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Good floors for wheelchairs

Updated February 21, 2017

Wheelchairs, especially power wheelchairs, are heavy and require a special type of flooring to support them. With an occupant inside it, the typical power wheelchair weighs about 181 Kilogram. Friction is another factor to take into account for wheelchairs: neither carpet nor glossy or cork floors are good for wheelchairs to roll on. Floors need to be smooth without being too smooth.

Rubber floors

Rubber floors are good for wheelchairs as there is a natural friction between the rubber of the tire on the chair and the rubber on the floor itself. This connection helps the wheelchair be responsive to the user so not as much energy is required to move it. The rubber won't be damaged over time by constant wheeling traffic, as it will naturally bounce back. These floors can be laid down with adhesive over existing floors; they also minimise impact from slips and falls.

Strand-Woven Bamboo Floors

The best hard surface flooring is strand-woven bamboo, as wood floors are damaged by constant wheelchair use and glossy floors are too slippery. This type of floor is made from compressed strips of thin bamboo connected with resin and melded together under high heat and pressure. The result is a flooring material ideal for wheelchairs as it is hard but has excellent traction for rubber wheels. It is also beautiful.

Tile Flooring

A popular type of flooring among wheelchair users, tile flooring is easy to install and is affordable. Porcelain and ceramic tiles are the ideal types for this floor. They are formed in a kiln under very high temperatures and provide a good balance of smoothness and traction. These tiles are also water-resistant and withstand wear and tear from foot traffic and the constant weight of a wheelchair. Also, cracked tiles are easily replaced without disturbing the rest of the tile floor.

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About the Author

Hailing from Austin, Texas, Daniel Westlake has written under pen names for a myriad of publications all over the nation, ranging from national magazines to local papers. He now lives in Los Angeles, Calif. but regularly travels around the country and abroad, exploring and experiencing everything he can.