Best Carpet Choices for the Elderly?
Walkers, power-chairs and wheelchairs are very damaging to residential grade carpets installed over pad. The rubber wheels are very abrasive and tend to roll the carpet in front of the wheels causing the carpet to stretch out and develop wrinkles. This can quickly ruin even the best-made carpets.
Thick carpet pile and thick padding are the absolute worst for anyone who is unstable walking and it increases the chances of tripping and falling. Thick carpet and padding also make it more difficult to push and maneuver wheelchairs and walkers.
To make it easier to get around easier you might want to install a low-profile carpet no thicker than 1/2″ pile height. Basically, the shorter the carpet pile the better and the thinner the pad, the better!
Wheelchairs tend to roll very easily over commercial-grade carpets and these are commonly installed in schools, businesses, institutions and retirement homes.
You might want to consider using a commercial-grade “level loop” or “cut pile” carpet, with either a 1/4″ (10-pound density) padding or better yet, use no pad underneath at all, just glue the carpet directly to the floor. It’s not very soft underfoot without a pad but it is easier to clean, more durable, easiest to walk on and easier to push a wheelchair around too.
The cost for a basic commercial-grade carpet is very reasonable, about $12-15 per yard installed for a 20 to 26 ounce (level loop or cut pile style) Single or multicolored, commercial-grade carpet. Look for Mohawk or Shaw brands for the best deals. See who I recommend near you.
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