Reading Time:

2 minutes

Best Floor Options for Wheelchair Users

There is a wide variety of options when it comes to choosing what can be
the most appropriate floor for wheelchair users.

There is also significant functionality and information to know before making that decision.

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) offers guidelines for materials requirements that are accepted and approved for floor and ground surfaces.

The coefficient of friction: is a value that measures the slipperiness of materials. Value parameters go between 0 and 1. The higher the value means a less slippery floor material.

The coefficient of friction recommended for wheelchair users’ flooring material is 0.5

Ask the manufacturer if you are not sure about the friction coefficient or any other essential materials information.

Consider ease of movement because some floor materials require more energy while others need less to push a wheelchair. Durability of materials also matters because wheelchairs are heavy and can quickly wear down floor coverings.

Before choosing the best floor option, consider:

  • ADA-compliant floor materials

  • Durability (Check AC rating).

European laminate flooring producers have developed the Abrasion Rating Systems (AC). The higher the AC, the more durable it is in everyday situations.

  • A coefficient of friction of 0.5

  • Ease of movement

  • Low maintenance, easy to clean

  • Avoidance of high transitions

Floor options:

  • Hardwood

Great for wheelchairs (ADA appropriate)

Durable, Resistant, offers design flexibility

Looks good, adds warmth and value to your house

Low maintenance, no dust kept nor allergic substances.

  • Laminate Wood

Durable (with advanced flooring technology)

Simulates the look of natural hardwood, there are a variety of design options

A popular, excellent choice and with many benefits such as easy maintenance.

Choose the more resistant for regular wheelchair traffic.

  • Ceramic Tile

Water resistant

Durable

Variety of colors, sizes, and decorative designs

Variety of grout colors for every taste

Stain resistant

Easy maintenance

Excellent for high-traffic areas

Ideal tile size is 2 inch squares (they have enough lines to improve friction). Larger tiles can crack easily with wheelchair weight.

  • Vinyl

Water resistant

Durable

Easy maintenance (spill and stain resistant)

Easy to clean (rub off any mark with an eraser, and it will disappear)

A large variety of options

  • Carpet

Sound absorbing fibers and cushions, soft, warm and comfortable

If you choose rugs, it should have no backing and be firmly attached to the floor base and have less than a 1/2-inch in height to prevent bumps and wheelchair mobility issues.

Durability can be an issue because wheelchairs can leave marks.

Low to medium maintenance

The best choice for wheelchair users would be commercial carpet tiles that have a firm face, vinyl backing and are firmly glued to the floor base.

Installation quality plays a vital part on materials durability and performance through the years and also for wheelchair users’ safety. So, be sure to find responsible providers and installers that will guarantee the product.