Why Vinyl Is the Right Choice for Nursing Home Flooring
Nursing homes aren’t just about accommodating the elderly that can’t be cared for at home. It’s about supporting them through their old age, taking care of their physical and mental well-being and providing a warm, homely feeling. And all of this would be impossible without designing a supportive space for their needs.
When creating a supportive space for the elderly, it’s always best to think from the bottom up and choose proper flooring to accommodate their needs. Vinyl floorings are the solution that just has so much to offer for such assisted living residences, and here’s why.
Vinyl Is Durable
When choosing a nursing home flooring, it’s essential to take all that heavy foot traffic and the bulky rolling loads into consideration. For this reason, vinyl is one of the best options for aged care flooring just because it’s durable and able to withstand all that daily “abuse”.
This is thanks to the fact that vinyl flooring is constructed from many protective layers which are impossible to destroy. In fact, the top protective layer which is responsible for the tile’s durability, also known as a wear layer lays just under the decorative layer of the tile. This layer’s thickness can vary from 6 to up to 28-mil, depending on the user’ preferences and the area’s traffic. The thicker the wear layer, the more durable, sturdy and scratch-resistant the flooring is.
While vinyl floorings for residential use can have a wear layer that can vary from 6 to 12-mil thickness, commercial constructions are mostly covered in vinyl tiles or planks with 28-mil thick wear layers as the only guarantee to withstand the heavy foot traffic. Nursing homes are not an exception at all, so make sure you don’t accept anything less than a 20-mil wear layer.
Vinyl Is Hygienic
Maintaining high levels of hygiene is one of the most essential factors for institutions such as nursing homes. This means regularly disinfecting the floor, wiping spilled food or drinks and cleaning different messes. For this purpose, vinyl makes a great aged care flooring solution since it’s completely moisture-resistant.
This is due to the vinyl floorings’ core layer which lays just under the protective layers of the tile. The core layer is made of polymer materials, such as SPC (stone plastic composite) or WPC (wood plastic composite). These materials prevent water and liquids from penetrating the tile, by keeping them on the surface until they’re being wiped, which is not the case with laminates and other expensive hardwoods.
The fact that the liquid will sit on the surface, instead of getting absorbed inside the tile makes them resistant to stains and free from unpleasant odours, plus convenient to be cleaned only with plain water. But since places like nursing homes require maintaining hygiene on a high level, vinyl floors are suitable to be cleaned with organic ingredients such as apple cider vinegar or baking soda paste for stubborn stains and non-abrasive, mild commercial cleaners.
Also, vinyl floorings are suitable to be vacuumed on daily basis without getting scratched and damaged, unlike some other flooring options which must be dry-mopped to get rid of the dust and dirt.
Vinyl Is Safe for Elders
Floorings for nursing homes should be always chosen with elder people’s safety taken into consideration since accidental slips and falls are not that uncommon. Vinyl floors are the right choice just because they provide a resin-coated, textured surface that is slip-resistant. This makes them highly suitable for elders with limited physical capacities, and which need to rely on mobility scooters or wheelchairs and different nurse trolleys and carts.
But even if an accidental fall occurs, vinyl floorings will absorb the shock of difficult landings and prevent serious injuries and fatalities since they’re as soft as rubber floorings – with the only difference that they’re much less expensive.
Also, vinyl floors provide a pleasantly silent environment for elders, since their layers are able to absorb different noises such as tapping heels, scrapping chairs, etc. This is an essential feature for elders with hearing difficulties since they need a less noisy environment to communicate with people, as well as to reduce the anxiety in people suffering from Alzheimer’s disease and similar conditions.
Vinyl Is Warm
Unlike some hardwoods and laminates that can be easily damaged when exposed to heat, vinyl planks and tiles are a great base to mount underfloor heating, since they’re able to transmit heat up to 20°C. Even though their layers are thick to make them durable and moisture-resistant, they contain proper cushioning which will allow the underflow heating element to permeate the heat and easily spread it across the flooring. Not only does this help to create a warm ambience for elders, but its softness also makes vinyl floorings completely suitable to walk barefoot.
However, vinyl planks and tiles shouldn’t be heated at high temperatures, since it will damage the underlying adhesive and the flooring itself. Even though the general threshold for vinyl floorings is 27°C, always make sure you consult with the manufacturer’s technical guide to avoid hazards.
Vinyl Comes in a Variety of Designs
Aside from choosing a durable and hygienic floor that will prevent slips and cancel noises, the flooring should match the nursing home’s design and create a warm and welcoming ambience for the residents. Vinyl floorings come in different colours, styles and designs which are suitable for every room of the nursing home. So, you can choose between the huge range of elegant planks and differently patterned tiles for lounge rooms, sitting conservatories and cafeterias and dining rooms to the chalk-white and frosted grey designs for different treatment and therapy rooms, bathrooms and even kitchens.
Vinyl floorings also come in sophisticated wood-like designs which resemble the luxury hardwoods and lavish laminates, with the only difference that they are much more durable and much less expensive. This makes them suitable for elders’ suites, different hallways, rooms for visitors, libraries and hobby rooms, even managements’ offices.
Choosing the right flooring for nursing homes is essential since we’re obligated to take proper care of people in their old age, just like they did for us when we were young.