Choosing the right flooring for wheelchairs, walkers and more

By: Samantha, Published: September 14, 2023 Nova Scotia in "Mulgrave"

When selecting flooring, each home will have its own unique set of considerations. Some people are looking for family friendly products, others suitable for pets or the rental market. Those who are using mobility aids will also be searching for flooring within a set of parameters. Selecting a suitable product for a home where wheelchairs, frames and other mobility devices are used will mean they can be used without the worry of damaging the floor and ensuring it looks like new for years to come. The best flooring for wheelchairs takes several elements into consideration.

Resilience and hard-wearing

Choosing a flooring that will withstand mobility aids is one of the most important considerations. When it comes to hard flooring, some will be more suitable than others. Products such as laminate are incredibly tough, with scratch and indent resistant properties built into the material, making them some of the best options for whelchairs. Everyday wear and tear as well as mobility aid use on laminate flooring will be less, meaning your flooring will look like new for longer. Damage that occurs on timber-look flooring can be fixed with relative ease by replacing the area surrounding the damage.

Carpets are a popular option in Australian homes, particularly in bedrooms and cosy living spaces. The impact mobility aids can have on these surfaces will vary, but particular fibres and styles of carpets will be more appropriate. Wheelchair-friendly carpet is made from easy to clean fibres such as solution dyed nylons (SDN) and other man-made fibres like Triexta, polypropylene and polyester will work well, with many inherently stain-resistant too. Opt for a lower pile carpet, such as loop or textured loop piles which are resilient but also won’t show shading or imprints from mobility aids like they might with a plush pile style.

Moray in "Buckie"

Ease of mobility & Safety

Depending on the type of mobility aid, consideration to the easy of movement on the flooring might be necessary. Carpets that are plush or thicker in pile, for example, may make it difficult to navigate a wheelchair over. In some settings, carpet tiles might be a suitable option. If the flooring changes from room to room, such as carpet to hard flooring, there can be some concerns as well.

Keeping the flooring as level as possible is ideal. Rugs in particular can become trip hazards as well as making the use of aids trickier. Ensure they are as low as possible (such as a flat-weave style) and secured to the floor with a slip-resistant mat if rugs are an important element of the home design. Some flooring styles can be installed throughout the home, such as some timber-look products, from the front door to back making them an excellent wheelchair-accessible flooring option.

Low-maintenance

Flooring that is both hard-wearing and easy to clean is important in many homes, including those where wheelchairs, walking frames and walking sticks are used. Laminate floors are easy to clean, stain and scratch resistant and can withstand some dirt and grit without causing damage making it suitable flooring for wheelchairs. They don’t require special equipment or tools to clean and maintain them and will look good for years to come. With this said, all hard flooring does require regular cleaning and maintenance to ensure dirt and grit are not causing wear. You can learn more about how to care for your hard flooring here.

Low maintenance carpets include those that are both stain resistant but also easy to clean. Regular vacuuming of all carpet styles and fibre types is required so that dirt, dust and grit is not worn into the pile, but some require less maintenance than others. Synthetic fibres such as nylon, SDN, Triexta, polyester and polypropylene are all suitable for homes or rooms with high traffic and some are resistant to water-soluble and regular stains. You can read more in our carpet guide and carpet care guide.

Botanic Garden in "Dew"

Aesthetics

How flooring looks is always important, regardless of the home its installed in. Being such a large surface, it plays an integral role in how a home looks and feels. Luckily there is a style of flooring to suit any interior design style that will also be low-maintenance and durable. Timber-look designs across the spectrum of species and colours are available, from the warm and character-filled Australian species to the classic oak varieties in cool or warm tones.

Timbers that are in the mid-colour range with some markings, or characteristics, will disguise any marks more than those that are very dark or light. The same can be said for carpet, with those in the mid-colour range or with multiple thread colours running throughout more likely to hide any marks.

QuickStep Perspective Nature Brushed Oak Warm Natural_Studio Lux_1707 × 2560 Quick-Step Perspective Nature in "Brushed Oak Natural"

Choosing flooring requires a lot of thought to ensure it meets the unique requirements of the home and occupants. When mobility aids are used inside this can add another layer of consideration. There are many beautiful options across both hard flooring and carpet ranges that will be easy to maintain and durable. There are stores all over Australia that can also share their immense knowledge, so you can feel like you have made the best flooring selection for your home! Head here to find out where your local store is.

FAQ's

How do I best clean laminate flooring?

All flooring requires cleaning and maintenance to ensure it looks like new for longer. Removing dirt and grit from hard floors makes scratching less likely. You can read our hard flooring care guide for more details.

Is laminate flooring professionally installed? 

Flooring is best installed by professionals who are highly skilled and experienced. They have all the necessary equipment and are there to troubleshoot any issues that may arise.

What hard flooring is good for pets?

Scratch resistant flooring works well when living with pets. Keep pet claws and paws in check to minimise any scratching and read our hard flooring and pet guide to find the perfect flooring solution for your furry friends!

What are carpet beetles? 

Carpet beetles are pesky critters that can cause havoc on your beautiful flooring. They can come inside hiding on fresh flowers or through open windows and doors. The larvae feed on animal fibres meaning your wool carpet or rugs can be in serious trouble. There are ways to avoid and tread carpet beetles and you can read our blog to learn more.

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Samantha

Product Coordinator

Our Product Coordinator Sam knows a thing or two about carpet and hard flooring. Her expert knowledge ranges from specific material details, product technology and trends to what products work best and where. In other words, Sam’s practical advice and insights are worth their weight in gold! Sam’s favourite product is Nordic Dusk carpet because it’s like stepping onto a plush haven of softness. It’s also elegant and luxurious underfoot!

Want some expert advice?

From inspiration to installation and beyond, Flooring Xtra are here to help. If you’re uncertain what product will work best in your home or fit your budget the team are delighted to assist. Choosing new flooring is a big decision so whether it’s hard flooring or carpet you’re looking for, know that Flooring Xtra will have the perfect option for you! VISIT your nearest store