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Kid and Pet Friendly Natural Stone Flooring

by | May 16, 2016 | Inspire |

Pet & Kid Friendly Flooring | Durable & Scratch Resistant

Having kids and pets at home can make selecting the right flooring challenging, especially for a high-activity family home. In most cases, you’re also considering resale value when choosing permanent features like flooring. Your flooring choice must not only be both durable and attractive, the investment must make financial sense.

Natural stone flooring meets all of these criteria and stone floors, like stone countertops, can increase property values. Before you go shopping, you must know how to select the right natural stone flooring for your household and how to care for it properly to retain its beauty and value.


Autumn slate flooring, Baltic Brown granite countertops, Tuscany Classic travertine shower walls. Photo courtesy of MSI.

Making the Right Choices for High-Activity Family Homes

Stone should be installed professionally for best results and highest returns on your investment. Make sure to take advantage of the expertise of your stone specialists when choosing a product. There are several strong natural options that fit a family lifestyle and budget. According to Jennifer Foresman of Madison Wells Design in Atlanta, GA, “The key is to make sure that the stone selected fits with the intended use of the space.  For example, while marble floors might be a great choice for a master bathroom, it might not be the best choice for a young child’s bathroom.”

Better family and pet-friendly natural stone choices include slate, granite, quartzite, and quartz-based sandstones. “Slate’s natural texture also makes it more slip resistant for little feet or paws,” says Foresman.

All of these choices also are flexible enough to fit into your design theme. “Natural stones can blend beautifully with multiple design aesthetics including traditional, modern, and rustic looks, making it easy for consumers to mix form with functionality,” Foresman states.

Brie Pfannenbecker, Manager of Connecticut Stone in Milford, CT, adds, “When considering finish, look at non-polished surfaces, such as honed, natural cleft, or antiqued.  Not only will they provide more traction under foot, but the textured finishes can be more forgiving in the busiest of households.”


Avoid These Stones for Family Homes with Pets

According to Pfannenbecker: “In areas where traffic is heaviest and flooring is exposed to lots of wear and tear because of children and pets, it is best to choose a natural stone which is most resistant to scratching and etching.” Soft stones such as limestone and marble are prone to scratching and staining, making them poor choices for homes with pets and children. Pfannenbecker adds: “These materials are beautiful, durable, and functional, but as a flooring option in a high traffic home, they require maintenance which may be less desirable to the average homeowner.”

While you may dream of having marble or other soft stones in your family home, they may be better suited for countertops and other non-flooring surfaces. Otherwise, the wear they show over time may reflect in your home’s appraisal or resale value.


Ash limestone flooring, Calacatta Gold marble countertops. Photo courtesy of Artistic Tile.

Natural Stone Floors Are Affordable and Equal High ROI

Investment in stone flooring can be affordable and can fit most décor. “There is a great range of options in terms of cost for natural stone, so most homeowners can find a natural stone to fit their budget,” says Pfannenbecker. “If you select one that does not fall within your price range, ask your stone specialist to help you select a different material that meets your objectives and your budget,” she continues.

Susan Thiel, owner of Susan Thiel Interior Design in Monarch Beach, CA has seen travertine in multimillion dollar homes, but says the stone can fit most budgets: “Travertine is a great affordable choice that comes in a huge variety of sizes and mosaics.”  It should again be noted, however, that soft stones such as travertine are more prone to scratching and staining, making them ill-suited for high-traffic areas.

Even if yours isn’t a luxury home, pet and kid-friendly natural stone flooring increases your home’s value, especially at resale. Says Pfannenbecker, “It immediately tells your potential buyer that quality, durability, functionality, and beauty were all considerations when designing your home.”

If you plan to live in your home many years, choose a stone product for floors that will remain attractive and bring high returns when you do sell.


Montauk Black slate. Photo courtesy of MSI.

Make Your Investment Last with Proper Care

Done correctly, caring for your stone floors is relatively easy. Care of natural stone floors in busy family homes starts with finishing. Many stone experts recommend sealing natural stone every three years to maintain luster, protect the surface, and improve stain resistance.

Certain types of cleaners should not be used on natural stone flooring. Avoid acidic products like lemon or vinegar and caustic ones like bleach or ammonia. Instead, use a gentle cleanser and a soft cloth.

“Consider using a concentrated stone cleaner with low VOCs which not only cleans your stone floors, but keeps your home safe for both pets and children,” says Pfannenbecker. Instead of a vacuum, clean floors with a lighter weight sweeper or broom. Remove stains promptly and use cleaning tools properly to preserve the beauty and value of your floors.


Genuine Stone Floors: the Natural Choice

You want your home to be a safe, comfortable place for your kids and pets but you also want it to be beautiful and increase in value as an investment. Natural stone floors, with their durability, affordability, and ease-of-care are the wise choice for the savvy homeowner.

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