How to Make Your Home Floor Surfaces ADA Compliant

parquet floor wood texture

Accessibility walkways and ramps are all around us in public spaces. Those who frequently use accessibility resources likely notice the broad range of materials used to make them, as well as the many available shapes and sizes on the market.

ADA-compliant flooring enables everyone to go grocery shopping and run all sorts of other errands—but what about when the accessibility need is in your own home? Here are a few tips on making your house flooring ADA compliant to simplify your life.

Choose a Type of Floor

How you set up your home floors depends on what type of material you want to use to gain accessibility. Which type of flooring you use largely depends on your lifestyle and how rough you are on your floors.

There are five floor materials the ADA recommends for domestic use:

  1. Carpeting
  2. Ceramic
  3. Laminate
  4. Hardwood
  5. Slip-resistant

Each flooring type has friction coefficients that range from zero to one. Check the rating before you purchase and avoid ratings greater than 0.5, as they’re more difficult to traverse.

Additionally, each type has a few variations that vary in durability. Choose from stronger materials, if there’s a lot of wear and tear on your home’s floor, or go with lighter materials if you’re on a budget.

Non-Slip

Non-slip flooring is a broad category that includes everything from hardwood to laminate to tile; it refers more to the properties of the flooring than the material itself. The difference is that the non-slip variations are designed with safety and accessibility in mind, not just looks or accessibility.

Most non-slip floors have close to a 0.5 friction coefficient, so they won’t be too difficult to travel across in a wheelchair. Thin-pile and thick carpets are also options in this category, but you may need to avoid thick carpets if you’re already having a difficult time getting around, as they’re above 0.5 friction.

Hardwood Floors

Hardwood floors adhere to ADA standards. They’re also incredibly popular because they look fantastic and last for decades without much maintenance. You do need to know how hard and durable the type of hardwood you’re looking at is before you buy. Not every hardwood is the same.

For example, many homeowners want pine or fir floors. They’re beautiful, but they’re considered softwood and dent easily. Hardwoods like hickory and maple are much more resistant to bumps, dents, and scratches. The better option is factory-finished hardwood. It’s much harder and far more durable.

Laminate

Consider laminate floors if you want something similar to hardwood without the high price tag of a new hardwood floor. They’re a cheaper alternative to hardwood and are easier to maintain, though they don’t have quite the same finish as hardwood.

Ceramic

Finally, ceramic tiles are another good option for ADA flooring. They’re better suited for kitchens and bathrooms, because they make water cleanup a breeze and prevent mold, but there’s no reason why you couldn’t tile your whole house in ceramic tiles if desired.

ceramic tile installation

Ideally, you’ll want tiles no larger than 4-inch squares to avoid cracking. Getting too small of a tile size, on the other hand, makes your floors harder to clean, with all of the grout and debris that occasionally get stuck between the cracks. Your ceramic floor gains traction based on the amount of grout used, but most people find 2-inch or 4-inch square tiles suitable.

Where to Find ADA-Compliant Floors

Once you’ve chosen a type of floor for your home, you have a world of possibilities for personalization. There are many optional designs and layouts you can implement to increase accessibility and safety, all at the same time. Want to know more about customizing your ADA compliant floor? Contact ADA Solutions today.