The floor is not just an accessory to make a space more beautiful. It’s also a crucial part of it. The choice of flooring can either ease your walking and moving through the room or increase the risk of accidents. That being said, spaces that are used by people with reduced mobility, such as nursing homes, should be outfitted with flooring that ensures safety and ease of movement.
When choosing nursing home flooring, several factors should be a priority. First of all, the floor should be slip-resistant and allow for seamless movement. It shouldn’t demand extra maintenance and should feel comfortable for walking. Sometimes, even cushioned flooring is an option since it has shock absorption in case f falls.
But not every room in a nursing home should have the same type of flooring. For instance, the bathrooms should have slip-resistant flooring, while the corridors should have flooring that is easy to walk and doesn’t require any special maintenance. Let’s see some excellent flooring options.
Vinyl floors are definitely the most popular options for nursing home flooring. Vinyl is excellent for aged care settings due to their ability to provide a cozy atmosphere and make the residents feel more at home. This is because vinyl tiles, planks and sheets are available in various patterns that can allow you to get the look of hardwood for less.
Vinyl also has high resiliency and high point loads that resist indentation (which in aging homes can become an issue because of the use of wheelchairs and wheel beds). It has great sound absorption properties, helping to ensure a pleasant and noise-free setting. Vinyl tiles are water-jet cut before they’re installed (this is crucial for complex patterns). The cherry on top is that this flooring is often manufactured to include antimicrobial additives. When it comes to cleaning and durability, vinyl is low-maintenance and is hard-wearing. It will last for years and won’t require the staff to spend extra valuable minutes to clean it.
If you seek water-resistant flooring, vinyl is your best option. It’s highly water-resistant. However, the seams in vinyl tiles may be a bit of a challenge. They may let water through the subfloor so the standing water may be an issue. That being said, it’s better to use sheet vinyl instead of tile in bathrooms and kitchens because it has very few seams (in some cases it has none).
This is relatively smooth flooring and isn’t as cold or hard as ceramic tiles or stone, which makes it comfortable to walk on.
Of course, the price is important too. Vinyl flooring is available in a wide price range and in general, it’s one of the most affordable flooring materials.
Senior living communities could benefit a lot from natural rubber tiles or rolled rubber flooring. Rubber is a rapidly renewable resource which makes this type of option sustainable and eco-friendly. The floor itself is very durable. Also, it’s a good shock and sound absorber. It comes in various colors and has a natural finish that gets better with time. The good thing is that it’s antibacterial and doesn’t require extra maintenance. It can be pre-cut and in any pattern with a water-jet technique.
When it comes to disadvantages, there’s only one and it’s its looks. It looks and feels cheap. This isn’t a bad thing per se and it’s why this type of flooring is often used in kitchens and bathrooms or other areas such as laundry rooms or entryways. However, you can’t use it in the living room or residents’ bedrooms where the aesthetic is important.
This is still a popular flooring choice for senior living communities. Carpet tile is easy to install and comes in various colors and patterns. It’s a good acoustical conditioner, which is excellent for speech privacy in large spaces. However, as healthcare carpet installers often point out, this is an affordable option for areas where there isn’t heavy traffic.
Cork flooring is like carpet, but it’s shock absorbent and comfortable to stand on for a long time. It can have up to 40 years of lifespan if it’s properly maintained. This is an all-natural material, which is renewable and biodegradable. Cork has a medium softness in the hard-soft specter. It has a washable and smooth surface and offers some cushioning underfoot. It’s not loud like other materials and offers thermal properties. Travelling over it is smooth both on foot and with a wheelchair.
When it comes to cleaning, it doesn’t require any special care. With some simple maintenance in the form of regular vacuuming and mopping, it can last for years. Its sealant on the surface prevents stains from forming on this porous material. However, make sure there aren’t any liquid spillages since the material is soft and can be easily damaged if liquid sets in (wipe them off immediately). Sharp objects like pointy heels or furniture legs could also damage it.
I’m sure you’ve already noticed this type of flooring in many healthcare facilities in the past. Today, it finds its way back to common spaces in aging homes. It’s a low maintenance option that doesn’t need more than sweeping and mopping. It looks great and is a good option for entryways.