Expert-Recommended Flooring Options That Are Easy On Your Feet And Joints

If you have arthritis, sciatica, back pain, or any other issues with your feet or joints, standing and walking on a hard floor may feel downright painful. Orthopedic surgeon and medical director of the Minimally Invasive Joint Replacement Institute, Dr. Eli Ahdoot, exclusively told House Digest that wearing shoes with "arch support and flexibility will allow ground reaction forces at the foot to be transmitted through various joints with more comfort and [ease]." But when you're home, you don't necessarily always want to have something on your feet. Fortunately, there are flooring options that offer more cushion than others, including laminate, vinyl, and carpet.

To learn more about what type of flooring may be best for your feet and joints, House Digest spoke exclusively with Stephanie Martinez, Division Merchandise Manager of Hard Surface Flooring at The Home Depot. "When selecting flooring materials to help alleviate joint pain, it's important to consider options that offer good cushioning, shock absorption, and support," Martinez explained.

Laminate and vinyl flooring

Laminate and vinyl are two popular flooring options known for their durability and affordability. For those with foot and joint pain, both have the added bonus of providing more cushioning than other hard surface materials. Beyond the extra give each flooring option provides, "Laminate and vinyl are easier to clean and maintain, which can be beneficial for those with mobility issues who may find it difficult to manage more demanding flooring types," Stephanie Martinez exclusively told House Digest. Those with canes, walkers, and wheelchairs are able to easily maneuver their mobility devices across laminate and vinyl as well.

Both laminate and vinyl flooring options come in an array of colors and styles, so you can create the look you desire while prioritizing your comfort. A great laminate flooring option Martinez recommends is the Pergo Outlast+ Laminate Wood Flooring, available at The Home Depot for under $3 per square foot. These planks are 12 millimeters thick, which is a good option for added support while walking or standing. For vinyl, she recommends Lifeproof Click Lock Waterproof Luxury Vinyl Plank Flooring, also at The Home Depot, for under $4 per square foot.

Carpeting adds plush support

For those looking for the ultimate underfoot support, carpeting is the way to go. "Providing excellent cushion, carpet is the softest option for those with joint pain," Stephanie Martinez exclusively told House Digest. A cushioned, pliable carpet can help relieve some of the stress your joints experience when walking, even more so than laminate or vinyl options. Be sure to add a carpet pad underneath for maximum support.

Wall-to-wall carpeting isn't for everyone, though. If you prefer laminate or vinyl flooring but still want a bit of added plushness, Martinez says adding an area rug is a great option. Not only can a decorative area rug tie a room together, but it can also offer additional comfort and support for your feet and joints. The Home Decorators Collection Bazaar Multi-Colored Geometric Area Rug, available at The Home Depot for $119, is one option Martinez recommends, along with the Home Decorators Collection Shoreline Multi Striped Area Rug for $318, also at The Home Depot.