Evidence Based Design
Design & Planning Considerations – Checklist
- When choosing building materials, consider the height and width of floor joint components, keeping joint components less than 2 mm (1/25 in) high.
- Carpeting is preferable to hard surface materials as it minimizes glare and noise. Securely install low pile carpeting, with pile less than 13 mm (1/2 in) thick and with either a firm or no underpad. Must not impede wheelchair and walker mobility.
- Ensure flooring and walls are in a solid color; avoid bold patterns, flecking, or glossy finishes which present visual perception challenges for older adults.
- Avoid glossy finishes on flooring and do not use wax or polish which make floors shiny as reflective surfaces increase glare and are visually challenging to older adults.
- Ensure walls and floors are in a matte (non-shiny) finish which reduces glare (consider using non-glare paint to achieve a glare index ≤20).
- Keep the walls behind handrails smooth to prevent abrasion injuries to knuckles as older adults navigate the hospital. Apply a non-abrasive finish to walls.
- Use contrasting colors to differentiate baseboard, floor, and wall.
- Issues of carpet maintenance and infection control are an important consideration. New products and floor technology may provide other suitable options (cork floors, rubberized tiles).
- Recommend a review of new products prior to determining the flooring chosen for an area. Consideration must be given to service area functions and patient populations being served.
- Solid Solid colors on walls may be made more aesthetically pleasing by placing pictures to support orientation and wayfinding.
Note: All flooring materials should be in a non-slip, non-glare finish to support older adults with limited mobility and/or visual impairments. It is also recommended that flooring materials be designed to reduce noise reverberation.
See below to view and/pr download a PDF of the above Checklist – Flooring & Walls