Assisted Living Flooring Trends

Main Line Floors

Assisted Living Flooring Trends

From a business and marketing perspective, it is most valuable for senior living centers to establish a great first impression with their prospective residents. As such, the best way to achieve a great first impression is to create a brilliant milieu at the front entrance. Only modern interior finishes and exciting floor coverings can achieve this great impression. And flooring, from both a functional and aesthetic perspective, is a fundamental part of the design.

Interiors for memory care are being thoughtfully designed to create a supportive environment. And flooring, from both a functional and aesthetic perspective, is a fundamental part of the design.

If you are considering a commercial flooring material for an assisted living or location that is frequented by senior citizens, there are several considerations to understand. These are compounded by the function of the facility that is to be designed. By understanding the needs of Seniors, balanced against the requirements of the staff and facility, you can choose a floor that will be safe, sanitary, and relatively easy to maintain.

Let’s look at some common flooring applications.

Common Commercial Flooring Applications for Seniors

Hospitals: Medical facilities often house elderly patients for extended periods of time, requiring flooring that meets special needs. These floors require durability, ease of maintenance, cleaning and sanitation requirements. The floors should also be quiet, dampening the noise of feet and wheels so that patients can rest.

Nursing Homes: Long-term care facilities handle a variety of elderly patients with differing needs of assistance. These flooring applications require some additional thought as the facility as a whole desires an attractive living space, as well as maintenance, durability and cleaning considerations.

Retirement Communities: Residents living in senior communities have varying degrees of health and mobility concerns.  As such, assisted living centers need to establish functional and attractive living spaces catering to the needs of their residents. Typically, there are numerous flooring materials used throughout the facility, but great design emphasis is required to make the space comfortable, as well as desirable. These communities also require consideration for maintenance and sanitation. Flooring maintenance is a great concern because there are typically more traffic issues.

Memory Care Facilities: Residents in memory care facilities again have varying health and mobility concerns. Furthermore, these interiors also require design to incorporate a supportive environment, as well as cleaning and maintenance considerations. There will be further discussion in another post to cover these facility needs in more detail.

Flooring with Transitions

Special Commercial Considerations for Seniors

Safety: All commercial facilities need to consider liability issues from personal injury. Considering Seniors, the chance of injury is greater. As such, greater precaution is necessary and design considerations should address these concerns. Complying with all applicable state and federal regulations is paramount.

Color and Pattern: Color requirements for memory care facilities are very similar to Senior living environments. Typical designs include carpet with neutral colors incorporated with low-contrast combinations of light and clean shades. Although it is commonly known that perception changes with aging, memory care residents tend to have a more extreme degree of perceptual change. The most difficult colors to see are blue, turquoise and green.

Softness & Traction: Utilizing hard surfaces increases the chance of an accident turning into an injury. As such, design consideration using greater traction materials and softer more giving materials can lessen the amount of injury. Cork and padded vinyl are excellent choices.


Flooring choices for any given area in a senior living environment present a balance of properties and trade offs. In some situations, there is a clear case for soft or hard floor coverings. In others, it is a question of preference, and of balancing product attributes.

Carpet Tile: It offers many key solutions, such as ease of maintenance and replace-ability and a never ending range of design and color combinations. However, carpet tiles have the downside of seam permeability.

Let’s look at some alternatives that offer soft surface characteristics.

Commercial Cork Flooring

Best Commercial Flooring Options for Seniors

Padded Vinyl: Vinyl flooring is a great economic choice. It is also very easy to clean because the sheet membrane is impervious to water penetration.  Generally, vinyl does not stain. When combined with a padded under-layment above the sub surface floor, it will create a soft floor that will safeguard Seniors from injury.

Cork: Cork is a naturally soft and “padded” flooring material. Since cork offers a gently giving surface, it can help to avoid injury. Furthermore, there are commercial waxing treatments can make the material and surface impervious to water, stains and can create a seal that provides for greater sanitation requirements.

Main Line Floors focuses on high end residential and commercial carpets and flooring. However, we have great products and installations for Builders, Multifamily, Senior Living and the Real Estate Investor / House Flipper.

Feel free to leave a comment if this post was helpful or informative. I hope it was.

Thank you,

Main Line Floors 


Follow and like us now

8 Replies to “Assisted Living Flooring Trends”

  1. Hi there,
    your article about the flooring trends is interesting and useful for readers to duplicate for a smarter living style.

    You’ve also given a detailed explanation of safety measures, color patterns, and carpet tiles to be used.

    That was a good read and I wish you all the best in your venture.

  2. As someone who works in memory care and senior living facilities, I can definitely attest to this – these floors need to be nearly impervious. A quality product goes a long way. I’ve seen people try to get away with using linoleum and it doesn’t hold up.

  3. I studied interior design in vocational school and used to work as a sales man in an interior store. I live in the Netherlands so things might be a bit different over here, but the thing that I used to sell the most which has so many benefits for any kind of living situation is called polyvinyl chloride, or PVC.

    A common problem we had with padded vinyl is that once you remove a heavy item from the floor (like a closet) the floor is dent. You could see that there have been an item and it makes the floor vulnerable. PVC is so much harder but still soundless and so easy to clean. Not trying to sell you anything here, but maybe it’s worth a research? Not sure if you heard about it or if it’s a thing where you are living.

    Anyway, good job on the article. Real easy read.

    Best Regards,


  4. I really enjoyed your post as I had no idea all the thing that had to be concidered when looking into a flooring installation. I’m sure that this article will definitely help me with my mom as she is getting up in age. Thanks for the Info.

  5. My family has recently started looking at assisted living facilities for our aging aunt. She lives all by herself, but has reached the point where she needs this alternative. We never thought about looking at the flooring, so your post has given me some light on this. Thanks for sharing the information and will share it with my family. Does the type of flooring has a price tag attached to it?

  6. As a contract physical therapist I work in a variety of senior or assisted living homes that trust me … do not have the appeal of the projects you are working on in the Philadelphia or Ne Jersey area. So beautiful btw. Thanks for this article. You are very right about the varying degrees of mobility and physical and mental/dementia oriented needs across patients. I facility I am involved in has just put in a cork floor in a recreation room that most patients continue to complement. Of interest, this floor seems to be very forgiving and there is a softness or bounce to it which feels good on the feet but crisp enough to be functionable for walkers and chairs. Is there any idea of how long they last? Many common areas are vinyl planks which look great and seem to never give, but mostly I see tile carpet which the maintenance guys like because they are easy to pop up replace and I guess glue down.

    1. Holly,

      Thank you for your response. It’s a shame that many senior living or assisted living facilities have not “kept up” with the trends in modern day design. Thank you for your compliments btw, we do our best to work with the best designers to pick and install flooring in Philadelphia & southern New Jersey. Yes, mobility issues to accommodate all residents is a driving factor in floor design for senior living. Cork flooring is a fascinating choice because you are correct in saying that it has a “crisp” or solid enough hard surface like quality that accommodates walkers & wheelchairs. The bounce, cushion or forgiving surface (or “spring to it”) does in fact feel good on your body and should be perfect for care givers on their feet all day (i.e., another design functionality). Cork flooring has been around for a long time and sourced from southern Europe (i.e., Portugal typically). Dependent on use and abuse, the floor can last upwards to 20/25 years. Yes, I love vinyl plank products too because they come in so many designs, but you are right the majority of flooring is tile carpets which are easy to maintain as well as highly engineered for their purpose in assisted living environments. Yes, carpet tile is very easy to maintain.

      Thank you so much for your detailed comment!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *