The Best Flooring Options for Aging Adults

If you are an older homeowner looking to age in place in your home, yet would like to make a few improvements and updates to your space, choosing the right kind of flooring is imperative. Consider these five main factors before making a decision:

  • Slip-resistance: The flooring material you choose should feature a non-slip surface even when wet.
  • Ease of travel: The flooring material should be easy to travel on for a person using a cane, wheelchair or walker.
  • Cleaning and maintenance: Consider how much work is required to maintain the flooring.
  • Comfort: The chosen flooring material should feel good underfoot.
  • Cushion: It should also offer a good level of shock absorption in the event of a fall.

Next, let’s go over the most common flooring choices and whether they’re good for seniors.

Carpet

Pros

  • Very cushiony material that is comfortable underfoot and offers protection against injury from falls.
  • Carpet is neutral in terms of temperature, and does not retain heat or cold like hard flooring materials.
  • It absorbs sound.

Cons

  • Carpeting collects dirt and dust that floats through the air, and it can be tough to remove all dirt with a vacuum – a problem for someone with severe allergies or respiratory problems.
  • It’s not ideal for places like bathrooms and kitchens.
  • Stains easily.
  • Wheelchairs don’t roll over carpet as well as they do over hard flooring.
  • It can pose a tripping hazard.

Hardwood

Pros

  • Easy to clean and maintain.
  • Has natural beauty.
  • Offers a timeless look to any room.
  • Can easily wipe up spills.
  • Wheelchairs and walkers can navigate them easily.

Cons

  • Must be regularly mopped and vacuumed to remove grit that may damage its finish.
  • Spills must be wiped up right away, as standing water can lead to permanent staining and damage.
  • Offer no sound absorption.
  • Offer no protection against injury from falls.

Vinyl

Pros

  • It can withstand a lot of hard wear and tear.
  • Low-maintenance.
  • Water-resistance.
  • Hard and smooth, making for easy travel, but not as hard as tile.
  • Luxury vinyl planks are much more attractive than standard vinyl.

Cons

  • Because it’s hard, this could pose an extra hazard in the event of falls.

Flooring Materials Seniors Should Avoid

  • Natural stone: This is a hard and unyielding material, plus it must be regularly maintained to keep clean. Polished stone flooring tends to be very slippery when wet. Stone floors can get very cold.
  • Ceramic or porcelain tile: Tile is very hard-wearing and water-resistant, but it’s hard and cold. Tiles with wide grout joints can pose a trip hazard. It’s also slippery when wet.
  • Area rugs and transitions: Area rugs are slippery on hard floors and tend to bunch up to form a serious tripping hazard. Floors should be as flush together as possible, for ease of travel and for prevention of tripping accidents.

Contact Designer Wood Flooring

To discuss which type of flooring would be best for you as a senior, contact us at 830-228-4866 (San Antonio, TX) or 409-201-1967 (Southeast Texas).