Best Flooring Options For Wheelchair Users
Have you ever seen what a wheelchair can do to a floor? The floors of most wheelchair users tend to get dirty and marked very quickly. Dirty and marked floors can be not only unattractive, but also unhygienic. So there are two options, get wheelchair friendly flooring or prevent the tire from contacting the floor. This article will discuss several different flooring options for wheelchairs.
(Thanks to LittleRedCera for the use of the photo on Creative Commons License.)
Wheelchair Tires Leaves Marks, Scratches and Dirt on Floors
A wheelchair tire is a floors worst enemy. The wheelchair goes outside and filth gets embedded in the treads of the tire. Everything from small rocks to dirt to gum and dog poop can get in the wheelchair tire and it is impossible to get out.
Some people put a small rug at the entrance to house or apartment and this will take out the easy to remove dirt. Others may try wiping down the wheelchair tires or using a brush. But no matter how much you brush a wheelchair tire, you will never get all of the filth out, as can be seen from this video.
Rocks in the tires can scratch most flooring. The rubber from the tires can leave black tire marks. Dog poop leaves very unhealthy bacteria on the floor. So what are the best options for flooring for wheelchairs?
Inlaid Sheet Vinyl Is Durable and Inexpensive
Inlaid sheet vinyl flooring is ideal for wheelchair use. It is relatively inexpensive, easy to clean and durable. The pattern of inlaid vinyl goes all the way through the sheet, so if an area wears down, you will not see it so easily. Wheelchair users should stay away from rotogravure vinyl flooring. The reason is that the pattern is only on the top of the flooring. If the wheelchair makes a scratch or a wears out an area, it will wear out the pattern on the sheet leaving an unattractive worn space.
Vinyl Is More Resistant Than Wood To Wheelchair Tires
Wheelchair Slippers Protect All Floors
Looking for the cheapest and easiest way to protect your floor from wheelchair tires? Watch the demonstration video about RehaDesign Wheelchair Slippers. Wheelchair Slippers are machine washable. Wheelchair Slippers protect all types of floors from dirt, damage and germs caused by wheelchair tires.
Tiles Can Be Ceramic Or Vinyl
The advantages of tile flooring for a wheelchair user is that it is relatively easy to install and clean. Tiling can also be resistant to marks and scratches caused by wheelchair tires as well as water that is tracked in. What is the advantage of tiles over sheets? If a tile gets damaged it can be removed and replaced relatively quickly. If a large sheet gets damaged, the entire sheet may have to be removed. Finally, tiles can look attractive and many people prefer the looking of tiling to vinyl sheeting, but that is a matter of taste.
The disadvantage is that tiling can seem cold to some people. And of course tiling, particularly ceramic tiling is hard and unforgiving. If you fall on ceramic tiling, be prepared to be bruised. Read more about the advantages of a tile floor.
Tile Can Be Very Convenient For Wheelchair Users
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Rubber is softer and has a natural traction
Some wheelchair users may enjoy rubber flooring. Rubber flooring has the ability to cushion a fall. So, if the wheelchair user is making frequent transfers or is elderly or just maybe likely to take a tumble, rubber flooring will cushion the blow and may save a broken bone or nasty hit on the head.
Also. rubber flooring has a natural gripping effect that many wheelchair users may appreciate. Read more about the advantages of rubber flooring.