Flooring Rigid Enough for Wheelchairs yet Engineered to Prevent Injuries from Falls

Universal/accessible design of the home from an occupational therapy and a construction perspective. This blog is part of a quest for cool, convenient, functional design that makes life safer, easier, and as maintenance-free as possible. It's about the lifestyle.


I just came across this flooring that claims to reduce injuries from falls yet provides enough rigidity to allow for wheelchairs to easily propel over the surface.
From what I understand, this flooring is installed than the flooring of your choice, vinyl or carpet, is installed over the top and wa-la you have a safe for falling yet rigid floor.
Anyone have any experience with this?
Good Shepherd Home installation, Fostoria, Ohio: readying concrete sub-floor for SorbaShock™

Above are photos from recent installations in Fostoria and Bowling Green, OH.

SorbaSHOCK’s™ unique patent-pending Dual-Stiffness™ design is the key to its success in providing unprecedented impact force reduction, while not interfering with normal walking activities or the translation of rolling devices such as wheelchairs or carts.
SorbaSHOCK™ maintains its inherent rigidity under normal walking forces through a network of specially-designed columns, which then buckle, deform, and dissipate energy in a controlled manner when impact (and the larger associated forces) occurs. Thus, with SorbaSHOCK™, there is no induced trip hazard that can occur with floors that are cushioned or floors that do not employ Dual-Stiffness™ technology.
SorbaSHOCK’s™ foam core provides additional energy dissipation after the columns buckle, which further attenuates the forces associated with a fall. Independent tests confirm a 37% peak impact force reduction, capable of reducing severe hip fractures up to 68%. The end result is a passive energy absorption device that is installed beneath standard commercial carpet or vinyl flooring, thus maintaining the durable and aesthetic exterior appearance of standard floor surfaces.
In addition, due to SorbaSHOCK’s™ foam core, the acoustic properties of installations may be improved, particularly for sound transmitted vertically through adjacent floors. SorbaSHOCK™ is currently produced in 2 ft. x 2 ft. (4 square feet) sections, and is approximately 1 inch thick. The basic operating principle can be seen in the movie below (click arrow to play).

The end result is an aesthetically pleasing and functional walking surface with a (passive) impact force reduction underlayment.

Anyone have any thoughts?

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