Wheelchair users can be disadvantaged by office designs, and there is a legal requirement not to discriminate against disabilities, so every effort must be taken to make offices as accessible as possible.
The legal requirement is to make reasonable changes to the built environment (such as making changes to the structure of a building to improve access) and to provide auxiliary aids and services. During the design stage another key consideration to think about is the flooring.
Can carpet be used?
It’s no surprise that carpet can be hard to navigate for wheelchair users, if the pile is too high. So the first rule of access friendly flooring is to go for short fibre carpets, which are much easier to navigate. Carpet tiles are more likely to have short fibres than broadloom carpets and are recognised as being one of the choices of commercial flooring for wheelchair access. In fact to achieve the right level of durability and a tight weave, some wheelchair users choose commercial carpeting for their homes.
We would especially recommend our Freedom Range not only is the Heavyweave™ technology excellent for longevity in demanding environments, it is both stylish and practical for wheelchair access.
Vinyl sheets are great for wheelchair users. Like hardwood flooring, vinyl sheets are easy to navigate and high-grade vinyl is also much more durable. Vinyl is also water-resistant, which makes it a good choice for areas like bathrooms and kitchens. Slip resistant properties can also provide just the right amount of friction.
Vinyl planks work well for wheelchair users. They are easy to install and to maintain. Having said that choosing a high quality vinyl is an essential consideration, as wheelchairs can place a lot of pressure on a floor. Making sure that the floor is as scuff resistant as possible, considering if the floor has a PUR coating, and ensuring the right level of slip resistance is important. A combination of durability, good traction, and smoothness are the most important features to look for when choosing the right commercial flooring for wheelchairs access.
If the flooring type is different between rooms, make sure the transition is as level as possible to make movement easier. Installing a small ramp can prevent wheelchair users from getting stuck on raised edges.
Contact us at Duraflor today to find out more about any of our solutions.