Ask the workers at any healthcare facility, and they’ll tell you that heavy medical equipment such as wheelchairs, walkers, oxygen tanks and hospital beds demand highly resilient flooring. When handling such equipment, floors that minimize rolling resistance – such as a smooth hard surface or low-pile carpeting are recommended. The following are the best flooring choices to accommodate medical equipment in your home:
Linoleum is a durable flooring product that stands up to the heaviest of foot traffic. It offers high indentation resistance which means that heavy medical equipment won’t cut into the surface. Wheels roll with ease over linoleum surfaces, so moving equipment won’t be a hassle. It also has strong antimicrobial properties, allowing it to prevent the growth of germs more effectively than any other flooring. Cleaning is also a breeze with linoleum; no harsh chemicals are needed, only water and white vinegar.
Heavy wheeled equipment can glide across rubber flooring with ease, thanks to its low rolling resistance. Equipment may be moved around without worry since rubber is naturally resistant to damage from gouges and scuffs. Rubber floors also minimize the risk of injury from falls due to its soft texture. They are also highly stain resistant, and easily cleaned with a wet mop. The flooring doesn’t produce glare, and you’ll have a wide range of texture and color combinations to choose from. As an added bonus, rubber flooring has excellent sound dampening characteristics.
Carpet offers a feeling of warmth and comfort to your home, but plush or textured carpeting is a poor choice for wheelchair use. To minimize rolling resistance, carpet should have a pile height of a half-inch or less, as measured from the bottom of the tuft. Carpets may be constructed of level loop, multilevel loop, cut pile, or combinations of cut and loop pile. Loop piles tend to retain their appearance and resiliency, generally providing a superior surface for rolling traffic.
Nylon carpeting manufactured for the healthcare market provides excellent abrasion resistance. It is also easy to clean, and repels stains effectively. While carpet isn’t recommended for use in areas where there is a high probability of spills, antimicrobial treatments can reduce the growth and spread of any microorganisms resulting from those spills. This is particularly useful for when spots and spills can’t be cleaned up immediately. Color options for carpet are incredibly diverse, and can be chosen to provide a variety of stimulating or soothing effects.
Home medical equipment can create some unique challenges when it comes to your flooring, however the right floors will make equipment usage easier.