Choosing the interior finishes of a home can have a big impact on both the aesthetics of the home and its level of accessibility. Finishes are used in all different rooms of a home, from the bedroom to the kitchen. There are several kinds of interior finishes that must be selected carefully for a home to be fully accessible.
Common kinds of floor finishes used in a home include carpet, vinyl, ceramic tiles, and timber.
When selecting the interior finish of a home’s floor, it’s important to consider several elements, including:
It’s also important to think about the underfoot temperature of the various kinds of flooring finishes that can be used inside of a home. People with disabilities should try to choose flooring finishes that will stay at a consistent temperature and firmness all throughout the year.
In some areas of the house, finishes can be damaged by contact with a wheelchair, especially near the footplate. In homes where this is a concern, it’s important that finishes with durable materials that will resist impact from wheelchairs or similar devices are selected. Another option is the installation of metal skirting or PVC baseplate protectors to prevent damage to walls and furniture.
Colours are also a concern for those with disabilities, especially visual impairment. Best practices for colour use in accessible design suggest that colour be used as a way to contrast between vertical and horizontal planes, such as floors and walls or walls and doors. Colours can also be used to identify doorframes and lightswitches. It’s particularly important that colours be used in critical areas of the home, such as the kitchen or bathroom.
For more information about the importance of finishes as it relates to accessible design, visit our PDF guide on interior finishes.