Cons: Quality varies greatly, depending on
tional or medical.” Henke believes in homes Points manufacturer. Tends to be noisy. Though
with a high degree of “visitability,” a term that to more durable than wood, may scratch or dent.
describes houses that are accessible to anyone
who may want a home that’s easy to get Ceramic tile
around in. ponder Pros: Wide variety of styles, patterns, colors,
True, most remodeling jobs are an expen- textures and sizes available. Can achieve dif-sive proposition, but Henke claims that low- ferent looks and feels through installation
cost, simple options can go a long way toward
making life on the home front less of an obsta- Before you buy techniques. Moisture resistant. Easy to clean.
cle course. “For example, the solar lights sold
at Costco are great for illuminatingentrances,” new flooring Cons: Grout lines can stain if not properly
installed. Costly to change design or color
she says. “Those are things that you may not scheme. Usually requires professional installa-necessarily think of as a home-modification INSTALLING NEW FLOORING is one of tion. Should be resealed regularly. Cost varies
device, but they are.” the most dynamic ways to transform the look greatly, depending on the type of tile.
Ultimately, homeowners should decide if and feel of a home, but it’s also one of the
their home is where they want to spend the more costly home-décor decisions consum- Vinyl
rest of their lives. If it is, the next step might be ers make. According to the World Floor Cov- Pros: Wide variety of styles, patterns, colors
to talk to a CAPS-certified designer, architect, ering Association (
www.wfca.org), the type of and sizes. Water resistant. Tends to be quiet
contractor or, in some cases, an occupational flooring you choose determines not only the and comfortable. Easy to clean; affordable.
therapist, all of whom can outline home mood of a room, but how practical it will be. Cons: Not terribly durable, depending on
modifications that will ease the transition into Since most types of flooring are relatively manufacturer and grade. Usually requires
long-term retirement. permanent, the flooring you install should be professional installation.
CANYON PEAK PREMIUM BAMBOO FLOORING
After all, Miedema says, “Your home tailored to the people who use it. Here are some
shouldn’t just be senior friendly, it should be pros and cons of five popular flooring types. Carpet
friendlyacrossthe board.” C Pros: Many colors and textures available.
Hardwood Warm, extremely comfortable and quiet. Easy
Dave Carty is a Montana-based writer who Pros: Will usually last a lifetime. Easy to clean. to replace.
lives in a home he built himself more than a Coordinates well with almost any décor. Usu- Cons: Requires frequent vacuuming and
dozen years ago. ally easy to repair when necessary. should be professionally cleaned every 12 to
Cons: May scratch or dent. Easily damaged by 18 months. Cleaning may require restretch-
moisture (not recommended for bathrooms); ing.—Will Fifield
color can fade over time. Requires profes-
sional installation. Costly.
STAIR-FREE ENTRYWAYS, curb-free showers
and open floor plans are projects that take
time and money. But there are plenty of
inexpensive things you can do to make
your home retirement friendly.
The Certified Aging-in-Place Specialists
(CAPS) interviewed for this story suggest
several quick fixes, some of which are available at Costco.
• Lighting under kitchen cabinets to provide
better illumination for cooking chores.
• Nonslip padding under throw rugs to keep
them from slipping out from underfoot.
• Sandpaper-textured tape applied to
stairs to prevent slips.
• Night lights to prevent bumps in the night.
“Look for assistive devices,” says Maria
Henke, CAPS consultant. “There are light-switch adapters that make them easier to
grip. And if your doors are too narrow, you
can expand them with an offset hinge. We
also suggest lever-style door handles (easier
to grasp) and, if you really need them,
remote-control locks for doors.”
Finally, perhaps the most popular suggestion among the experts, is grab bars. These
bars in the bathroom, shower and bedroom
will make getting in, up and out easier for
those who need a little boost.—DC
Pros: Realistically simulates wood and other
natural materials. Extremely durable. Easy
to clean. Can usually be installed throughout
home. Easier for homeowners to install,
depending on general home-improvement
skill level. One of the more affordable floor-
The Costco Connection
You’ll find quality laminate flooring and
a special-order carpet program with a
wide variety of carpeting types at selected
Costco warehouses. Costco.com carries
a radiant floor heating system and bamboo flooring, as well as two colors of
modular garage flooring.
As for quality, this Monte Carlo brown
100 percent top-grain leather chair is made
of the highest-grade leather available in the
market. Its solid wood-reinforced frame will
afford you a lifetime of comfort while retaining its great looks and charm. Don’t be
deceived by its compact size; this chair feels
like a cigar-type chair.
FINDING THE RIGHT furniture for your home
can be challenging. It involves balancing
factors such as décor, compatibility, function, comfort, price—and, of course, vary-ing tastes.
It’s ironic, in some way, that a retro
design achieves such versatility in contemporary home décor.—DB
This Rapallo leather swivel barrel chair,
available now at your local warehouse,
scores high in all these categories.
Its classic design brings elegance to a
casual room. Yet the chair’s comfortable,
warm tones offer a touch of relaxation in a