Comparing Water Resistant Flooring for Senior-Friendly Bathrooms

When creating a senior-friendly bathroom, it’s important to consider the floor. In fact, that’s probably one of the most important considerations. Having a non-slip, durable, safe and easy-to-clean surface is crucial.

If you’re planning to remodel your Halton-Peel bathroom or build a brand new one for a senior in your life, you’ll need to think carefully about the flooring material you choose. We’ve gathered some information (courtesy of an article) about various types of flooring so you can make an informed choice.

While there are other materials such as carpet and linoleum that people often use in the bathroom, water resistant flooring is sometimes the best option. Here’s what you need to know about water resistant flooring before you start your bathroom renovation:

There are two types of water resistant flooring – soft surface flooring and hard surface flooring. There are pros and cons to both, so let’s take a look.

Soft Surface Water Resistant Flooring

  • Padded Vinyl: Padded vinyl has a pretty good mix of qualities. It’s resistant to stains and water, and offers a cushiony feel which can add a great deal of comfort for seniors. The biggest draw of soft surface flooring is that it is gentler on people if they happen to trip or fall. With padded vinyl, there is usually a padded cork or foam underlay, then the thin vinyl sheets are placed on top. Vinyl is durable and impenetrable when it comes to liquids, so mould and mildew won’t be a major concern. The only real drawback of note with this material is that if it is a lower quality material, it can release small amounts of Volatile Organic Chemicals, which reduce the air quality of the bathroom. Seniors with respiratory issues may find this problematic, especially if the bathroom is a small, enclosed space. Higher quality materials won’t release as many toxins and good ventilation is the key to help disperse them.
  • Rubber Bathroom Flooring: Hospitals, retirement centres and nursing homes commonly use rubber bathroom flooring. This is a great choice for a water resistant soft surface bathroom floor material because it’s pretty resilient. Rubber resists stains and water, is very easy to keep clean and can even prevent bacteria growth. The main con of rubber bathroom flooring is that sometimes it has a bit of a smell. It’s not toxic, but some people don’t like it, and especially if it’s in a small bathroom with few windows, the rubber odour may be overwhelming. Before starting your bathroom renovation in Oakville, Milton or Burlington, talk to the senior(s) you’re creating this bathroom for. If possible, take them shopping for materials with you or bring samples to them, so they can tell you what they would prefer and if there’s anything about a material, like the slight smell of rubber, that might make them uncomfortable.


Hard Surface Water Resistant Flooring

For water resistant hard surface flooring, ceramic tile is an option.

  • Ceramic Tile: Ceramic tile, when treated with a melted glass glaze, is low maintenance, resistant to stains and easy to keep clean. It’s also impervious to water. The main drawback to ceramic tile, as with any hard surface bathroom flooring, is that it won’t be as forgiving as a soft surface material should someone slip or fall. Ceramic can also be particularly slippery when wet, which can be considered a hazard. However, if ceramic is really the way you want to go with your bathroom floor renovation, there’s a way around the hazard. Choose a tile that has a textured surface of some kind – this will give feet a bit more traction. Another thing you can do is use bathmats and rugs to your advantage. They will add comfort and warmth to the floor and can be washed regularly in the washing machine to maintain sanitation. Be sure to look for mats and rugs that won’t slide around on the floor – many have nonslip rubber backings.

If you’re thinking about a bathroom renovation in the Halton-Peel region, give us a call! Bathrooms are one of our specialities and we know how important it is to create senior-friendly bathrooms. Call us at (647) 264-6387 for a free consultation.