Best Carpet Choices for the Elderly or Disabled?
Best Carpet Selection for Walkers, Power Chairs or Manual Wheel Chairs?
Walkers, power-chairs and manual wheelchairs can be 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 quickly. This can ruin even the highest quality carpets. What is the Best Carpet Choice in this situation?
Thicker is Not Better in this Situation!
A thick carpet pile and thick padding are the absolute worst options for anyone who is unstable walking, using a walker, a wheelchair or a power-chair as it increases the chances of tripping and falling. Thick carpet and padding also make it more difficult to push and maneuver manual wheelchairs and walkers.
Padding or No Padding?
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! Sometimes using no padding at all is a wise choice!
Wheelchairs tend to roll more easily over low-pile commercial-grade carpets which are commonly installed in schools, businesses, institutions and retirement homes. These low-profile styles are often glued down without any pad to increase longevity, clean-ability and reduce costs.
Commercial Grade or Residential Grade?
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, easier to walk on and easier to push a wheelchair around too.
Commercial Carpet Cost?
The cost for a basic commercial-grade carpet is very reasonable, about $15-20 per yard installed for a simple 20 to 26 ounce carpet, glued down without pad. (level loop or cut pile style) You can choose a single color or multicolored style. Look for brands like Mohawk or Shaw for the lowest cost. Where to buy? See who I recommend near you.
Thanks for your Carpet Question!
Alan Fletcher aka The Carpet Professor