By Anna Hazard
Introduction (General Flooring)
When it comes to flooring in the bedroom the focus should be on varieties that will minimize the risk of slipping or sliding by both humans and furniture. This is a particular concern due to the bedroom being one of the higher fall risk areas within the entire household.
Otherwise, much like the rest of the home, the flooring here should be easy to maintain & clean and all parts of it (whether it be carpet, laminate, or other floor boards) should be properly fastened down so that no edges or bulges pose as a tripping hazard. In addition. the bedroom floor in particular should be comfortable to walk over when barefoot while also being easy to traverse while using a variety of mobility equipment from canes to rolled walkers to wheelchairs.
While the floor color should contrast against the wall colors in order to help define the edges of the rooms, highly contrasting or intricate patterning should be avoided on both carpets & hard floors as they can sometimes cause visual acuity and depth perception problems especially amongst those who may be suffering from Alzheimer's or dementia
Area & Throw Rugs
Despite their popularity, when it comes to properly aging in place in the bedroom, all area or throw rugs should be removed and replaced with uniform wall to wall carpeting or a hard floor surface. This is due to the potential tripping hazards caused by the bulges, bumps, and curled edges of these rugs as well as the likelihood of a smaller rug skidding or slipping when under pressure.
Besides the lumps and tendency to bunch, even area rugs that have been properly tacked down still have threshold bumps between their exposed edges and the bare floor beneath that can easily grab a toe or otherwise cause a falling injury.
Of all the different rooms in the household, the bedroom is the most popular area to have carpeting due to the potential of being barefoot while getting in and out of bed or while dressing. This is particularly true in colder climates where carpeting would more often be warmer on bare skin than a harder floor surface. This can be especially beneficial for seniors whose bodies tend to no longer self regulate temperatures efficiently.
Another added benefit to carpeting over hard flooring is the additional cushioning that it provides which can be a particular boon in the bedroom with its high risk of falling (particularly so around the bed area).
When it comes to wall-to-wall carpeting, the carpet should be short & low-pile with a height that does not exceed 1/2" tall for easier maneuvering with mobility equipment (especially as wheeled mobility aids require a smooth, tight, and even surface to traverse easily). Anything higher than a mid-pile poses a greater falling hazard due to the balance issues that may be caused by such plush styles. Otherwise, to better help the user maintain their balance more easily, the carpet fibers should be smooth, flat, as well as dense and firm bodied.
This uniform carpeting should be fastened down properly in all areas with no bulges, bumps, or rolls to potentially catch a foot or mobility aid and pose as a tripping risk. Particular attention should be paid to the edges (which tend to be prone to curling up) especially if the carpet edge runs along a doorway or other area that will often be traversed. The carpets should be firmly attached to the floor beneath with non-slip bases to curb the potential of the carpet moving or sliding as someone walks across it.
Fall Protection Mats
In addition to normal carpeting, many seniors or other users prone to falling out of bed often install bedside fall protection mats with extra shock absorption to help mitigate the risk of injury during a fall. These types of mats should be water and stain proof for easy maintenance as well as having a gripped texture for slip resistance and a low profile edge so that they don't pose a tripping risk themselves when they are walked over.
Most styles of fall mats are also flame retardant and anti-microbial for added safety. Other styles of mats are less convenient as they will need to be placed at the bedside during the night and removed during the morning to not pose a tripping risk themselves.
In comparison to carpeting, hard floors tend to be easier to maintain and clean as well as to traverse while using wheeled mobility equipment. This type of flooring is also particularly beneficial for those who may have respiratory issues and allergies that can be aggravated by carpet fibers.
Textured laminates such as vinyl or rubber sheeting are recommended as hard floor material as they tend to be more moisture and water-proof as well as stain resistant due to their lacking the many edges & joints compared to tiles or planks. For decorative purposes, the tiled or plank look (as well as a variety of finishes such as hard wood or marble) can also be simulated using patterning on the sheeting. This type of synthetic material also tends to have better cushioning than normal hard wood for the many potential falls that occur in the bedroom.
In order to have the same warming benefits as carpeting, radiant floor heating can also be installed under vinyl floors (including tiling, planks, or sheeting) for those who want the comfort of not having a cold floor during the winter months without having to deal with carpet fibers.
View the Rest of the Series
Part 1 - Introduction
Part 2 - Exterior
Part 3 - Landscaping & Gardens
Part 4 - Patio, Porch, & Deck
Part 5 - Garage & Carports
Part 6 - Entrances, Exits, & Thresholds
Part 7 - Exterior Steps & Ramps
Part 8 - Threshold Lighting & Windows
Part 9 - Interior Doors & Halls
Part 10 - Interior Steps & Staircases
Part 11 - Interior Stairlifts
Part 12 - Interior Elevators
Part 13 - Interior Lighting
Part 14 - General Interior Flooring
Part 15 - Interior Flooring Comparisons
Part 16 - HVAC & Energy Efficiency
Part 17 - Power, Communications, & Other Interior Systems
Part 18 - Living Room
Part 19 - Kitchen Layout, HVAC, & Electrical Systems
Part 20 - Kitchen Lighting, Flooring, and Sink Faucets
Part 21 - Kitchen Countertops & Cabinets
Part 22 - Kitchen Refrigerators, Freezers, and Dishwashers
Part 23 - Kitchen Ovens, Ranges, Stovetops, and Cooktops
Part 24 - Kitchen Microwaves, Blenders, & Food Processors
Part 25 - Miscellaneous Kitchen Items
Part 26 - Dining Room Layout, Tables, & Other Furniture
Part 27 - Dining Room Flooring, Lighting, & Meal Serving Equipment
Part 28 - Bedroom Layout & Closets
Part 29 - Accessible Beds
Part 30 - Bedroom Furniture, Electronics, & Other Accessories
Part 31 - Bedroom Flooring
Part 32 - Bedroom Lighting
Part 33 - Bathroom General Layout
Part 34 - Bathroom General Tips for Showers & Tubs
Part 35 - Bathroom Accessible Tubs
Part 36 - Bathroom Accessible Showers
Part 37 - Bathroom Accessible Toilets
Part 38 - Bathroom Sinks & Vanities
Part 39 - Bathroom Cabinets & Shelving
Part 40 - Bathroom Grab Bars
Part 41 - Bathroom Flooring
Part 42 - Laundry Room
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