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What Safest Flooring for Seniors?

Find the safest flooring for seniors by reading this guide. 

There are a few things to take into account, with safety being the most important, whether you are an older adult looking to choose safe and lovely floors for your home, or you are helping an older loved one find new flooring. Making sure that your new flooring is both slip and trip-resistant is essential. Safety is crucial, of course, but when looking for the ideal floor, shoppers should also take cleaning, comfort, cushion and function into account. Learn more about the safest flooring for seniors in this guide. 

Review the options by reading below. 

Carpet

Carpet is still a great option for seniors, even though it is more challenging for people in wheelchairs. When properly installed, wall-to-wall carpeting is supple, comfortable and smooth. Due to its warmth and cozy feel, carpet is especially suitable for colder climates. Additionally, it is very forgiving and cushiony in the event of a fall. The comfort and security of the flooring can significantly increase by adding a high-quality carpet pad underneath the carpet. Since carpet absorbs sound, walking on it is essentially silent.

Carpet is frequently disregarded because it can be difficult to clean and may collect unwanted dust and debris, which can be problematic for elderly people with allergies or breathing issues. However, because they better filter out pollen and dust, hypoallergenic carpets are the best choice for allergy sufferers. In particular, when they are new, some carpets may release chemicals like formaldehyde into the air. This may be a problem for those who are chemically sensitive.

In moist and dirty areas like bathrooms and kitchens, carpeting performs poorly. It is difficult to deep clean and is very prone to stains, so a professional carpet cleaner is usually needed. On carpet, wheelchairs don’t roll as smoothly as they do on hard surfaces. In particular, long-pile carpet can be a trip risk. As a result, carpet intended for senior citizens should have a pile that is no thicker than 1/2 inch, and the padding beneath it should be firm but not excessively so. Padding made of high-quality felt or foam can be a good option.

Rubber

For seniors, rubber flooring is fantastic because it is the safest option and is slip-resistant even when wet. It is resistant to both shock and slipping. Rubber flooring withstands water, equipment and furniture damage very well. However, water can leak through the seams and into the subfloor. It can be poured over concrete to make outdoor spaces and basements cozier and more secure. A fall on rubber flooring would probably be less painful than one on a hard surface.

Rubber flooring provides insulation and is easy to install, making it a warmer surface that keeps seniors more comfortable. In addition to all the wonderful advantages rubber flooring offers seniors, it is also available in a wide range of colors and requires little maintenance, making it a flooring option that is both practical and aesthetically pleasing. Rubber flooring has a high cost. Simple snap-together tiles can be relatively inexpensive, and since they are so simple to install, you can save money by installing them yourself instead of hiring a pro. Rubber is not at all comfortable. Additionally, the styles, colors and textures are extremely limited.

Cork

The medium option on the hard-soft spectrum is cork. Cork flooring is a wonderful choice for seniors as it is supple, shock-absorbent and provides traction, making it slip-resistant. Additionally, it has some thermal and sound insulation qualities. Similar to rubber flooring, it not only aids in fall prevention but also cushions falls to lessen the likelihood of injuries. Many cork floors have sealants applied after they are installed, which makes it simple for seniors to clean and maintain. Cork is susceptible to cracks, fading, and dents, so it should not be used in high-moisture areas and does not last over time.

Cork is sufficiently hard for wheelchair travel and won’t trap feet. A cork floor is relatively simple to clean and maintain as long as it is kept in good condition. To keep the porous material looking its best, sweep or vacuum frequently since the sealant over the surface protects it from stains. Because cork is so soft, it is easily pierced by sharp objects like furniture legs, pointed shoes or anything else that pokes or scrapes its surface. It has only mediocre water resistance. Clean spills right away because standing water can penetrate the seams of flooring planks or tiles and harm the core of the material.

Luxury Vinyl

There are many wonderful advantages to vinyl flooring. It is simple to maintain, waterproof and safe to walk on. Vinyl is a harder flooring material compared to cork and rubber, making it less forgiving when it comes to falls. Standing water can be a problem, though, because the seams in vinyl tile and planks can allow water to pass through to the subfloor. Sheet vinyl is perfect for bathrooms and kitchens because it has few (or occasionally no) seams.

Modern vinyl, also known as luxury vinyl flooring (LVF), is available in a variety of appealing styles, so you don’t have to choose between aesthetics and practicality. This budget-friendly flooring is a great choice for seniors. Vinyl is one of the more affordable flooring options and lends itself to do-it-yourself installation. It comes in a wide price range. Although relatively smooth and hard, vinyl is not as cold or hard as tile, making it easier to move around.

Vinyl feels and looks like plastic. It is made of plastic. It’s probably for this reason that it’s mostly used in kitchens, bathrooms, mudrooms, laundry rooms and entryways, but not in living rooms or other places where comfort and aesthetics are important. Modern luxury vinyl flooring (LVF) can be produced to convincingly resemble stone or wood grains, and it is noticeably more attractive than standard vinyl.

Linoleum

The first resilient flooring material was made of linoleum, which is mainly composed of natural plant materials. Linoleum has returned despite being largely replaced by vinyl flooring for many years because of its natural attributes and other benefits. Linoleum is simple to maintain and clean. In contrast to carpeting, it doesn’t trap dust, pollen and other airborne contaminants. However, standing water can seep into the seams of linoleum tiles and planks. Linoleum is water and stain-resistant enough to work well in kitchens and bathrooms. More water can be repelled by sheet linoleum.

Wheelchairs and walkers can easily maneuver on linoleum because it has a flat, smooth surface and is installed directly over subflooring or wood underlayment. Many homeowners appreciate the use of natural components in linoleum, such as linseed oil, pine rosin, cork and jute. As a result, it serves as a natural substitute for its cousin, vinyl flooring. ​Linoleum can be an expensive flooring option, with prices for the material alone, excluding installation, starting at about $3 to $4 per square foot. Linoleum provides very little cushion and can feel relatively cold underfoot, though it is not as hard or cold as tile.

The experts at Valor Home Services can assist you in determining which types of flooring are suitable for senior citizens while also fitting your needs in terms of style and price range. Call today to schedule your subsequent appointment. You can even browse our product catalogs for flooring options.