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4 Wheelchair-Friendly Flooring Options

If you are building a home or business and looking for a wheelchair-friendly flooring material to make your building more accessible to family and employees, there are a variety of options to choose from. At GS Flooring, we offer multiple flooring options that can be used with wheelchairs. Here are four of the most popular wheelchair-friendly flooring options and what you should look for in your flooring.

Factors to Consider

When looking for flooring that works well with wheelchairs, you’ll need to consider several factors, including durability, versatility, and slip resistance.

  • Flat. Wheelchairs need flat, hard surfaces to help the wheels move smoothly from one place to another.
  • Durable. Wheelchairs can cause scuffs, dents, and scratches, so you’ll want a harder, more durable floor that can withstand these conditions.
  • Slip-resistant. If your floor is too slippery, wheelchairs won’t have enough traction to stop or turn the way that they should.

Best Flooring Materials for Wheelchair Use

Hardwood Floors

Hardwood floors are durable and easy to clean. But consistent use of wheelchairs will show wear and tear. If you go with the hardwood floor option, use a type that has a high Janka hardness rating. The higher the rating, the more resistant to wear and tear the material is. Woods like pine, hard maple, and white ash have a high Janka rating and are a great option.

Vinyl Flooring

Vinyl, including luxury vinyl planks, makes a great choice because it is very cost-effective while giving the look and feel of the much more expensive floors. It creates a smooth, level surface that makes it easy to use for both feet and wheelchairs. The surface is also slip-resistant, which is an important factor to consider.

Slip-Resistant Tile Flooring

Tiles are usually the flooring of choice in bathrooms and kitchens because they are easy to clean and water-resistant. They come in a vast variety of colors and patterns to choose from. Pick tiles that are slip-resistant to make movement comfortable for everyone, whether they use a wheelchair or not. Choose smaller tiles, no bigger than 2” x 2”, because smaller tiles provide more friction and make it easier to maneuver wheelchairs. Ask for tiles with a high coefficient of friction; the higher this number is, the more slip-resistant the tile flooring will be.

Carpet

Carpets are effective for wheelchair use, but they have the highest maintenance of these floor choices since they require regular vacuuming and periodic shampooing. If you do end up choosing a carpet, choose a low pile carpet. We recommend ¼” because a high pile carpet is hard to move on in a wheelchair or with a walker. The threads on high pile carpets also tend to get stuck in the spokes of the wheels, which can be dangerous.

If you need more advice on accessibility floor options or want to explore choices, patterns, and colors, call us today at GS Flooring.