Few aging-in-place upgrades are as important as flooring. If your parent decides to age in place, installing slip-resistant floors throughout their home is non-negotiable. That’s because, unfortunately, slips and falls are an all-too-common cause of injury among older adults simply trying to make their way around the house.
Most of the DIYers I talk with have their slip-resistant bathroom and kitchen floors covered–literally. A lot of them, though, forget about the other high-traffic rooms in the house like the laundry room.
Think about how you use your laundry room and all of the opportunities that exist for older adults to slip or lose their balance. Washing just one load of laundry requires your parent to bend up and down, moving clothes from the washer to the dryer. And water from wet clothes dripping onto a slick floor is always a risk.
You guessed it – your parent’s laundry room needs a slip-resistant floor just like the other rooms in the house. Here’s how to find the safest floor and make a big safety upgrade to your aging-in-place home.
The Safest Flooring for the Aging-in-Place Laundry Room
You’ll see a lot of flooring options that claim to be slip-resistant or non-slip when you start to research flooring for your laundry room.
Let me save you some time. You want a vinyl plank floor.
Vinyl planks are durable, waterproof, and less expensive than natural wood or tile. They come in three types: tiles, sheets, and planks.
I use vinyl planks in all of my aging-in-place home remodels for several reasons. Personally, I like how planks give your floor the look of hardwood. There are a ton of high-quality vinyl planks out there that would trick you into thinking you were walking overtop real wood. This aesthetic gives you a high-end look without the price or maintenance.
More important than aesthetics, though, vinyl is the safest flooring option for the aging-in-place laundry room and anywhere else throughout your home.
Why? The National Floor Safety Institute and other floor covering organizations rate a floor’s slip resistance based on a metric called its coefficient of friction (COF). Essentially, the more friction that’s created between the floor and the person walking on it, the less likely that person is to slip.
When looking for maximum slip resistance, a high COF is good, and a low COF is bad. Industry standards put .42 as the minimum acceptable COF required to prevent or limit slips. Vinyl floors have one of the highest COF ratings out there with some as high as .6 COF.
Just because a flooring material claims to be slip-resistant doesn’t mean it’s rated at or above .42 COF. So, find out the COF rating of a floor before you make your purchase. It’s the only way to know if a floor that claims to prevent slips will actually hold up its end of the bargain.
You can read more about vinyl flooring for aging-in-place in my article, “How to Find Flooring That’s Safe, Inexpensive, and Easy to Install for Aging in Place.”
Here Are My Picks for the Best Slip-Resistant Vinyl Plank Floors for Aging-in-Place Laundry Rooms
Luxury Vinyl Planks
Luxury vinyl planks are the first of two primary vinyl plank flooring options. As their name suggests, these planks give you a high-end look that mimics real wood grain. You can find luxury vinyl planks in a number of widths, lengths, grain types and colors to fit any style laundry room.
Most luxury vinyl planks have a tongue and groove system that lets you snap and tap them together one-by-one during installation. Installing vinyl planks is a relatively easy job that’s perfect for the DIYer looking to hone their flooring skills.
And, whichever set of planks you choose from my favorites list, you’ll have an easy-to-install vinyl plank floor that’s safe for your aging-in-place home.
These planks from Vesdura are perfect for an aging-in-place laundry room if you have a modern style home. These planks are 7-inches wide by 48-inches long. At that size and with this product’s light wood grain texture, there’s a good chance your parents will think you installed a custom wood floor.
Modin’s Gibson vinyl plank is a great option if your parent needs extra cushioning under their feet as they wash and fold clothes. These planks are thicker than standard vinyl and come with a pre-attached underlayment, making them softer and more insulated than other flooring options. The planks mimic the look of wood grain with a variety of shades in each pack to give the look of a custom floor.
If you’re looking for a more traditional wood tone, this dark chestnut vinyl plank from Modin is a great choice. Like Modin’s Gibson plank, these planks exceed the thickness of most other vinyl planks out there. They’re also scratch-resistant and anti-microbial.
Dotfloor manufacturers vinyl plank floors that check a lot of boxes. They deliver what you’d expect from a vinyl plank – they’re durable, waterproof, easy to clean, and easy to install. Dotfloor has gone the extra mile, however, and made slip-resistance a high priority for all of its vinyl floors, manufacturing each one to prevent skids and slips.
If you’re really looking for a unique look, check out Dotfloor’s black saw cut vinyl plank. Each board has a wire-brushed texture and a micro bevel, making each plank look like it’s been rescued from a sawmill or an old warehouse. With these planks, you get a unique floor with lots of character that also happens to be one of the more slip-resistant flooring options out there.
This vinyl plank option from New Parliament is an attractive gray wood tone that will work with any aging-in-place laundry room – or any other room in your parent’s home. It’s slightly narrower than the extra-wide planks, giving it a more modern look. I like this floor in particular because it includes a 1.5mm cork layer for added cushion, and for its rapid-locking system which makes installation even easier than most planks.
The final luxury vinyl plank floor on my list comes from one of the big names in residential flooring – Mohawk. Mohawk is known for its quality and these planks deliver. Beyond the quality, I love the distressed look and the slight mix of wood tones you’ll find when you open the box. They’ll give your parent’s laundry room a boost in safety as well as style.
Peel and Stick Planks
While less common than luxury vinyl planks that click and snap into place, peel and stick planks are easier to install and trim to length. Installation is as simple as peeling off the plank’s backing to expose the adhesive strip and sticking the plank in position over the existing floor. Like with luxury vinyl tile, you’ll create your pattern and lay each plank down one-by-one.
Because they’re so easy to install, peel and stick planks are a smart way to go if you’re working in a small or crowded laundry room. Or, if you’re installing the new floor in laundry closets or around multiple doorways. In both cases, you’re looking at a lot of plank trimming to get the entire floor covered. With a peel and stick plank, you can easily trim each plank to size with a small utility knife.
Overall, peel and stick planks are a nice option if you’re new to the DIY scene and want to keep the job simple without sacrificing the quality and safety of your floor.
If you’re looking for an unbelievably easy DIY vinyl floor install, check out these dark gray wood grain peel and stick vinyl planks from Roserosa. Each plank has an adhesive backing so you can place them on the floor in the same pattern you would an actual wood plank.
Each plank is made with engineered vinyl to be highly durable and maintain the look of real work grain. If you’re brand new to DIY home remodeling, this may be the floor for you.
Roserosa has several wood grain patterns and colors to choose from. Here are a few other options to consider if you’re thinking about installing peel and stick vinyl flooring:
Once You Have Your Vinyl Planks Ready to Go, It’s Time to Install Your New Laundry Room Floor
A vinyl floor plank installation is a relatively straightforward DIY project. But, it does take some planning and some math.
Here is a high-level look at what goes into a DIY vinyl plank floor installation. For this overview, I’ll focus on how to install a luxury vinyl plank floor.
Pro Tip: Measure the dimensions of your laundry room and sketch the room out on graph paper. Planning your plank pattern ahead of time can save a lot of trouble and a few headaches as you work.
Remove Molding and Undercut Your Door Jams.
You’ll first need to expose the entire floor. That means removing baseboards, door jams, and clearing everything out of the room. The planks will lay slightly under the molding around the perimeter of the room so you get a clean finish when the molding goes back up.
Afterward, clean your floor thoroughly. You can lay your planks over top of your existing floor or the subfloor. Whichever you choose, make sure the surface is clean.
Place Spacers Around the Perimeter of the Room.
Vinyl planks float over the floor below. Spacers keep each plank ¼-inch off the wall to allow room for the plank to naturally expand and shift.
Lay Your First Plank.
Start along the laundry room’s entryway. This will make it easy to get the first plank to slide under the door jam. Lay your first plank on the floor following the wall.
Continue Laying Each Plank in the First Row.
After the first plank is set, place the second in place. Do this by matching up the tongue and groove of the first and second planks and gently tapping them together. Keep this process going until you reach the end of row one.
Trim Your Last Plank.
The final plank in each row will need to be trimmed to fit. This is an easy process – just score and snap the plank to size. Do this carefully as vinyl planks are known to break off at the wrong place when they’re not fully scored.
Lay Your Second Row, and So On…
With your first row in place, get the second row started. With this second row and each row after, you’ll need to carefully tap each plank into the others in its own row and the adjacent row. Take your time so you don’t damage any planks along the way.
For a thorough step-by-step guide to vinyl plank flooring installation, check out my recent article where I break down How to Install Slip-Resistant Vinyl Flooring for Aging in Place and provide you with a full list of the tools and materials you’ll need to complete the project. In the article, I walk through a bathroom floor installation, but you can use this same process to install your slip-resistant laundry room floor.
Make a Laundry Room Floor Upgrade a Priority on Your Aging-in-Place To-Do List
Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that only the bathroom and kitchen floors pose a safety threat in the aging-in-place home. If your parent’s existing laundry room floor isn’t covered in slip-resistant vinyl, bump a floor remodel to the top of your to-do list.
This weekend, find a slip-resistant floor from my list of favorites and get to work installing a safer floor for your aging-in-place laundry room. If you have any questions along the way, just use the comments section below.
Good luck with your next aging-in-place home project!