We understand it can be difficult to find a floor that withstands the whirlwind of muck and mess that comes with children.

"Mum, mum, look at this..."

They've a handful of special stones, a good amount of soil and a large twig they simply have to keep.

Or in they wander, spade filled from the sandpit, dropping a grain trail wherever they go.

If it's raining they seem to bring most of the wet in with them, even if it's dry they manage to scatter sand and soil everywhere.

We love our children, of course we do, but when we have a family our floors take quite a battering and we spend a lot of time sweeping up after them.

There is dropped food and spilled drinks, toys dragged and dropped and a lot of little feet running about and the occasional ride-on car which finds its way inside.

We may insist on a ‘shoes off as soon as we're in the door’ policy, but they still manage to bring in a surprisingly large amount of dirt!

Luckily, good looks as well as very hardwearing options are possible when reflooring a busy family home. High quality vinyl, real wood and waterproof laminate will easily take on the challenges of a serious amount of family foot traffic - and mess!

The range of luxury vinyl flooring is waterproof, and while it gives the appearance of a real wooden, tile or stone floor - it is even more durable. This is due to the composition of the manmade boards, which have been expertly designed to withstand high traffic and daily wear and tear.

Luxury vinyl is extremely resilient, warm and easy to clean - and a slightly softer landing if the little ones do trip.

The light grey-sand shades of Karndean lime washed oak give the look of worn, sun-bleached driftwood, ideal for those rooms where you want a sense of the outdoors, or the feel of a glorious beach-house by the sea. Its 6" wide planks give an authentic look, and the grainy appearance is ideal for masking sand and dust brought in by children - and pets!

Families who like the lived-in look will love styles such as the warm and rich, but pale-coloured, Palazzo Frozen Oak which has bags of character in a distressed oak floor way.

The classic washed design of Karndean Korlok Washed Grey Ash vinyl has a lifetime warranty, like all the Karndean vinyls, and with its large, rectangular grey-hued boards is ideal for disguising splashes and spills while you grab that cloth.

Luxury vinyl is easy to maintain and keep clean - good news for busy families. Vacuum or sweep and don't use a soap-based product if washing your floor - soap can leave an unwanted film, which can dull the surface.

Use warm water and a specific vinyl floor cleaner.

With any of our floors we advise not to use a steam cleaner, bleach, or scouring pads or furniture polish. Try not to leave puddles and avoid wearing stiletto heels.

These cleaning tips are great for wood and laminate floors, and a doormat is always handy for stopping moisture as well as grit before it gets to the floor. Sweeping with the grain makes cleaning more effective on textured boards too.

Laminate floors get the thumbs up from families with children living with allergies as pollen, dander, animal hair and dust stay on the surface to be easily cleaned with a vacuum or dry mop.

It's stain resistant and pretty difficult to scratch so stands up to the hurly burly of life with children.

It comes in a huge range of styles, including waterproof laminate which can even be used in the kitchen and bathroom. It's long lasting, and should see the children through to adulthood with an extended 25-year warranty.

The Soft Oak Warm Grey is particularly family-friendly with the detailed wood grain of the pale rustic style masking scuffs and scratches.

Families choosing real wood flooring find a textured finish hides scratches far better than a smooth and ultra shiny wooden floor. A harder wood such as maple or oak should resist scuffs better than a soft wood; but many families like the look of a well worn and loved wood floor, where the occasional scratch gives a rustic, relaxed and inviting feel to home.

The dark honey boards of the Natura Oak Tyrone have a natural, textured grainy finish and the mixture of light and dark boards certainly bring a room to life. It's also lacquered, meaning it protects the wood against spillages a bit better than an oiled board would.

While the little ones may think nothing of a spilt drink or a dropped lunch, parents who've had to scrape up porridge, tried to pick modelling clay out of joints, mopped endless splashes - big and small - or swept the wooden floor for the umpteenth time that week are plumping for a new joint technology. The Surface and Edge Protect+ system stops fluid seeping into the wood and helps to prevent dirt getting stuck in the joints or grain.

Parents may shy away from lighter shades thinking they'll show every mark, but with a textured grain finish bits of grit show up less on pale rather than very dark wood.

The warm character of the pale Palazzo Old Grey Oak has the new protection system so stays looking fantastic for longer, no matter what the children throw at it!

When the children want to play indoors rather than out, we want floors we don't have to think about, floors where they can play, spill stuff, drop stuff and drag stuff about.

Looked after properly, hardwearing luxury vinyl laminate (including the waterproof laminate) and wood will look good and last while they're growing up - and return with their own children to carry on the cycle of spillages, scruffs and scrapes!