A lot of seniors suffer from limited mobility, meaning they are prone to falls. Therefore, when it comes to choosing residential flooring for senior citizens, safety and ease of maintenance are two major factors to consider. The flooring material should be soft to reduce the risk of injuries to joints and bones in case of slipping or falling.
In this blog post, we’ll review some popular flooring options that are safe and suitable for senior citizens.
- Cork Flooring
Cork is the #1 flooring option for seniors as it’s both soft and easy to clean and maintain. The soft surface is very comfortable to walk or stand on. It has a naturally anti-slip surface that provides traction underfoot and may prevent the risk of accidental falling. Cork is also a thick material which acts as a good insulator against heat loss and noise.
Cleaning and maintaining a cork floor is also easy. It comes with a strong sealant that protects the surface from staining. A regular sweeping or vacuuming is enough to keep it looking like new.
However, there are certain drawbacks of this floor. It’s highly vulnerable to dents and water damage. Fresh sealants need to be applied once every year to protect the floor from discolouration and stains. If you opt for this flooring option, always choose high-quality products. Avoid below-grade installations at any cost.
- Vinyl Flooring
It’s one of the easiest floors to clean and maintain as it just requires regular sweeping. Vinyl is almost resistant to water damage and stains. It’s a hassle-free choice for seniors living independently. Note that vinyl isn’t as soft as cork flooring and if tripping is a concern, it won’t be as a soft landing. But it can be padded with a layer of cork or felt to make the surface softer.
The only drawback of vinyl flooring is its environmental impact. It’s a non-renewable, petroleum based product. A newly installed vinyl floor can emit small amounts of VOCs (Volatile Organic Chemicals) into the interior space.
Carpeting is a good flooring solution when injuries from tripping and falling are the main concern. It’s comfortable underfoot and acts as an insulator in the room retaining heat efficiently even in winter. It also offers a non-slip surface.
Although carpets come with these benefits, they also have some major drawbacks. First off, it’s harder to clean than the other flooring options. The fibres of carpet are susceptible to dust and dirt accumulation and stains. When someone steps onto the carpet, the fibres send these dust particles and debris back into the air. The indoor air quality of the room, as a result, becomes harmful for seniors who have respiratory illnesses.
Also, spills and moisture can promote the growth of mold and mildew. When not properly maintained, carpet flooring can lead to potential sanitation issues.
Choosing the right flooring for seniors is essential for their safety and convenience. Other safe flooring options for seniors include rubber and linoleum flooring. Remember not to select any hard and unyielding material like brick, natural stone or ceramic. Also, note that glossy finishes can lead to difficulties in safe mobility. Choose instead a matte finish floor to reduce glare.
Depending on the needs of the specific senior residents, these flooring options make some great choices. Contact Hardwood Canada for high-quality flooring products and installation services.