Are you thinking of a new floor installation in San Antonio this year? If you use a mobility device — or a loved one does – such as a walker, cane or wheelchair, you may be curious as to which type of flooring would be best. Keep in mind that the effectiveness and safety of mobility devices can be compromised by the type of flooring you have.
For example, uneven transitions from one room to another, as well as slippery flooring, can all pose a safety hazard to the person using the device. But on the other side of the coin, those devices can also have a detrimental effect on your new floors. They can detract from their appearance over time and reduce their useful lifespan.
Choosing the right flooring is really a quality of life issue if you live with someone who relies on walkers and wheelchairs. Let’s take a look at which floors are best for mobility device users.
Hardwood is considered a great flooring choice for mobility device users. That’s because it’s quite durable and can withstand impacts from mobility device contact points. Plus, hardwood transitions well from one room to the other to result in unimpeded movement.
If any scuffing from rubberized components occurs, it can easily be wiped away. And over time, hardwood can be sanded to result in a like-new finish. Hardwood flooring also has longevity on its side, ensuring you get long-lasting service out of this flooring choice. By installing a flooring system that has a long life, you won’t have to contend with disruptive renovations and flooring replacements later on.
Carpet has pros and cons. On one hand, it’s cushioning and protective if you or your loved one ever experienced a fall. However, that’s about where the positives end when it comes to mobility devices. It’s easy to track in dirt and water on wheels and rubberized contact points, causing stains that can be hard to get out. Carpet can also be a tripping hazard, especially with high pile or plush versions that have seams, humps and bumps.
If you must have carpeting, make sure it’s high-quality commercial grade, which is more durable and stain resistant than standard carpet. This type is easier to roll wheelchairs on, and it doesn’t pose as many trip hazards.
Vinyl flooring is a better choice, as it’s easy to maintain and it’s water and stain resistant, says Caregiver Aid. Just be aware that Inlaid sheet tile is usually more slip-resistant than their sheet vinyl counterparts. You’ll also want to choose vinyl tiles with a foam backing for even more slip-resistance, even though they are more expensive.
Another benefit to vinyl is that it’s easy to replace tiles if a few get damaged. It’s also easy to clean, which means you can easily wipe down water or dirt that gets tracked in on mobility devices. In addition, scuff marks on vinyl can be erased with a soft pencil eraser and some gentle rubbing.
When you use a mobility device to get around, you want the flooring to be firm, durable, consistent and slip resistant. Tile fits the bill on all counts. In fact, ceramic or porcelain tile is one of the best wheelchair flooring types available for many reasons. They’re very durable, which means they won’t dent under the pressure of a wheelchair. You also get a large variety of size and texture that you can customize for the best traction.
Ideally, the tile you choose should have a textured surface such as stone or wood grain, which provides added slip resistance rather than tile that is completely smooth. It’s best to go with smaller tiles, as they require more grout lines, and thus better grip for wheels.
Over time, though, tile floors can develop wider, deeper grout lines due to wear and tear, making it bumpy and unsafe to traverse. When this happens, you will have to fill in those lines to ensure a smooth, even surface. Overall, tile is a good choice because it doesn’t dent or scuff, it comes in a variety of styles and patterns, and it’s easy to clean with very little maintenance.
Contact Designer Wood Flooring
To get more advice on which type of flooring you should get for homes with mobility device users, don’t hesitate to contact us for a free quote.