Solid surface flooring versus carpet in skilled nursing

I am always not sure how to answer the loaded questions from clients. You can see them aiming and then they fire. “What are your thoughts on carpet in skilled nursing resident rooms?” They either hate or love carpet. There is no middle ground on this subject. You would think we were discussing if there is a God or who you voted for in the last presidential election.

The solid surface flooring can be anything from VCT to sheet vinyl or wood vinyl planks. The positives follow that solid surface flooring can be cleaned easier than carpet, reducing bacterial growth and smells, and it is easier to move across. The negatives are it feels less homey and warm. Also, while it is easy to clean up spills, there is a high risk of a fall from a spill. Finally, it is noisy.

The positive arguments for carpet are that it is more residential, reduces noise, is less costly to maintain when life cycle costing is done, and if a resident falls it will be a “softer fall.” If a moisture barrier backing is used and the carpet is direct-glued to the concrete spills, smells can be extracted and will not continue to wick up. Most importantly, as hospitals have found, germs don’t jump and noise reduction is greatly helpful in the healing process.

So what’s the right answer? You decide.

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