom.

1. Consider Combining Hard and Soft Floor Surfaces

Not all games, toys, and types of play work well with just soft floor surfaces or with just hard floor surfaces. For example, rough play with your toddlers will work well on soft floors while toys that roll or bounce work well on hard floors. You can combine a soft and hard floor in one room together.

There are several ways you can do this. One way, if you have a big playroom, is to divide the room into smaller sections. One area can be for the soft surfaced floors, while another area can be for the hard surfaced floors.

Another way is to use a hard floor as your base and then use floors that can be placed on top such as an area rug, or interlocking play mats. A soft floor above your hard floor can also help minimize scratches to accumulate on the hard floor’s surface, giving it some protection.

2. Consider Floors That Can Transition with the Room for Another Function

In several years, your children will eventually grow up and a playroom will eventually no longer be needed. Consider a floor that can be used for another function as well so that you don’t have to replace them to fit whatever function you’re converting the room into.

For example, a wall-to-wall rubber flooring can eventually be used for your future home gym room, while a solid hardwood floor can eventually be used for a home office setup.

Angelo

He is an architect for more than 20 years. He is passionate about design and architecture and enjoys sharing his knowledge and information with people as well.

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