What’s the Best Material for Wheelchair Ramps?
If you need a wheelchair ramp installed for your home, how do you know which option is best for you? Wheelchair ramps can be constructed from various materials, with steel, concrete, wood, and aluminum being the most common ones. Keep reading to compare these four material options so that you can make a more informed decision.
Steel can sometimes be used to make modular ramps, which are ramps that are constructed by connecting preformed pieces. This makes them quicker and easier to install, reducing labor costs. However, steel is quite heavy, so it will be more expensive than other modular ramps (which will be discussed later). They’re also prone to rust, which means you need to provide long-term rust-proofing and maintenance for your ramp to make it last.
Wood is another high-maintenance material for wheelchair ramps. A wooden ramp needs to be maintained just like a wooden deck to keep it looking nice and functioning safely for all users. This includes sanding, staining, and resealing the ramp on a regular basis. They can also be slippery when wet, so make sure that you add grip strips to the ramp to help both shoes and wheels get better traction. However, a wooden wheelchair ramp can look like a beautiful part of your home’s structure rather than a functional afterthought when properly maintained.
A concrete ramp looks smooth and natural on the right home. It can look just like a winding sidewalk leading up to your doorway. However, it won’t work well in all homes. Some houses have higher entrances than others, making it difficult to pour a concrete slope of an appropriate grade. If your layout does allow for the concrete to be used, this can be a great, low-maintenance option that adds to the appeal of your home and won’t deter any future buyers who might not want a wheelchair ramp in front of their home.
Aluminum is largely the most popular choice for wheelchair ramps, and for a good reason. This is the other type of modular ramp, allowing pieces to fit together to build you a ramp much more quickly. It’s a much lighter material than steel, making it faster and easier to install, and it can be relocated. If you need something fast, affordable, and functional, modular aluminum ramps are generally the best wheelchair ramps to choose from.