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The best flooring for wheelchair users

The type of flooring installed in a home needs careful consideration for wheelchair users.

An article on the architectural website advises architects on making homes wheelchair friendly. Designing a home for wheelchair users requires careful attention, as corridors and rooms need to be clear of obstacles and space should be allowed for the wheelchair to be able to turn around.

Floor materials should be non-slip, firm and stable. They need to be able to cope with the weight of a person in a wheelchair without deforming, whilst providing enough friction to allow the wheelchair to easily move.

The top recommendation from for wheelchair friendly flooring is engineered or solid wood floors. Hardwood floors are easy to keep clean and can be refinished if scuffed by the wheelchair. Wood floors can be hand-scraped to increase friction so that the wheelchair is easier to move.

Hardwood flooring is expensive, but will last for many decades and may increase the value of the residential property. A less expensive alternative is vinyl or laminate flooring. Unlike wood, laminate flooring cannot be refinished, but laminate tiles can easily be replaced if damaged.

Cushioned floors, like carpets, are not recommended as they can make manoeuvring a wheelchair difficult. If carpets are used, they should have a pile height of half an inch or less and be securely fixed.

Wheelchair users who are concerned that their floor covering is unsuitable should contact their flooring installer to discuss non-slip flooring options for their home in Cheshire, or wherever they are based, that fit their budget.

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