Rubber flooring is a great choice for children’s rooms because it will be able to withstand the rigors of their energetic activities, while providing a soft, safe, cushioned surface for them to play on. It’s also easy to clean and maintain, and its natural antimicrobial properties can help to ensure that the room remains a healthy environment. However a few caveats such as cost, and a harmless but distinctive smell may still cause you to shy away from using this material.
More Bedroom Flooring Options
Rubber flooring is so soft and cushioned that it is often used in playgrounds as a precaution against children injuring themselves. Those same properties can be carried over into the bedroom with a rubber floor acting like a safety net of pliant, yielding material just waiting to gently catch any trips, falls, or accidents that may occur.
Different rubber flooring materials will have different levels of softness depending on how they are manufactured. Some rubbers can actually be quite hard, including most industrial and commercial tiles. The thickness of the material will also determine how much give it has. Generally they will range from ¼” - 1” in width, with thicker rubber floors being more cushiony, and considerably more expensive.
Durability and Upkeep
One of the best things about rubber is that it is incredibly durable. It’s quite difficult to damage the surface of a rubber floor with anything short of a knife. At the same time the material is resistant to almost all stains, and is impervious to water. Cleaning it just requires sweeping or vacuuming regularly and if you decide to mop all it takes it clean warm water, although a mild detergent can be used.
Rubber can stain if oils or greases come in contact with it, but that shouldn’t be a problem in a kids room. You also want to avoid harsh chemical cleansers and acidic based soaps. If it’s a tile installation spills should be wiped up immediately so that they don’t sink down to the subfloor and cause damage. If you suspect that a spill has penetrated down, the tiles can be lifted up to clean the subfloor and allow it to air dry.
While it’s difficult to damage rubber flooring, that does happen on rare occasions. If you have a tile installation it is a relatively simple process to pull up the damaged piece and replace it with a new one. With sheet installations your only recourse will be to live with the damage, or cut out a section of flooring and replace it with a new one, which will leave seams. This unsightly scar can be offset by using a different color rubber for the replacement in order to make it an centerpiece.
Thinking To The Future
With virgin rubber flooring you are getting an ecologically friendly material that is made from natural, readily renewable resources. However the more common rubber flooring found today is actually made from old recycled car tires. This not only eliminates the need to harvest natural resources, but it also helps to eliminate waste and clean out garbage dumps by repurposing what might otherwise be permanent waste materials.
However there is a third type of flooring on the market which is labelled “synthetic rubber.” This is not made from rubber, or any natural products, but rather is a type of manufactured vinyl which is designed to have many of the soft yielding properties of the real thing. The problem is that these materials require nonrenewable resources to make, and they often contain chemicals which can off gas slightly after installation.