Accessible Bathroom Flooring for Mother-in-Law Suites - Types and Applications
When caring for a parent or aging senior, one of the most important aspects of keeping them safe is by installing accessible bathroom flooring. As a bathroom can be one of the most difficult areas for a senior to properly move around if not designed with accessibility in mind, these types of flooring are absolutely essential.
However, this can make for a tricky purchasing decision, given the many different types of flooring available. As such, here's a brief look at all you need to know about accessible bathroom flooring.
Safety Benefits of Utilizing Accessible Bathroom Flooring
In general, the biggest risk to the safety of an elderly person is that of slipping and falling, the results of which can be particularly nasty for those of an older age. That being said, there are a few other problems that aging seniors face in regards to typical flooring options within a bathroom, such as the coldness of hard floors. Thankfully, there are a number of useful types of flooring that can help to mitigate many of these problems. Depending on the floor type chosen, you may also find that it is also easier to maintain than you would have previously imagined.
Types of Accessible Flooring
While there are many flooring options available on the market, there are only a few flooring types that safeguard against slipping and are useful for aging seniors, though each do have their drawbacks that should be taken into consideration when making a flooring decision when planning for a mother in law suite addition or renovation. These floor types are known as vinyl, linoleum, carpet and cork.
Vinyl: The first of these flooring types, is advisable for a number of reasons. This material is impossible to stain, therefore requiring little to no maintenance, which is useful for seniors who can't get around as much as they used to. While it's a harder floor type, it can be overlaid with a soft material such as felt. It's also generally known as a non-slip material, making it one of the more useful flooring types available.
Linoleum: Basically repels all types of bacteria and dust, meaning it can provide a healthy environment for a senior. It also requires very little cleaning. However, it should be kept in mind that it does cost a bit more than similar flooring types. If you're on a budget, you may want to consider a different flooring type. Padding can also be placed just under the linoleum, allowing for a soft surface that can prevent seniors from having any nasty falls.
Carpet: Likely the best type of flooring around for aging seniors, as it is an extremely soft surface that is impossible to slip on, 2 factors that are highly beneficial to making a bathroom as accessible as possible for seniors. It can also help to make the bathroom warmer during the wintertime, as it can present itself as insulation towards the incoming cold. Despite these benefits, it's generally difficult to maintain and keep clean, especially in comparison to the others, as spills and other stains can be difficult to remove once setting.
Cork: A type of wood, is a fantastic option for bathroom flooring, as it is generally soft and works well to prevent slipping. Spills and dirt are also easy to clean. In order to keep any water from seeping into the cork and staining it, it's recommended that you seal it during the installation.
Useful Flooring Applications
Although the aforementioned flooring types provide the best means of making a bathroom as accessible as possible for aging seniors, there are a number of different applications that can aid in solving a few of the typical problems that seniors may face. For instance, a radiant floor heating system can work well to keep senior citizens comfortable and warm while in the bathroom. This system is typically installed under the bathroom floor and heats the entire area. The electric variety is also relatively easy to install. Lastly, if the floor you have installed isn't as safe as you would like or you happen to be on a budget, it's possible to buy some anti slip materials, such as bath mats or carpeted rugs, that help to prevent any unnecessary slipping.
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