Are you renovating a home for a handicapped individual? For the most part, handicapped accessible homes are designed to aid those with limited mobility – though other disabilities such as blindness and deafness could also be considered. Hard, smooth surfaces are typically easier for people with mobility issues to navigate. With that in mind, here are some tips from our team at Floor Coverings International Plano.
Handicapped Accessible Flooring
Solid or engineered hardwood floors
Hardwood floors have a few advantages over other types of flooring that make them well suited to handicapped accessible applications. Hardwood can be refinished if it becomes scuffed, which is common when using wheelchairs or walkers. Hardwood floors are also fairly easy to maintain. Consider hardwood flooring in a hand-scraped or distressed finish. This texture can help prevent slipping and falling.
Vinyl plank floors
Luxury vinyl tiles or planks can be an affordable alternative to hardwood floors. They convey many of the same benefits, with one important drawback: they can’t be resurfaced or refinished. Over time, wheelchairs or walkers could cause damage to cheaper, less durable vinyl, but vinyl flooring can be replaced relatively easily.
Tile is a very durable option that is easy to use a wheelchair on. However, it’s not really recommended for those who use walkers, because it’s very easy to slip on a tile floor. Either way, a textured, non-skid tile is a great option for a handicapped accessible home.
Types of Flooring to Avoid
In general, any type of flooring that has a cushion is very difficult to maneuver on for those with wheelchairs, walkers, or other mobility concerns. It can be tempting to place a soft carpet in a home because it is more comfortable, but carpet should be reserved for bedrooms and other low traffic areas only. If carpet has to be used, a low pile carpet, such as Berber, is usually preferable, with a very thin but dense pad.
Other soft floor coverings, such as cork or linoleum, should also be avoided because wheelchairs and walkers can easily scuff the surface, requiring early replacement.
When looking at handicapped accessible flooring, you should look for something that is easy to maintain, durable, and promotes the best maneuverability. Our team at Floor Coverings International Plano can help you find the perfect flooring for your handicapped accessible home. Contact us for a free in-home design consultation and we’ll bring samples to your door with our mobile showroom.