Hardwood floors are a favorite for many homeowners because they are easy to maintain and they provide a classic look in the home that works with any type of décor. If you are thinking about hardwood, you may be concerned if you have children, though. Fortunately, you can put your worries about scratches, gouges and stains to rest with the help of the following tips.

Tip #1: Create a mudroom

Whether it's a full mudroom or just a spot by the front door, you can solve a lot of potential issues by creating a spot to catch the mess from outdoors. At a minimum, you should get a large boot tray for wet shoes. These trays catch all the little drips of mud or melting snow so it can't get on the floors. Also, add a storage container for any messy items that come in, like wet jackets or muddy toys. Finally, add a rug and a selection of slippers to further stop dirt from being brought onto the floors.

Tip #3: Choose the right type of wood

Look at a range of different woods before purchasing the new flooring. With kids, a floor with a lot of textural interest in the grain along with natural color variations is best. The busy grain will help hide scratches, while color variation means any small stains or blemishes fade into the background. When looking for flooring, look for planks that are plainsawn, which means more of the grain shows. Also, avoid wood flooring graded as clear, since it will have a smooth appearance with few variations. Instead, opt the select wood grade since this highlights grain and variation.

Tip #3: Keep it sealed

The finish on your wood floors can prevent a lot of damage. Opt for a thicker polyurethane in a matte finish. Avoid high-sheen finishes, since these show of dirt and scratches. Most scratches and gouges will happen in the finish layer, which means you can simply refinish the floors and buff them when they begin to look worn.

Tip #4: Skip engineered hardwood

Engineered hardwood floors have a thin veneer of hardwood over a plywood core. They are just as beautiful as traditional hardwood, but they aren't a good choice if you have kids. This is because you can sand down the floors to remove surface stains on deep gouges, since it will sand through the veneer. Instead, get true hardwood that will allow for a full refinishing down to bare wood. You'll be glad you did when the kids are older and less damaging, since full refinishing is an easy way to give your floors a facelift.

For more information about hardwood, contact a professional flooring business, like National Carpet Mill Outlet.