Appropriate Flooring for Wheelchairs

Friday February 13, 2009
Article Word Count:415 Comments (3) Permalink

Typically the harder the floor, the easier it is for wheelchairs to move across the surface. If you or a loved one uses a wheelchair more than 99.9% of the time, it's important that you have flooring that facilitates more effortless movement. High pressure laminate (HPL), for example, is designed to suit high traffic areas, like department stores. Not only can the smooth surface help with wheelchair travel, it is less likely to damage on account of wheelchair traffic than soft hardwood or bamboo floor types.

Tile, rubber, vinyl, and laminate are good floor coverings if you are confiined to a wheel chairFinding a hardwood or bamboo floor type that's appropriate for wheelchairs can be difficult. The harder woods rank higher up on the Janka Hardness Scale, with 0 being softest, and 4000 being the hardest. Note that even the harder wood floors can still incur damage over time from foot and wheelchair traffic. For a hard surface that has a similar classy appearance of hardwood, look no further than strand-woven bamboo flooring. Strand-woven bamboo is made by compressing thin strips of bamboo with resin under high heat and pressure. The result is a very strong and beautiful floor.

Tile flooring is always a popular favorite for wheelchair users as it's relatively easy to install, and can be more affordable than other floor types of comparable strength. Porcelain and ceramic tiles are made by combining clay and minerals in a kiln under extremely high temperatures. The result is water-resistant tiles that can withstand high levels of foot traffic. Additionally, cracked floor tiles can be easily replaced without having to replace the entire floor.

Rubber and vinyl floor tiles are also well suited to wheelchairs as they offer both a firm and resilient surface. Resilient floors give upon impact and can help minimize slips and falls. Both floor types can be installed with or without the use of adhesive, and can be laid over a variety of existing floor types (e.g. concrete; stone).

Carpet is not generally suited for wheelchairs as the carpet fibers hinder wheel movement. If you're looking for carpet for your home, try low-pile types. This includes frieze, level loop and Berber.

For more ideas on suitable floor types for wheelchairs, check out FindAnyFloor.com's Disability Friendly Flooring section.

 

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Comments (3)

Talkback – Leave a commentThere are 3 comments

Bamboo Flooring
No doubt, typically tile floor should considered more for wheelchair , this is not good choice. In my opinion a href="www.timberlandflooring.com.au/" Bamboo flooring /a is best to use you should have to try , it is available in different kind of material.
March 19 2013
Bamboo Flooring
No doubt, typically tile floor should considered more for wheelchair , this is not good choice. In my opinion a href="www.timberlandflooring.com.au/" Bamboo flooring /a is best to use you should have to try , it is available in different kind of material.
March 19 2013
ADA Approved Flooring
The best thing to do in my opinion is to use an AC6 or higher rated laminate flooring because they are commercial grade and can withstand a lot of use. BestLaminate.net is offering a discount to americans with disabilities. The link to the coupon is http://www.bestlaminate.net/adaflooring
May 23 2012
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