Safety flooring for elderly

Non-slip surfaces:

Safety flooring should have a non-slip surface to minimize the risk of slipping and falling, particularly for older adults who may have reduced balance or mobility which this is in place at Woodridge aged care. This becomes even more crucial in areas prone to moisture, such as bathrooms or kitchens. Non-slip flooring materials provide good traction even when wet or in the presence of spills, offering stability and confidence when walking. Rubber flooring, slip-resistant vinyl, or textured tiles are commonly used options that can effectively reduce the risk of accidents.

Cushioned flooring:

Cushioned or resilient flooring is designed to absorb impact and reduce the severity of injuries in case of a fall. For older adults who may have fragile bones or joints, a softer surface can be more forgiving and help prevent fractures or bruises. Materials like cork, rubber, or foam-backed vinyl offer cushioning properties, providing a comfortable and safer flooring option. The cushioned flooring can also contribute to overall comfort and reduce fatigue, making it easier for older individuals to spend more time on their feet without discomfort.

Transition management:

Uneven floor transitions or height differences between rooms can pose a significant tripping hazard for older adults. Ensuring smooth and level transitions between different flooring surfaces is essential to maintain a safe environment. For example, going from carpet to tile or hardwood can create an uneven surface that increases the risk of stumbling. Proper transition management involves using transition strips or other methods to create a seamless and even flow between different floor types, reducing the chances of trips and falls.

Grab bars and handrails:

Safety flooring should be compatible with the installation of grab bars and handrails if needed. These additional support features can enhance stability and provide a secure grip for older individuals as they move around their living space. Safety flooring materials should be able to withstand the installation of these fixtures without compromising their integrity or creating potential hazards. This allows older adults to have additional points of support when navigating areas like bathrooms, staircases, or hallways, reducing the risk of falls and providing a greater sense of security.


Safety flooring plays a crucial role in facilitating easy mobility for older adults, especially those using mobility aids like walkers or wheelchairs. The flooring should be level, smooth, and free of obstacles to allow for smooth movement throughout the space. Uneven surfaces, thresholds, or carpeting that is too plush can impede mobility and increase the risk of falls or difficulties in maneuvering mobility devices. By ensuring an accessible flooring design, older individuals can maintain their independence and navigate their environment with confidence.

Proper maintenance:

Regular maintenance is essential to ensure the longevity and safety of the flooring. It is important to follow the recommended cleaning techniques and use appropriate products suitable for the specific flooring material. Failure to properly maintain the flooring can lead to a build-up of slippery residue, damage to the surface, or the formation of tripping hazards. Regular cleaning, prompt removal of spills, and addressing any issues such as loose tiles or damaged areas are necessary to maintain a safe flooring environment for older adults.


Adequate lighting is crucial in creating a safe environment for older adults. Well-lit areas, especially near stairs, hallways, or areas with uneven surfaces, can greatly reduce the risk of falls. Older individuals may have reduced vision or difficulty perceiving depth, making it more challenging to identify potential hazards on the floor. Proper lighting, including ambient and task lighting, can improve visibility and help older adults navigate their surroundings with confidence. It is important to ensure that light switches are easily accessible and that there are no dark areas or shadows that could cause disorientation or tripping.

Fall prevention measures:

Implementing fall prevention measures alongside appropriate flooring selection is crucial for the safety of older adults. Removing loose rugs or carpets is important as they can be tripping hazards. Securing electrical cords or cables along walls or using cord covers prevents accidental tripping. Arranging furniture in a way that allows for clear pathways ensures unobstructed movement and reduces the risk of falls.

Impact absorption:

Safety flooring should have adequate cushioning and shock absorption properties to minimize the impact of falls. This is especially important for older adults who may have conditions like osteoporosis, which can make their bones more susceptible to fractures. Flooring materials that offer some degree of shock absorption, such as cork or rubber, can help reduce the force exerted on the body during a fall and potentially lessen the severity of injuries.

Slip-resistant coatings:

Some flooring materials can be treated with slip-resistant coatings or finishes to enhance traction and reduce the risk of slips and falls. These coatings create a textured surface that improves grip, even when the floor is wet or slippery. Slip-resistant treatments can be applied to different types of flooring, including tile, concrete, or hardwood, providing an additional layer of safety.

Color contrast:

Incorporating color contrast between the flooring and surrounding areas can improve visibility and reduce the risk of trips and falls, particularly for individuals with visual impairments. By introducing a distinct color difference between the floor and walls or stairs, older adults with reduced visual acuity can better navigate their environment. High-contrast flooring aids those with impaired depth perception, allowing them to identify potential hazards more easily.

Anti-fatigue properties:

Older adults may experience fatigue or discomfort from prolonged standing or walking. Anti-fatigue flooring, such as rubber mats with cushioning properties, can help alleviate strain on the joints, providing additional support and comfort. These types of flooring materials are beneficial in areas where individuals spend a significant amount of time on their feet, such as kitchens or workspaces.

Flooring in wet areas:

Bathrooms and kitchens are areas prone to moisture and spills, increasing the risk of slipping. Installing flooring materials specifically designed for wet areas, such as slip-resistant tiles or waterproof vinyl, is crucial for enhancing safety in these spaces. These materials offer improved traction and can effectively reduce the likelihood of accidents even when the floor is wet.

Maintenance considerations:

Safety flooring should be easy to clean and maintain to prevent accidents caused by slippery surfaces or debris accumulation. Choosing flooring materials that do not require frequent waxing or polishing helps reduce the risk of product build-up that can make surfaces slippery. It is important to follow the recommended cleaning protocols for the specific type of flooring to maintain its safety and longevity.

Regular inspections:

Conducting regular inspections of the flooring is essential to identify signs of wear, damage, or potential tripping hazards. This proactive approach allows for the timely addressing of issues such as loose tiles, torn carpeting, or uneven surfaces, ensuring a safe environment for older adults. Regular inspections help maintain the integrity of the flooring and minimize the risk of accidents.

Recommend flooring for eldery

When recommending flooring for the elderly, it’s important to consider their specific needs, including safety, comfort, and ease of use. Here are some flooring options that are commonly recommended for older adults:

Carpet flooring: Carpeting provides a soft and cushioned surface that can be more forgiving on joints and bones. It offers slip resistance and helps reduce the risk of falls. Low-pile or looped carpets are often preferred as they are easier to navigate with mobility aids like walkers or wheelchairs. It’s important to choose carpet with good stain resistance and low VOC emissions for better indoor air quality.

Cork flooring: Cork flooring is a natural and eco-friendly option that has a slightly cushioned surface, providing comfort and shock absorption. It is also slip-resistant and offers good acoustic properties to reduce noise. Cork is a resilient material that can bounce back and is relatively easy to maintain.

Vinyl flooring: Luxury vinyl flooring has become increasingly popular due to its durability, ease of maintenance, and wide range of design options. It can mimic the appearance of wood, stone, or tile while providing a softer and more forgiving surface. Look for slip-resistant vinyl with textured surfaces for enhanced safety.

Rubber flooring: Rubber flooring is highly resilient and offers excellent shock absorption, making it ideal for older adults who may have balance or joint issues. It provides good traction, is slip-resistant, and can withstand heavy use. Rubber flooring is often used in fitness areas or areas where prolonged standing is common.

Laminate flooring: Laminate flooring is a cost-effective option that mimics the appearance of hardwood or stone. It is durable, easy to clean, and provides a smooth surface for mobility aids. Look for laminate with an embossed or textured finish to improve slip resistance.

Bamboo flooring: Bamboo flooring is a sustainable option that offers a smooth and hard surface. It is durable, easy to clean, and less prone to scratches than hardwood. Bamboo is also a renewable resource, making it an environmentally friendly choice.