Should I Install Hardwood Floors In My Apartments

The short answer is, it depends. Not to sound wishy-washy but several factors need to be considered. The two main factors are marketing and demographics. If your primary market is young adults, marketing (visual appeal) may be more important than safety. Young people are typically more trend conscious although young adults with very young children may be an exception. You may want to have apartments with both hardwood and carpet to cover your bases. If your target market is seniors, safety may need to be your top priority. So let’s talk about the risks of hardwood floors.
Just how risky are hardwood floors?
A friend of mine who happens to be a nurse was telling me about an accident her mother had. She fell in her dining room and broke her hip.
Her mother is in her 90’s and has fallen a number of times in her home.
She always fell on carpet all the other times and suffered no more than bruises.
She fell in her dining room and broke her hip.
Why was this accident so different?
Her dining room has hardwood floors. It hurts to hit a hardwood floor, especially if one has osteoporosis.
Many of these types of injuries occur every year but few people seem to make the connection between the hard floor and the seriousness of the injuries.
It suddenly makes that so popular choice of hardwood floors seem like a bad idea.
It also makes carpet seem like a better choice. A nice thick carpet with padding underneath will prevent some serious injuries.
People who fall on hardwood or stone floors often suffer breaks, usually to shoulders, wrists, forearms, hips or backs. Some head injuries also occur and may even be deadly.
These types of injuries have to be taken seriously for a number of reasons.
1. This type of accident can cause a lot of pain and agony.
2. Other serious health issues may occur and cause a patient to lose their independence.
3. Injuries may need surgical interventions, never desirable for older patients.
4. Many older patients may suffer heart attacks or strokes during the event or the hospitalization that follows.
5. Hospitals are risky from the standpoint of infections and drug interactions for older people.
6. Many people who have these types of accidents never fully recover and may need expensive nursing care for the rest of their lives.
7. Doctors and hospitals never seem to get many patients healthy again which can be devastating for both patients and their families and friends.
Carpet that has a very high pile may be a trip hazard, but many carpet styles could work well for older people. Even younger people fall sometimes and can be injured.
A good wall to wall carpet can prevent some more serious injuries just by providing a softer landing.
I have slate floors in my ground floor and oak hardwood on the second floor of my house. We have a lot of rugs on both floors but the gaps and edges of the rugs are a trip hazard in and of themselves. We are getting ready to look at carpet for our whole house.
The expensive floors will still be there, but we will have a shielding cushion of carpet over them. Who knows how many injuries we’ll avoid?
In summary, know your target market before deciding on what type floors to install. If you are renovating an apartment and having trouble getting bank financing (banks don’t like to finance apartments being renovated), consider commercial bridge loans as an option. These lenders understand the rehab business. Good luck on your renovations.