When it comes to interior design, accessibility is a key consideration. It’s important to ensure safety and ease of mobility around any home. In this blog, we’re going to offer advice on the best flooring types for wheelchair users with reduced mobility, to help make the most of living spaces.
There are a range of suitable flooring’s for wheelchair users which allow ease of mobility. These include: engineered wood, EvoCore, and LVT to name a few, with thick pile carpets, low quality vinyls and slippery tiled surfaces being amongst the few that are less suitable.
There are key factors to consider to ensure safety and mobility are optimal as possible:
- Room Type
Firstly though, we’re going to look at the different flooring types, and their suitability for wheelchair users.
Different types of flooring will cater for wheelchair use better than others, with them being made with materials. Real wood, laminate and vinyl planks are the most suitable flooring types for ease of movement when it comes to wheelchairs users, and below we’ll look into why.
Real Wood Flooring
With a hard surface, this allows for smooth and comfortable movability, avoiding any restrictions and slipping. These surfaces are highly durable, and solid and engineered wood can also be refinished if any cosmetic damage occurs. Scuffs or scrapes are no problem; the flooring can be brought back to life with ease.
Laminate flooring is a top contender when it comes to manoeuvrability, and header-wearing construction.
However, we recommend buying a high grade laminate to ensure flooring’s longevity, which also prevents the need for early replacement.
An AC rating of AC3 or above would make a suitable flooring for wheelchair users, with a recommended rating of AC5 for bathrooms and kitchens to ensure they meet suitability needs.
Luxury Vinyl Tiles (LVT)
LVT makes for one of the best flooring options for wheelchair users. It’s highly durable, and suitable for any room of the home. For ease of movement and access around the home, Luxury Vinyl Tile is a great option. Click LVT features a thicket board which aids in providing more durability.
EvoCore is another one of the best flooring’s for wheelchair users. This eco friendly option offers durability and home-wide suitability, meaning safety, confidence and mobility are optimal, as well as providing bespoke eye catching designs. EvoCore features scratch resistant surfaces and high durability. Perfect for facilitating the motions of a wheelchair.
Flooring Types to Avoid
- Thick pile carpets – reduces or halts movement.
- Tile – Glossy finish tile can present slippery surfaces, leading to skidding, alteration of speed, or reduced effect of a brake.
- Vinyl Roll – Whilst not all vinyl roll should be avoided, lower grade options should be avoided where possible, as durability may provide future cosmetic issues resulting in the need to replace.
Key Flooring Considerations for Wheelchair Users
Safety and manoeuvring will be front of mind when choosing the best flooring..
Whilst design and appearance are nice-to-haves, they may be secondary to ensuring you’re confident in mobility in your own home.
First on the list is durability. As expected, wheelchairs can often be heavy on flooring, particularly motorised ones.
Flooring should be practical in its ability to cater for this, as well as being able to handle manoeuvring to prevent cosmetic damage such as scuffs, scratches and lifting.
Considering safety first, flooring wouldn’t be practical in its purpose if it did not cater for these needs.
Damage to its appearance as a result of wheelchair presence is avoidable by considering high-durability flooring options. Experiencing comfort within an interior, as well as having mobility without the need for constant caution, sounds like a win-win scenario.
EvoCore Essentials and Premium are both made of a combination of 7 different layers to create an extremely resistant and durable flooring. It’s scratch resistant surface and textured surface makes for a great foundation for wheelchair users, whilst looking amazing in any room of the home, offering a wide array of designs and styles.
Whatever range opted for in terms of compatibility for wheelchair users, EvoCore can withstand the test of time offering wear resistance, the ability to manoeuvre with ease whilst looking amazing in the process.
With engineered wood, this can be finished with a lacquer or oil, adding not only a natural charm but a protective layer to aid in durability.
2. Slippery Surfaces
Another key consideration when it comes to the best flooring for wheelchair users is slippery surfaces. Traction is an important part of offering ease of movement, and this is something that smoother surfaces don’t tend to account for.
Glossy finishes and ceramic tile are just some of the surfaces that can reduce wheelchair movement, alter speeds, or affect the efficiency of a brake due to the lack of traction.
To allow safe and easy movement around a home, flooring options such as LVT, engineered wood, or a low pile carpet that isn’t too dense, usually loop piles rather than twist or Saxony as it offers smoother traction.
Where comfort is concerned, there are multiple flooring options for wheelchair users. Comfort is an each to their own factor, and when it comes to those who rely on the use of a wheelchair, there are physical factors to consider.
With some wheelchairs being manual, this can have a physical effect on the body. Physical comfort should not be disregarded, and flooring can impact this.
To prevent making mobility a strenuous activity, laminate flooring, LVT or engineered wood will make manoeuvring around your home a breeze.
Thick carpet is another surface that will affect comfort. For more reasons than one.
Carpets can cushion any falls and slow down speed, however thick-piled will reduce movement, and more energy and strength to push and rotate the wheels of the wheelchair. It’s important to consider which of these are most important before making a decision.
4. Room Type
Certain flooring’s go better in certain rooms, that’s just a fact.
With different requirements for different rooms of the home, needs coupled with suitability can make options more limited as a wheelchair user.
In bathrooms and kitchens, popular choices for these rooms of the home are tiled flooring’s. However, some tile flooring’s are finished with slippery surfaces that could affect mobility. If this is your desired design, not to worry. Some flooring’s offer slip resistant surfaces and tiled patterns, providing the design you want with the suitability you need. Flooring’s such as slip resistant vinyl and EvoCore 360 will do the job perfectly.
When it comes to kitchen flooring’s, a popular choice is tile. However, some tile flooring’s are finished with slippery surfaces that could affect mobility. If this is your desired design, not to worry. If this is your desired design, not to worry. Some flooring’s offer slip resistant surfaces and tiled patterns, providing the design you want with the suitability you need. Flooring’s such as slip resistant vinyl and EvoCore 360 will do the job perfectly.
Bathrooms are another room of the home that tiled flooring’s are often desired in. Similarly to kitchens, this room of the home requires flooring that will need to suit the everyday functions that occur there, as well as catering for wheelchair access. Again, like the kitchen, flooring’s such as slip resistant vinyl and EvoCore will suit these needs.
Transitioning between rooms in a wheelchair is another thing to consider when it comes to finding the best surface for wheelchairs. This is because when moving from room to room, surfaces can alter. Laminate to carpet, carpet to solid wood, whatever the surfaces of your home, having varied surface textures can cause exhaustion, especially if transitioning from surfaces that allow ease of movement, to ones that don’t. Where possible, having the same or similar flooring types that offer ease of wheelchair movement such as laminate or LVT, is something to consider when it comes to creating the flooring suitable for wheelchair users.
Another thing to consider is keeping room transitions level to prevent getting stuck. Mini ramps can help with this.
All Flooring Types and Their Suitability
|Solid Wood||Suitable due to durability, however not suitable for kitchens and bathrooms due to temperature fluctuations.|
|Engineered Wood||Home-wide suitability and highly durable makes for a suitable flooring for wheelchair users.|
|Laminate||Laminate with an AC rating AC3 or above would make a suitable flooring for wheelchair users, with a recommended rating of AC5 for bathrooms.|
|Luxury Vinyl Tile (LVT)||LVT makes for one of the best flooring’s for wheelchair users, being highly durable, and suitable for any room of the home.|
|Vinyl Roll||Vinyl roll is suitable providing you have ensured it comes with slip resistance. However, durability in some cases isn’t always a strong suit.|
|Tile||Whilst some tiled flooring can be used, ensure the slip resistance where possible as certain finishes such as glossy, or ceramic tile can cause skidding and slipping.|
|Carpet||Low pile carpets can make a great flooring for those confined to a wheelchair. However, carpets with a thicker pile can hinder movement and be strenuous.|
|EvoCore||EvoCore is another one of the best flooring’s for wheelchair users. Again offering durability and home-wide suitability.|
Hopefully this blog has answered your questions on recommendations when it comes to suitable flooring for wheelchair users. However, should you need more information, our team of experts would be more than happy to answer any questions, get in touch now.