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Floors for wheelchair access - Page 2 - Carers UK Forum

Floors for wheelchair access

Share your ideas about the practical side of caring.
Over the past ten years I've replaced most of the carpets here with solid wood flooring, tiles, stone and slate.They are all built to last a lifetime, and they are allergy free - the carpet mites are a major cause of respiratory problems. My favourite is the Opepe reclaimed flooring in the lounge, it's an African hardwood that used to be a school gym floor, it took a lot of work to get rid of the paint stripes and markings, sand down and varnish; but now it looks absolutely brilliant, pure gold with lovely tiger stripes. This stuff is so tough and water resistant it is used to make wharves - new it can cost over £70 a square yard, we paid a fraction of that. My only concession was to pay a professional to lay it down, we did all the rest.
Carpet tiles and powered wheelchairs don't go together sometimes: one chap I knew had a very large wheelchair because of his size (well over 20 stones), with a very powerful motor and his chair used to lift up carpet tiles.
In our bungalow we have textured stone tiles in the kitchen and bathroom so they are non slip and wood everywhere else. We sanded, stained and varnished the original parquet floors, and they look great, plus original floors are so hardwearing. If you can do this, I think it's the best and possibly the cheapest. It cost us about £300 a room but does take a few days. You could possibly do it a room at a time. When I varnished the hall I did it in stages - I painted one coat last thing at night, half the floor, the next half the next night and so on for a couple of coats.
One thing i would not choose is the sparkly Altro flooring the council provide - just awful. We had this in our bathroom and it came out a few months later. Impossible to clean so looks horrible after two days and if the floor is not completely flat it shows every lump and bump.
Short pile carpet works ok with wheelchairs, if you are not pushing, i.e. electric, but it may wear the battery out quicker.
One thing i would not choose is the sparkly Altro flooring the council provide - just awful. We had this in our bathroom and it came out a few months later. Impossible to clean so looks horrible after two days and if the floor is not completely flat it shows every lump and bump.
That's ineresting Littlerachet, I had the bathroom done in that about 8 years ago and it's still as brilliant today as it was then. BUT, I did have to get a carpenter in first (on the insistance of the altro layer) to make sure the floor was absolutely flat and everything was square, and even after he did that they called him back to square off and flatten a few more areas that he thought were good enough. They said that unless everything was perfectly flat and square, the altro would be a problem. It's quite expensive here so I dount the council would pay for it in Australia, so maybe yours wasn't prepared well enough before laying.

I'm even thinking now about getting it extended into the laundry, the only thing putting me off is the work that has to be done prior to laying. Image
we had that done, and we had to have a different surface put on top of our floor boards to ensure the flat surface.It was done via a council grant,and still looks great, six years later.
Have used all surfaces in the past but have now settled on tiles, no damage from powerchairs, mud etc easily swept up I normally mop on saturdays for the week.. make sure you get grade 4 or 5 and if you live in the north and can afford it I suugest you also go for electrical underfloor heating, just to take the chill off.