Not only do carpets harbor dust and bacteria, as we mentioned a few blogs ago, but they are also hazards for aging home owners. How? Tripping. Wrinkling. Slipping. Struggling. Anyone, but especially aging residents, can trip over edges of carpets so easily, or get a foot caught where the carpet wrinkles. Carpeted stairs hold a danger of feet slipping right out from under you, and potential falls all the way down the stairs. Carpets also severely restrict movement with walking devices or wheelchairs.
So, as you remodel your home with Aging in Place in mind, think carefully about your flooring options. For kitchen and bath remodeling, choose slip-resistant materials such as corkor laminate. While surfaces should be somewhat smooth to allow easy walking or use of wheelchairs, too smooth makes it slippery. A flooring choice with a little hint of texture can keep it from being dangerous. Ceramic tile is not one of the better options for bathroom remodeling, because it is very slippery when wet and also hard on the legs and back. Unlike cork or wood, it has no “give,” and can result in aches and pains from standing too long. In addition to the material itself, consider the color and/or texture. If you have differing levels or transitions, use a distinct color variation to help you notice the transition and avoid unexpected changes underfoot.