Are ceramic floor tiles safe for young children?
Posted: Oct 04, 2018
Ceramic floors tiles (including porcelain tiles) are hard-wearing and can make a great design statement in a family home. They are easy to clean which makes them an excellent choice in many respects, but often people are put off installing them if they have children.
What's the catch?
Ceramic floor tiles are hard and smooth. The most common worries this gives rise to are that children will slip on the tiles, especially if they are not yet steady on their feet and, as they are such as durable surface, children will become injured if they fall. Other worries include how likely it is that items dropped on the floor will break and how likely it is that the floor will get cracked.
But these small risks are outweighed by the many advantages of ceramic flooring in a home with children:Easy to clean
One of the most attractive features of ceramic floor tiles is how easy they are to keep clean. All they require is regular sweeping or hoovering and occasional washing when they get dirty. Spills are easily mopped up and muddy footprints can be washed away in seconds.Asthma and hay-fever
Ceramic floor tiles are also very popular in houses where a member of the family suffers from asthma, dust allergies or hay-fever. Being a solid, sealed surface there is nowhere that dust and pollen can become trapped thus allowing the sufferer a place they can escape their symptoms.Durable
Children are learning about the world and therefore are prone to damage things. Wood floors can become scratched and carpet can get stained but ceramic tiles are hard-wearing so that they are pretty much immune to anything children can throw at them.Choice of designs
There is a bewildering array of tiles available from designer tiles to ones designed to look like wood or imitate natural stone. Whatever the décor of the rest of the room there is sure to be a floor tile to bring the look together.Non-slip tiles
In areas where you expect the floor might be damp, such as bathrooms, it is possible to install non-slip tiles. Choose a tile that meets the UK's DIN 51130 R standard with an R rating of 10 or higher for bathrooms.
In other areas, the finish of the tile will affect the slipperiness of floor with unglazed tiles being rougher than glazed ones.Rugs
If you want the benefits of ceramic floor tiles but are still worried about slips you can consider putting rugs or mats with non-slip backing tape over the tiles to avoid them getting wet in the first place. By external doors a large doormat or runner will be virtually impossible for children to avoid stepping on and can catch the worst off muddy boots before they can get the rest of the floor wet.
Rugs can also be used in areas where small children might be playing to cushion impacts should they fall, again making sure that the rug has non-slip backing to "stick" it to the tiles.
So, you see, it IS possible to have a house where ceramic tiles and small children co-exist in harmony. And it’s also handy if they get hold of something they shouldn’t – as you won’t have to replace an expensive carpet becasue of paint or food stains!
The author has written and published articles on a wide range of topics including Small Business Advice, Tax and Accounting, Interior Design, House Renovation and Project Management.