The Best Floors For Home Day Cares and Play Rooms

If you own a home day care or have a play room in your house, you may be wondering what the best type of flooring would be for that specific application. As you know, those play spaces get a lot of traffic and take a lot of abuse by children who throw toys and jump around all day. The material you choose must be able to withstand rough play, stains, spills, and accidents.

The material also has to be easy to clean because these areas tend to get very dirty and germy very fast. You have to be sure you can sanitize the floors on a regular basis so everyone stays healthy. In addition to that, the material has to be comfortable and soft enough that if a fall were to occur, no one would get seriously hurt.

Here are some of the best floor types for day cares and play rooms.

Rubber Floor Tiles

Common for use on playgrounds and in gyms, rubber floor tiles provide protection for children who are active and need protection. Not only are they soft and yielding, rubber floor tiles are available in many thicknesses depending on your needs. Schools, for instance, only need between 3/4- or 1/2-inch thickness for a safe, comfortable surface. For highly active areas such as playgrounds and day care rooms, two inches or thicker would be best.

Another reason why rubber is ideal is because it resists stains, from spilled beverages and snacks to bodily fluids.

Vinyl Sheets

Vinyl is a resilient, easy to clean option that repels stains. You can sanitize it with any cleansing agent without doing damage. Plus, you can install vinyl sheets over a padded cork underlayment for a softer, springier feel. Only problem is, the underlayment is very expensive, almost doubling the cost of the flooring.

There is also a concern about off-gassing of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from vinyl flooring, which is why many commercial centers shy away from it. If you do go with vinyl, be sure to choose a high-quality product that gives off significantly lower levels of VOCs. Just remember that any VOCs emitted would be minimal and diminish with time.

Natural Linoleum Flooring

This is also a resilient flooring option that is fairly similar to vinyl. Not only is it stain-resistant and easy to clean, you can apply an acrylic sealer for added stain protection. Linoleum can be installed over a padded underlayment to make the surface even softer. Linoleum is an all-natural material that won’t off-gas VOCs like vinyl will, making it the more environmentally-friendly choice.


Carpeting is one of the most common flooring choices for nursery schools, daycare centers, and play rooms. Carpet is plush, soft and comfortable, allowing kids to take a slight tumble without any adverse effects. It can also double as a cozy surface for naps. The problem with carpet in kids’ play rooms is that it is easily stained due to spills and bodily fluids, and it’s not easy to clean up.

Moisture can penetrate into the padding, where it may damage the subflooring or start growing mold and bacteria. You could opt for water-resistant carpet but this will add to your cost. On top of the stain factor, carpet tends to trap dust and allergens, so it’s not great for kids who suffer from allergies or asthma.


Cork is a soft, all-natural material that is slightly bouncy and squishy in nature. It can protect kids accidents and provide traction for more even footing. It’s also non-allergenic and environmentally safe. However, because cork is so soft and porous, it can be damaged easily by liquids and rough play, so you’re best off installing this material in rooms that don’t have heavy foot traffic or contain large toys.


While you may not think of hardwood as a go-to flooring choice for kids’ playrooms or day cares, it can be a great option if you have older children or if you’re using it as a classroom more than an actual play room. Plus, if you add throw rugs, you can provide a bit of cushioning in high-play areas. Best part about hardwood is that it’s easily cleaned and maintained, and it doesn’t harbor allergens.

Contact Designer Wood Flooring

If you’re still not sure which flooring material would be best for your home day care, get in touch with Designer Wood Flooring for professional advice and guidance. Contact us today for a free quote.


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