Choosing the Best Flooring for Seniors

As we mature, our mobility and balance can change, often for the worse. As we become more prone to falls, it’s important to install flooring that will work to help us keep our balance and prevent dangerous tumbles.

The good news is that the flooring industry recognizes the need to create beautiful floors that provide a little extra safety and security for seniors. When it comes to safer flooring installations, you have many options.

Here are some of our favorite types of flooring for those with mobility and balance challenges, as well as a list of flooring that seniors should avoid.

What is the Best Flooring for Elderly Homeowners?

Let’s start with a list of the best flooring for seniors.

Low-Pile Carpeting

Blue low pile carpeting.

A popular choice for comfortable and non-slip flooring for seniors is low-pile carpeting. This type of carpet is durable and easy to clean. Since the piles are shorter, they trap less dirt and debris than thicker carpets do. This type of flooring is also fairly inexpensive, which is great for seniors on a budget.

However, there are some downsides to low-pile carpets. Since the piles are shorter, they’re not as soft as other types of carpet and are prone to stains and imprints.

Cork Flooring

Man installing cork flooring.

Another one of the best flooring for seniors is cork flooring. This unique type of flooring is environmentally friendly and hypoallergenic, which is great for seniors with health concerns. Cork provides a unique look, making it a fun design choice. Because cork has a natural elasticity, it is also resilient and can absorb impact, making it a great choice for seniors prone to falls.

Nevertheless, if you decide to install cork flooring in your home, consider the downsides. For example, cork is vulnerable to moisture, so we do not recommend its installation in spaces with high humidity. It is also fairly expensive, and design options are limited.

Linoleum Flooring

Roll of linoleum flooring.

Linoleum is a great non-slip flooring for seniors. This affordable flooring option is easy to maintain, resistant to moisture, and durable. It also comes in a variety of colors and styles sure to fit any design aesthetic.

Linoleum flooring comes with an initial odor that some seniors might be sensitive to. If you have a lot of heavy furniture, you might think twice about installing linoleum flooring, as it is easily scratched and subject to indentations and cuts.

Vinyl Flooring

Worker joining vinyl floor covering.

Another affordable option for non-slip flooring seniors is vinyl flooring. Always a popular choice among homeowners, vinyl flooring is affordable, water-resistant, and easy to maintain, which is a huge plus for mobility-challenged seniors.

However, vinyl flooring is not environmentally friendly. Its synthetic materials are not biodegradable, and it can release VOCs (volatile organic compounds), which contribute to air pollution. Vinyl flooring is also not as durable as other types of flooring, such as rubber or linoleum.

Rubber Flooring

Rubber flooring for elderly homeowners is another popular option. This material withstands heavy foot traffic but remains comfortable and cushioned. Rubber also absorbs well, which is great for fall prevention. With all of rubber flooring’s benefits, including the wide range of designs, it’s no wonder this low-maintenance flooring material is considered one of the best flooring for seniors.

Even with all of the pros, you still need to consider the cons of rubber flooring. This type of material can be cost-prohibitive and may negatively affect your home’s resale value. For seniors on a budget, the cost alone could rule this flooring out.

What Types of Flooring Should Seniors Avoid?

There’s no denying that the types listed above are the best flooring for seniors. Now, let’s discuss the types of flooring seniors should avoid.

Polished Natural Stone

Polished natural stone is not the best flooring for seniors, mainly due to its high maintenance needs. It can also be extremely slippery and does not absorb shock well, which is bad news for seniors prone to falls.

Ceramic or Porcelain Tile

Ceramic or porcelain tile is pretty but is also cold and hard. In addition, it requires regular detailed maintenance, which seniors with mobility issues can not easily perform.

Area Rugs

Area rugs are not the best flooring for seniors because they can contribute to falls and slips. Even with grips in place, area rugs can easily move around on certain surfaces. Seniors who use mobility aids such as walkers or canes need to avoid any additional obstacles, such as these rugs.

High-Gloss Hardwood Floors

High-gloss hardwood flooring adds a touch of elegance and appeal to a home but is also slippery and prone to spills. This type of flooring could lead to more accidents for seniors with balance issues.

Bamboo Flooring

Although environmentally friendly, bamboo flooring isn’t the best flooring for elderly homeowners. Bamboo is vulnerable to moisture, which is not good for seniors prone to accidents or spills. It can also be expensive and doesn’t stand up well to scratches or dents.

Want to Make Your Floors Safer for Seniors?

Elderly couple sitting in living room.

Whether you’re looking to install the best flooring for senior family members or yourself, our handyman services can make it happen.

Choosing a handyman can be a stressful decision for elderly homeowners. However, with Mr. Handyman®, you can rest assured that we will treat you right. All our projects are backed by the Neighborly Done Right Promise™ to give you peace of mind, whether scheduling installation for yourself or an elderly family member.

For high-quality and professional installation of the best flooring for seniors, look for a Mr. Handyman nearby and request service today!