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A Guide To Bathroom Floors For The Elderly

Guide to the Best Non-slip Bathroom Flooring for Elderly and Disabled Users

Age Care Bathrooms provide a multitude of adaptations for those with mobility impairments. Contact our specialists today to enquire about your unique requirements.

Updated February 2024

In this guide, you will discover the various types of non-slip flooring and the differences between them. At Age Care Bathrooms, we believe everyone should be able to shower or have a bath independently without the fear of tripping, slipping, or falling.


Disability can affect anyone at any age for many reasons, and when people get older, their physical and mental health can deteriorate — and consequently, their mobility may also be affected. According to the charity Age UK, bathrooms are where most accidents occur in the house. Because bathroom floors are often wet, they present a major risk factor for slips, falls and injuries occurring in the bathroom. 

Types Of Non-slip Bathroom Flooring Options for the Elderly and Disabled

The wrong selection of flooring in a mobility wet room or bathroom can result in life-threatening accidents. Common causes of slippery bathroom floors are porcelain or ceramic tiles with smooth surfaces that become slippery when wet. Changing your bathroom flooring can prevent accidents and add aesthetic appeal without a huge cost, mess or fuss. There are many types of non-slip bathroom flooring options available. Here is an explanation of the main types:

1. Non-slip tiles 

Tiles must have a textured surface to be classed as non-slip.  However, the level of slip resistance varies throughout anti-slip tiles. 


Ceramic and Porcelain Tiles. An R rating is assigned by the Porcelain Enamel Institute (PEI) to both ceramic and porcelain anti-slip tiles. The R rating is a number between one and five; the higher the number, the more non-slip the tile’s surface is. Tiles with a minimum safety grade of four should be used for wet room flooring in places where elderly or disabled individuals are likely to be present. 


Stone Tiles. Typically, stone tiles such as limestone or tumbled marble will have a naturally rough or textured surface, making them non-slip. However, as they are porous, they will need to be sealed when used in a bathroom. It’s essential to check that anti-slip sealant is used, or once sealed, these tiles could become slippery when wet.

2. Vinyl flooring

Non-slip sheet vinyl flooring. This flooring offers an excellent alternative to tiles. In addition to coming in a huge choice of designs, it’s completely waterproof and highly slip-resistant. 


Additional benefits of sheet vinyl flooring include:

  • Less expensive than ceramic, porcelain or stone tiles
  • Easy to clean
  • Low maintenance.

Vinyl Tiles and Plank Flooring. Non-slip vinyl tiles and plank flooring are less durable than ceramic, porcelain and stone tiles and are classed as water-resistant rather than waterproof. Yet, vinyl tiles offer a higher slip resistance and provide one of the best types of bathroom flooring for elderly or disabled users. However, this type of flooring is best avoided in wet rooms as it is not completely waterproof.

3. Rubber flooring

Sheet rubber flooring. This is generally a less popular option as it is more expensive than vinyl flooring. But when cost is not a concern, rubber flooring is proven to have an excellent abrasive characteristic, making it highly functional for people with disabilities.


Other benefits of rubber flooring are:

  • Eco-friendly recycled rubber flooring is available 
  • Highly durable and resists dents and stains
  • Naturally antimicrobial to prevent mould growth
  • Provides a high level of shock absorbency, reducing the potential for injury if a fall does occur.

Accessible Bathroom Safety Features 

Choosing the best bathroom flooring for elderly and disabled users can certainly make the bathroom safer, but safety features are essential to reduce the risk of slipping or falling. 


You may also want to install some or all of the below mobility aids:

  • Grab bars
  • Support poles
  • Shower seat or stool
  • Bath seat
  • Raised toilet seat.

If you are replacing your bathroom flooring, this is the perfect opportunity to consider installing a disabled toilet, walk-in bath or walk-in shower.

bathroom with toilet rails

Do You Need Help to Find the Best Bathroom Flooring for Elderly or Disabled People?

If you would like advice on choosing the best flooring for your wetroom or accessible bathroom, our friendly team of bathroom experts are happy to help. Here are five things we would recommend considering when choosing your bathroom flooring:

1. Durability

It’s important to ask about the estimated lifespan of your flooring and if it comes with any warranty to cover the cost of replacement if it is damaged. 


Here is a general guide to the durability of different types of flooring:

  • Non-slip ceramic and porcelain tiles have a typical lifespan of 50 years or more when properly maintained.
  • Non-slip stone tiles — provided they are sealed and maintained — can last 100 years or more.
  • Non-slip vinyl tiles and plank flooring have a lifespan of 15 to 20 years; however, this is based on their resistance to wear. When used in a wet room, they may not last as long due to water damage.
  • Non-slip vinyl sheet flooring can last anywhere from 10 to 20 years, depending on how thick it is, since this significantly impacts its lifespan.
  • Rubber flooring is more durable than vinyl flooring and is less likely to tear or crack. It has a lifespan of around 20 to 30 years for commercial use and can last longer in a residential property.

2. Repairable 

It is possible to replace or repair individual anti-slip tiles, whereas sheet vinyl or rubber flooring can be difficult to repair if ripped or punctured.

3. Maintenance

Vinyl and rubber flooring require no maintenance other than cleaning. The grout on all types of tiled floors — with the exception of vinyl tiles — needs to be maintained since it is porous and retains water. For wet room flooring made of tiles, the grout needs to be resealed every year or two to stop bacteria and mould growth. Additionally, stone and marble tiles typically require resealing every two to five years.

4. Danger of injuries

Porcelain, ceramic and stone tiles are hard, so there is a greater possibility of sustaining a severe injury in the event of a fall. In contrast, anti-slip vinyl sheet flooring and vinyl anti-slip tiles or planks can incorporate an underlayer that is “cushioned” to lessen the impact if you fall, reducing the potential harm to your joints and bones. 

5. Cost and installation

Compared to anti-slip vinyl flooring, porcelain, ceramic, and stone tiles are typically more expensive and require more time to install.


Call our friendly UK Age Care Bathrooms specialist team or complete our online form to find out more about non-slip bathroom flooring. We are here to assist you in finding the ideal option for your needs.

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