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disability–friendly floors – carpet


Flooring Type - Carpet

People with aching joints may appreciate the soft surface of carpet. If you suffer from a condition that causes you to fall or stumble, carpet can provide more protection than hardwood or laminate flooring.


  • Is usually very comfortable underfoot
  • Provides a non–slip surface
  • Carpets with low volatile organic compounds (VOCs)* are available (such as carpet that meets green standards)
  • Quiet surface
  • Stain–resistant carpet is available
  • Small–loop, commercial–grade carpet is available for easier wheelchair travel (Berber)

*VOCs are toxic, carbon–based chemical compounds that can cause sneezing, headaches and nausea and are even associated with increased cancer risk.


  • Carpet retains dirt and debris more readily than hard floor surfaces such as tile, wood and stone, which can make cleaning a more difficult process
  • Allergens such as dust mites tend to cling to most carpet types, which can aggravate asthma and allergies (for more information see our Allergy-Friendly flooring section)
  • Deep pile carpet requires wheelchair users to use more energy to move around than they would on a hard surface floor

Disability–Friendly Floor Tips – Carpet

  • Consider carpet tiles as they can be easily replaced or removed for cleaning
  • Protect the subfloor with a moisture barrier or underlayment such as cork or foam rubber
  • The lower the carpet pile, the easier it is for wheelchair travel
  • Choose an allergy–resistant carpet to minimize the amount of allergens on your floor surface
  • Select a carpet that's made with eco–friendly materials as they tend to contain fewer VOCs
  • Reduce risk of carpet stains by choosing stain–resistant carpet.
    Note: Stain–resistant carpet is not stain–proof; staining can still occur.