Some people know they’ll be living in their home for only a few years, so they select floors that will give them the best resale value. But if you’re planning to live in your home for a while, you might be more interested in age-proofing it. In other words, you might want to make sure that your home will still be a great place for you to live when you’re older.
As you get older, your mobility may become limited, you may develop joint pain, and you may be more likely to slip and fall. As a result, there are 5 factors that are important to consider when choosing home floors that are safe for older adults:
· How slip-resistant is it?
· How hard would it be to fall on?
· How comfortable is it to walk and stand on?
· How easy is it to travel on with a wheelchair or cane?
· How simple is it to maintain?
As you can imagine, some popular home floors, such as ceramic and natural stone, aren’t great choices as you get older. Ceramic is very slippery when wet and hard to fall on. Natural stone, in comparison, can be hard to maintain. And like ceramic, it’s not the safest floor to fall on.
What types of floors should you consider if you want to stay in your home into older adulthood? Check out these 5 top contenders:
If you’re worried about falls, you may naturally think of installing carpet in your home. Carpet is a top choice for households with older adults because it’s highly slip-resistant and is softer to fall on. It’s also comfortable and warm under your feet and easy to traverse if you choose a short-cut or mid-cut pile.
However, carpet can be difficult to clean, especially if you get a stain on it. It can also trap dust, which can trigger allergies.
Like carpet, cork is a home floor that’s slip-resistant, soft to fall on, and easy under your feet. It’s also simple to travel over with a wheelchair. And because it’s a floating floor, you can install it on top of other hard surfaces.
Keep in mind, though, that cork can be a bit tricky to maintain. It’s also available in a more limited range of colours and styles than most floors are.
3. Non-slip vinyl
If easy maintenance is your priority as you age, non-slip vinyl is the floor for you. In addition to being simple to clean, non-slip vinyl is designed to reduce falls and is easy to travel on. It’s also highly water-resistant and affordable.
Note that older and cheaper forms of vinyl aren’t as attractive as other floors. However, the technology used to make modern luxury vinyl is so advanced now that you can find planks that look just like wood and stone.
If you’re primarily concerned about having a home floor that’s easy to travel over, hardwood is still a reasonable option. Because hardwood is a smooth, hard surface, it’s easier to navigate with a wheelchair or cane. It’s also a strategic floor to choose if resale value is important to you.
However, wet hardwood can be slippery. And wet or dry, hardwood can hurt to fall on. You’ll also need to maintain it regularly if you want it to stand the test of time.
Rubber may not be a material you think of when you’re shopping for home floors. But there’s a reason why rubber is worth considering if you want to age in your home: it’s the safest floor on this list. That’s because it has a forgiving surface that cushions falls. And on top of this, it’s simple to clean, easy to travel over, and comfortable to stand on.
It’s true that rubber isn’t as attractive or affordable as other types of home floors. But if safety is by far your top priority, rubber may be right for your home.
Choose the right floor to age successfully in your home
If you want to stay safe while aging in your home, you don’t need to tear out your hardwood and replace it with the foam tiles used in kids’ playrooms. Instead, you can find floors that match your style and will keep you safe as an older adult too. Steer clear of ceramic and stone and consider installing carpet, cork, vinyl, hardwood, or rubber as alternatives.
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