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Flooring Suitable for Senior Citizens' Homes

by Mike Dodd, Home Remodeling Expert
June 22, 2018

Question: My father is 80 years old, living in an apartment, He recently fell and is now wants to change the flooring. Is there a particular kind of flooring you would recommend for a senior citizen?

Answer: Any kind of resilient (hard) surface flooring will suffice.  There are many levels and price points among the potential candidates for flooring.  It can be as simple as peel and press vinyl squares to sheet vinyl to hardwood flooring.  Vinyl flooring probably represents the greatest value and economy.  Going up the scale, hardwood is available in pre-finished and unfinished varieties.  The unfinished version is the most expensive, of course, and also the messiest as it requires sanding and up to three coats of finish.  The bottom line is that a flooring specialist should be consulted to help select the most appropriate product for a specific situation.  The flooring industry assigns slip coefficient ratings to different products, especially porcelain and ceramic tile, making is easier for the consumer to gauge what is the safest.  Resilient flooring is almost always the right choice for elderly as there is less of a risk associated with falls, even though it may be less appealing than carpet.  As folks age, they have a tendency to drag their feet, or "shuffle", which is not compatible with carpet as it tends to exacerbate the likelihood of creating a fall hazard.

Mike Dodd is the founder and President of Lifewise Renovations, that combines home remodeling project management with the expertise of health care professionals, to make it possible live safely and comfortably at home regardless of age or physical ability. As a member of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), Mike holds the Certified Aging In Place Specialist (CAPS) designation.

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