Smart Flooring Choices for Grown-Ups

Choosing a floor that can help reduce the effects of aging and even help minimize discomfort for all family members (including those aging in place or with limited accessibility) is a good investment when planning to remodel or build a home.  Smart home buyers should consider the future and plan for ease of maintenance and safety.   

The current flooring trend in home building in kitchens, bathrooms and foyers is the use of ceramic tile.  What is wrong with ceramic tile you ask?  Doesn’t everyone want ceramic tile?  Isn’t it a status symbol to have tile?  Maybe so, but let’s think about this… As a person ages they lose their muscle tone, experience bone mass loss, and can even develop inflammation of joints.

Ceramic tile is made of clay that is baked until it is very hard…  Have you ever had to stand on your feet for hours at a time on a garage floor or walk on a sidewalk?  There is no give or cushion on a tile floor.  This creates fatigue and discomfort.  Add to that a loss of bone density and muscle tone and standing for any length of time becomes a chore as our bodies age.  A simple act of making a meal can become a taxing and uncomfortable experience for anyone.

Consider some better alternatives to placing tile in the kitchen or foyer. Depending on your tastes and style, there are a number of choices from cork flooring to laminates to even engineered wood or even hard wood.  These floorings have some give or bounce to them that will help absorb the forces that standing for prolonged periods causes.

An additional safety issue that some ceramic tiles can create is the slip issue.  Some tiles become very slippery when there is a liquid on the surface.  Keep that in mind when choosing your flooring.  Rain, snow, even shower water can create a safety hazard in your home when there is water on the floor.  Look for products that have a bit of a texture to them so that you still have traction.

There are additional benefits of using cork flooring, laminates or engineered flooring that include environmental friendliness (green), cost benefits and low maintenance.  I encourage you to explore your options as there are so many and don’t just settle for tile just because everybody else is doing it.  In the long run, as we all age, we will benefit from thinking ahead and designing for the future. 

What do you think? Please don’t hesitate to contact me at alesha@aechurba-design.com.  I would like to hear about your take on flooring.  Take care.  

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