As people get older, priorities tend to change. And this change in perspective applies to choosing a new floor in your house as well. Understanding the physiological needs of an aging adult, you’ll realize that the flooring material you loved in your 20s or 40s won’t match what you need today. Falls in aging adults is a major safety concern. Limited physical capacities due to conditions such as osteoporosis, arthritis, or any gait issue need to consider, too. There are a lot of risks involved in having the wrong material for your flooring. That is why, even before hiring a Frederick county Maryland flooring contractor, it is important to choose the right floor covering for senior citizens at home—something that is safe for them without affecting their activities of daily living. So, in this blog, we will help you choose an elderly-friendly flooring option for your home.
Factors to Consider
Choosing the right flooring option for aging adults does not need to be complicated. The key is to look for flooring qualities and features that will provide extra protection and safety to any elderly at home. Here are several factors to consider in choosing an elderly-friendly flooring material.
Slip-Resistance. Does the flooring material offer a non-slip feature, especially when wet? For senior citizens to walk around independently and safely, the floor should be slip-resistant. Meaning, you need a material that has a high coefficient of friction, so it can prevent any slips or falls.
Ease of Movement. If the aging adult uses a walker, cane, or wheelchair, is the flooring material easy to walk on? Choosing a floor covering that allows the elderly to traverse or walk on easily won’t limit their physical activities at home.
Comfort. Is the flooring material comfortable and warm underfoot? You may want to get a floor covering that won’t give you or an aging adult a leg fatigued or joint pains. Thus, you need a floor that is comfortable to walk on, gentle underfoot, and alleviate leg fatigue even after long periods of standing or moving. This also makes the elderly move around safely.
Cushion. Can your flooring minimize the impact of slips or falls? You need a floor covering that offers shock absorption in case an aging adult happens to trip or fall due to vertigo or other health-related issues. If you have this kind of flooring, it reduces the risk of serious injuries.
Easy Maintenance. Your flooring option should require less maintenance—something that won’t let you spend long hours of cleaning.
Option 1: Rubber Flooring
Traditionally used in exercise rooms and gyms, rubber flooring is an ideal choice for homes with aging adults because of its high coefficient of friction. It has slip-resistance, so it reduces the chances of slip or fall accidents. They are non-slip when wet, ensuring your senior citizens’ utmost safety.
Rubber absorbs shock as well. Because of its adequate cushioning and softness, it reduces a painful impact in the event that your aging adult trips or slips. Also, the rubber has good insulation to keep you warm and comfortable all year round. Not to mention that it is exceptionally durable, so it can resist damage from water, heavy equipment, and furniture.
While rubber flooring offers great benefits for aging adults at home, it is relatively costly. Color, texture, and style are also limited, so it’s fairly challenging to customize the look of your flooring or blend it well with any décor inside your home. As for designs and style, you may want to talk to your Frederick county Maryland flooring contractor for samples and recommendations.
Option 2: Carpet Flooring
If you’re looking for a floor covering that provides incredible protection from falling and tripping, then the carpet is your best choice. It has enough cushioning to protect aging adults against injury from slips or falls. A high-quality carpet flooring gives comfort and warmth underfoot, so the elderly can safely and conveniently walk on the floor even during chilly weather. Plus, it is a non-slip surface.
The major downside of carpet flooring, however, is that it tends to collect dust and dirt that travels through the air. This can become problematic to aging adults with respiratory sensitivities and severe allergies. Since it accumulates a lot of dirt over time, it would be challenging to clean and maintain carpet flooring. If left unattended, it requires professional carpet cleaning. But if stains and dirt cannot be removed anymore, you may need to replace it and hire a Frederick county Maryland flooring contractor to get a new carpet.
Option 3: Cork Flooring
Soft and comfortable on the feet, cork is a great flooring option for elderly people. It provides insulation and traction underfoot, so aging adults can easily traverse or walk around while feeling warm and convenient. As a resilient sponge-like material, it can reduce the impact of a slip or fall accident to prevent your senior citizen from serious bruises or bumps following a fall. It is also durable, making it a good choice for efficient wheelchair travel.
When it comes to maintenance, cork flooring comes with a sealant over the surface that provides protection from stains. This makes cork flooring easy to clean. Regular sweeping or vacuuming is necessary to keep it in great shape. However, because of its softness, cork flooring is very susceptible to damages caused by punctures from sharp objects or furniture legs. It is unlikely to stay in great condition for so long because cork flooring is vulnerable to cracks, fading, dents, and water damage. Standing moisture or water can seep into and destroy the surface. That is why you need to wipe up splashes and spills on the flooring immediately. With this, cork flooring is not recommended for high humidity or moisture-prone areas such as laundry rooms or bathrooms.
Option 4: Vinyl Flooring
Vinyl is a highly water-resistant flooring option and very much easy to maintain. Its surface is durable and smooth, making it so easy for aging adults to move around either by wheelchair, walker, or foot. When it comes to price, vinyl is one of the most affordable flooring options in the market today. It is also available in a wide array of designs, styles, and patterns. For samples and design ideas, you may want to speak with your Frederick county Maryland flooring contractor.
While vinyl flooring can be a good choice for elderly people at home, it has some drawbacks as well. This flooring material is not as soft as cork or rubber, so it does not provide enough cushioning in case of slips or a fall accident. Since it comes from a non-renewable and synthetic source, vinyl releases VOCs, which may be harmful to human health.
Option 5: Linoleum
Made from natural plant materials, linoleum is making a comeback with its innovative and modern look. But more than its aesthetic appeal, linoleum flooring has a flat, smooth surface which is perfect for walkers and wheelchairs. It is 100% natural, and so easy to maintain because it doesn’t hold onto pollen, dust, or any contaminants in the air. Another great thing about linoleum is that it is stain- and water-resistant. It works moderately well in bathrooms and kitchens, especially the sheet linoleum.
This type of flooring material is very cold underfoot, so it can be uncomfortable for senior citizens to walk on it, particularly during cold weather. While it offers unique character and beauty in your home, linoleum flooring can be expensive. The cost of sheet or roll ranges from $2 to $2.50 per square foot, while linoleum tiles are valued at $3.50 per square foot, not including installation. Commercial-grade types are even much more expensive. For varieties and cost-effective options, you may want to talk to your Frederick county Maryland flooring contractor or any local builders near you.
It’s Time to Speak to Your Frederick County Maryland Flooring Contractor
Choosing an elderly-friendly flooring option might seem challenging. However, taking into consideration the key factors mentioned above will help you decide much easier. If you are determined to replace your old flooring with a better-suited floor material for senior citizens at home, don’t hesitate to connect with your Frederick county Maryland flooring contractor today. Carpet Ready provides a free in-home consultation for your next flooring makeover.