How Does Foot Traffic Impact Which Flooring is Most Appropriate to Your Needs?

Last Updated on May 29, 2022 by Kimberly Crawford

Whether it’s muddy shoes or scurrying paws, some floors don’t take kindly to a high level of foot traffic – by that, we mean people consistently walking over the surface for prolonged periods of time, which can lead to damage.

The number of people in your household, how old they are, and how often they will walk across the surface become deciding factors when choosing a flooring that’s appropriate to your needs. Let’s explore.

Foot Traffic Means More Maintenance

hallway flooring

Whether it’s laminate flooring, wood flooring, or click vinyl flooring – more traffic means more maintenance. That could be anything from a daily dusting of real wood flooring or hoovering to get rid of dirt and debris that naturally builds up as people walk over it.

Bear in mind that some types of flooring are also prone to scratching, like laminate flooring, so extra TLC needs to be applied when cleaning away mudding foot or paw prints.

It’s wise to use a microfibre brush to gently remove debris before going over with a mop or hoover. Another top tip, floorings like laminate or real wood don’t mix well with the sharp edges of a hoover – a damp microfiber cloth is perfect for the job.

Experts also recommend mopping once a month – or slightly more frequently if it’s regularly soiled. Beware when mopping laminate flooring as water and laminate don’t mix well – a steam mop and avoiding the edges will prevent water damage.

Consistent Foot Traffic Can Cause Damage

Cleaning is a chore, but the damage is a problem. Consistent foot traffic – especially if it’s the sharp scratches of a zooming dog or the muddy trainers of a child – can and does cause lasting damage.

Laminate and wooden flooring, although they’re stunning flooring choices, have their vices. One is they’re really easy to scratch and damage. You can prevent scratches with regular cleaning and maintenance, and you can resurface wooden flooring every three years.

What’s tricky to prevent is the general wear and tear of surfaces subject to continuous foot traffic. For example, glossed wooden flooring loses its shine and laminate materials can warp or buckle.

Flooring Options That Suit Foot Traffic

Considering high levels of foot traffic can lead to extra cleaning and maintenance, durability and longevity are what you should be looking for when selecting flooring.

Laminate and wooden floorings should be your go-to options. They might require more upkeep, but they’re more likely to cope with the stresses of foot traffic.

It’s essential to remember these materials, although durable, is prone to scratches. Creating a no-shoes-in-the-house rule and daily dusting of the surfaces can prevent scratches and scuffs, but with high levels of foot traffic, some low-level damage is inevitable.

Flooring is an investment. Consistent foot traffic is no cause to limit yourself to cheap flooring options. With the correct maintenance and care, foot traffic can be no match for any material you wish to install. What flooring won’t be resistant to; is the general wear and tear and lifespan of specific materials.


Which flooring is best for heavy traffic?

There are a few factors to consider when trying to determine the best flooring for high traffic areas. The first is the amount of foot traffic the area gets. The second is what type of shoes will be worn in the space. The third is the type of activities that will take place in the space.

For example, if you have a high traffic area in your home that gets a lot of foot traffic from family and friends, you’ll want to choose a flooring that can withstand a lot of wear and tear. Hardwood floors are a good option for high traffic areas, as they’re durable and easy to clean. However, they can be expensive.

Linoleum or vinyl flooring is another good option for high traffic areas. These materials are durable and easy to clean, and they’re less expensive than hardwood floors.

Carpet is not a good choice for high traffic areas, as it’s difficult to keep clean and can be easily damaged by foot traffic.

Is vinyl plank flooring good for high traffic areas?

Vinyl plank flooring is a great option for high traffic areas because it is durable and easy to clean. It is also more forgiving than hardwood floors, so it is less likely to show wear and tear. However, vinyl plank flooring is not as scratch-resistant as some other options, so it may need to be replaced more often in very high traffic areas.

What are high traffic areas in house?

High traffic areas in houses are typically defined as areas where there is a lot of foot traffic. This can include hallways, stairways, living rooms, and kitchens. These areas tend to see a lot of wear and tear over time, so it’s important to choose materials that can stand up to heavy use. When selecting flooring, carpet, or furniture for high traffic areas, it’s important to consider durability, ease of cleaning, and overall appearance.