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disability–friendly floors – laminate flooring

Laminate Flooring

Flooring Type - Laminate

Some laminate floor types are designed for heavy commercial use and can withstand high levels of traffic, making them ideal for wheelchairs, walkers and power chairs. These types include high–pressure laminate flooring, and laminate with an Abrasion Class Rating (AC Rating) of AC3, AC4 or AC5.

Pros

  • Durable laminate types, such as high–pressure laminate, can be hard to scratch
  • Overlay layer (or wear layer) can help prevent damage caused by most spills
  • Smooth hard surface allows for easier wheelchair travel
  • Does not fade or dent easily
  • Can be long–lasting and durable
  • Available in muted colors and designs
  • Glue–free laminate flooring available for easier installation
  • More cost–effective in comparison to other floor types
  • Can be installed over already–existing flooring
  • Realistic–looking wood and bamboo laminate flooring available
  • Tiles can be individually replaced if damaged

Cons

  • Known for amplifying sound (e.g. footsteps, animal nails)
  • Can be slippery
  • Hard surface can be unforgiving on joints
  • Chemicals used in construction and installation can cause allergies to flare up and lead to other health complications

Disability–Friendly Floor Tips – Laminate Flooring

  • Use mild cleaners free of VOCs*
  • Protect the subfloor with an underlayment such as cork or foam rubber

    *VOCS are carbon–based, chemical compounds that can be found in certain floors and flooring materials. VOCs are commonly associated with allergy–like symptoms and are even believed to increase cancer risk.

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