For Some, Vinyl Flooring Is Life Changing

September 01, 2021

We don’t talk enough about the social aspect of design—but we really should.

Medina Creative Housing didn’t opt for vinyl flooring because of its aesthetics or its affordability. For its residents, vinyl flooring is literally life changing.

Medina Creative Housing offers housing and services for people with developmental disabilities. Their homes enable people in Medina County, Ohio, to live independently (with support services) in affordable, accessible, and safe neighborhoods.

“Quite simply, vinyl allows for barrier-free living,” says Medina Executive Director Dianne DePasquale-Hagerty.

There are two important ways that vinyl changes lives: (1) safety and (2) independence.

From a safety perspective, vinyl flooring provides a seamless surface to walk on and navigate across. So a person with a cane, for example, doesn’t have to transition across different surfaces. Nor does someone who might have equilibrium problems due to a pharmaceutical regimen or a medical condition need to worry about tripping on frayed or uneven carpet or falling onto hard tiles.

Vinyl flooring is also really easy to disinfect, something that has become a critical aspect of property maintenance for Medina Creative Housing since the coronavirus outbreak. “Our residents and staff are especially vulnerable during this pandemic,” says DePasquale-Hagerty. “It would be catastrophic to our ability to provide necessary services and safe living spaces if we had any concerns about viral material spreading on common surfaces in our facilities, so we must maintain them to a high degree. Vinyl flooring allows us to do that easily with chemical disinfectants, and without expensive and disruptive steam cleaning.”

Along with safety, vinyl flooring enables greater independence. Residents in wheelchairs can more easily mop the floors in their units and maintain their living spaces, which helps them to develop skills that enable them to enter the workforce. Similarly, the ease of moving around on vinyl floors makes cooking, washing, and other activities of daily living easier for residents. Vinyl floors in workplaces can help people with certain disabilities be able to work safely—a key to economic independence.