Considerations When Choosing Flooring For Care Environments

June 25, 2018 2:30 pm Published by

In environments such as care homes and hospices, the right choice of flooring is essential for the residents’ well-being and quality of life.

When choosing flooring for these unique environments, there are several factors that must be considered, some of which are often overlooked when faced with tight budgets. 

In order to create the best possible environment for those living there, here are our top considerations when choosing to floor for care environments to ensure you make the best choice regardless of your budget.

 

Hygienic and Easy to Clean

Good hygiene is essential in care environments. If flooring is dirty or staff find it difficult to clean, it can promote the spread of illness; something that can have serious effects in these sensitive environments.

Vinyl is the obvious choice in areas such as bathrooms and kitchens, being easy to clean, water-resistant, durable and hygienic. Note that Vinyl must be properly maintained to reduce the risk of any tears forming and becoming tripping hazards.

LVT (Luxury Vinyl Tiles) also lends itself well to these environments, offering similar benefits with the addition of more convenient maintenance and replacements should the flooring become damaged or stained.

Whilst carpets are notoriously difficult to get some kinds of stains out of, carpet tiles offer a flexible solution to this. Allowing for the creation of an aesthetically pleasing and comfortable floorspace, with the same convenience of maintenance and replacement that comes with LVT.

 

Anti-Slip

Slips, trips and falls are the most common causes of accidents in the workplace. In care environments, this risk is more pronounced as residents are often more vulnerable. Because of this, great care should be taken when choosing flooring to ensure it has suitable slip-resistant features.

Specialist entrance matting can be installed at entry and exit points of the building, this matting is hard wearing, non-slip and will retain any mud or dirt that may have posed a hazard if brought into the building.

Throughout the rest of the home, vinyl, luxury vinyl tiles and specialist anti-slip safety flooring can all be utilised for their anti-slip properties. 

As well as the type of flooring, there are a number of steps staff should take in order to minimise the risk of slips, trips and falls among residents:

  • Ensure flooring is dry at all times, or has wet flooring signs erected if necessary.
  • Visual inspection for scuffs, bulges or rips in the flooring.
  • Ensure residents footwear is suitable and has reasonable grip.
  • Ensure any failed lights are replaced asap to ensure clear visibility.
  • Cover and make residents aware of any joins between flooring that could pose as a hazard.
  • Make special precautions for those that use walking aids such as a zimmer frame.

Wet floor sign

Breathability

Similar to slips, trip and falls, those living in care homes are often more vulnerable to medical conditions that can cause breathing problems.

A traditional carpet holds a lot of versatility in this respect, with a number of different fibres and styles available to promote air quality; hypoallergenic models are also an option.

Regardless of your choice of flooring, the key to ensuring excellent breathability is through routine care and proper cleaning.

Flooring

Visual Stimulation

Aesthetic value is something that is overlooked in care environments, with the cheapest option often prevailing. Despite this, considering the visual appeal of your flooring can have a substantial impact on the quality of life of residents.

For example, in care homes where residents suffer from dementia, using stronger colours can provide some degree of stimulation and help them feel more comfortable moving around the space.

Luxury vinyl tiles come in a wide range of styles and colours, allowing for the creation of infinite designs and patterns suitable for any room. Take a look at our recent blog post to find out more about designing beautiful spaces with luxury vinyl tiles.

Carpeted floor

Low Maintenance

The last thing any care home needs is a contractor having to come back time and time again to repair the flooring. Not only does this waste precious budgets, but the noise, dust and interruption of schedule can have a negative impact on residents.

For advice on getting the best out of your flooring, take a look at our flooring care and maintenance guide.

 

High-Quality Flooring for Care Environments Bristol and Bath

As you can see, whilst there are a number of considerations to be made when choosing flooring for care environments, there are even more products designed to address them.

At Rivendell, we understand the sensitivity of these environments and have vast experience in installing flooring with no disruption for residents. Call us today on 0117 963 7979 to discuss your requirements and discover what difference new flooring could make to your residents. 

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This post was written by Binks

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