Flooring Types that will Treat Your Body the Best
As people age, priorities tend to shift and preferences change. Something you enjoyed in your 20s is no longer relevant in your 40s. This can also be said about the flooring in your home. What once provided comfort and safety is no longer meeting your needs. This is because certain types of flooring are harmful on feet, legs and knees and can also pose threats such as trip hazards or slip and falls. Surfaces like ceramic tile can actually harm joints, because ceramic tile is hard and unforgiving and does not provide protection against injury from falls. Choosing a material that is right for you doesn’t have to be a complicated process. Taking into consideration factors like slip-resistance, ease of travel, cleaning and maintenance, comfort and cushion can help narrow your options.
Carpeting stands out as one of the best options for aging adults due to its comfortable and cushiony material. Installing a high-quality carpet pad beneath the carpet can improve the comfort and safety of the flooring. It doesn’t retain heat or cold like many hard flooring materials, which make it more ideal to those living in cold climates. Carpeting also absorbs sound and is quieter to walk on versus other flooring options. As with many materials, there are also drawbacks to choosing carpet such as its ability to collect dust, which can be problematic for people with severe allergies. Additionally, carpeting isn’t a good choice for wet areas like bathrooms and kitchens and choosing a long-pile carpet can present a trip hazard.
Luxury Vinyl Flooring
Vinyl has a reputation for being a hard, thin flooring mainly used in kitchens and bathrooms. This is definitely true but installing foam padding before placing the vinyl can make it an acceptable solution for comfort. Vinyl material takes on the feeling and texture of the subfloor that is placed beneath it. Vinyl is smooth, water-resistant and easy to clean. However, water or liquids sit on top of vinyl, meaning that it could pose a slip and fall hazard if you don’t pay careful attention. Today’s newer forms of luxury vinyl are more attractive than standard vinyl and can be manufactured to mimic wood grains and stones. Luxury vinyl can be a good choice for those looking for a modern flooring option that also provides comfort.
Laminate flooring has gained popularity due to its ability to take on the appearance of other materials such as wood, stone and concrete and costs less. It is very durable and has a protective layer to keep it safe from the usual wear and tear. Laminate flooring is easy to clean, doesn’t require much maintenance and doesn’t hinder canes, walkers or wheelchairs making it an ideal solution for aging adults. A downfall to laminate flooring is that the protective layer can become slippery with even the smallest amount of moisture, potentially creating a slip- and-fall hazard.
The elegance and beauty of hardwood flooring make it a popular choice amongst homeowners of all ages. It is a hard surface with a soft, natural look. Hardwood floors can last for many years if properly cared for, but they are considerably more expensive than other materials. When it comes to aging adults, hardwood flooring can be a double-edged sword. It provides good traction and stability for those who may require the use of a cane or a walker, but it provides no comfort or protection against injury from falls.
Flooring to Avoid
There are some flooring types that should be avoided, especially for aging seniors. Materials like natural stone, ceramic or porcelain tile, and area rugs can be a nuisance for older adults. Natural stone requires regular maintenance to keep it clean and is extremely slippery when wet. Stone floors can also be very cold on bare feet. Tile is a very hard surface and can pose a tripping hazard if it is installed with wide grout joints or uneven surfaces. Area rugs can be slippery and easily bunch up to create a tripping hazard.
Hessler Floor Covering has been a premier retailer throughout Southwest Florida for more than 50 years. Our experienced installers are dedicated to exceeding our customers’ expectations. Contact us for a free in-home estimate. We have three Southwest Florida locations to serve you — Fort Myers, Naples and Punta Gorda.