What is a safe flooring (to cover carpet) for a baby play yard? I read that Europe has banned foam mats.


What is a safe flooring (to cover carpet) for a baby play yard? I read that Europe has banned foam mats.

Asked by Mary Convery Austin

Vinyl, carpet, foam mat? Needs to be chemical-free and safe for a crawling baby.

Answer this question



I would recommend, for a safe but green approach, that you consider a cork floor.

  • Cork floors have received really good recent reviews for being a safe, chemical-free, and low-VOC option for kids' and babies' rooms.
  • There are several manufacturers producing cork flooring in many options.

Pros and cons of cork flooring

Some cork flooring pros and cons, from my experience, are:

  • Cork flooring gives your kids a comfortable and warm surface to walk or play on.
  • Cork flooring reduces household noise (especially if installed on the second floor).
  • Cork has hypoallergenic qualities.
  • Cork flooring gives your kids a floor surface that is resistant to fungi, mold, and bacteria growth.
  • You can make the cork flooring moisture resistant if it is properly installed, sealed, and finished.

A common "con" to cork flooring is caused by incorrect installation.

  • In humid to extreme climates, which you may experience in Virginia, cork will expand and contract more than a normal species of wood.
  • This may be combated with proper insulation of the flooring.
  • Make sure that your installer is familiar with cork installation or provide the installer with the manufacturer's installation instructions.

Remove rather than cover the carpet

Finally, I would recommend you remove the carpet, because it will create an environment for potential toxins, allergens, mold, or bacteria to grow. Removing carpet is always a fun "DIY" weekend project.

I hope this helps you in considering an alternative for safe, green flooring!

For more information:

Read "Is linoleum a good flooring choice for our baby's nursery?" a Q&A answered by Marian Keeler.