Understanding the Key Differences Between Aluminum and Wooden Wheelchair Ramps

Power lift chairs

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, roughly 53 million Americans live with a disability, with the most common being limited mobility. And with 6.8 million Americans using assistive devices to aid in their mobility, accessibility and inclusivity is now a top priority for both residential and commercial spaces.

The federal government uses accessibility guidelines and building codes as per the regulations outlined in the American Disabilities Act (ADA) in order set and maintain a standard of consistency. If you’re interested in making your own space more accessible, ADA guidelines can be helpful when making renovations and modifications throughout your home.

One of the most important renovations you can make in order to increase accessibility is the addition of wheelchair ramps. The addition of a wheelchair ramp is simple yet effective way to make a space accessible. Although there are several materials that can be used to make wheelchair ramps, aluminum and wood are the most common.

The key differences between aluminum and wooden wheelchair ramps

Aluminum wheelchair ramps for homes and wooden wheelchair ramps both serve the same function, however they go about doing this in very different ways. One material isn’t necessarily better than the other, but each has its own inherent advantages. Having an understanding of what makes aluminum wheelchair ramps different than their wooden counterparts can help you decide which solution is best for you.

For example, wooden wheelchair ramps are customizable, permanent structures that are best used as a long term accessibility solutions. In order to stay securely in place, wooden wheelchair ramps rely on ground footings. While this provides greater stability, it also means that the position of the ramp cannot be easily changed or moved once installed. And just like wooden decks, wooden wheelchair ramps require regular and preventative maintenance in order to prevent mildew and rotting. Grip tape will need to be applied for increased traction.

On the other hand, aluminum wheelchair ramp systems aren’t as permanent as their wooden counterparts. Thanks to their modular design, aluminum wheelchair ramps can be easily altered and customized after their installed. In addition to the ramp, you can also add stairs, a platform, or handrail sections for a more personal design that fits your specific needs. Aluminum wheelchair ramps also tend to be less expensive than wooden ones and don’t require the same kind of long term maintenance to prevent rotting. They are however, more likely to dent and the metallic finish of aluminum ramps may not compliment the aesthetics of some homes.

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