When comparing aluminum vs wood wheelchair ramps, which is better and why? We explain the key factors to consider in this comparative guide.

Aluminum vs Wood Wheelchair Ramps: Which Is Better and Why?

Wheelchair ramps are extremely useful because they help people who have limited to regain their ability to move around with ease. When looking for a wheelchair ramp to buy, you will likely notice that a lot of them are made out of either wood or aluminum. 

But when it comes to aluminum vs wood wheelchair ramps, which one is going to be best for you? And what are the differences between them?

We are glad you asked. In this article, we’ll go over how they differ so that you can find one that is going to be best for your home. 

So keep on reading and will guide you through everything that you are going to want to know. 

Aluminum Ramps

Metal wheelchair ramps are quickly becoming one of the most popular types of wheelchair ramps today. The two kinds of metal ramps out there are steel and aluminum. Aluminum ramps are popular because they are easy to set up and require very low maintenance.  

Wood Ramps

Wheelchair ramps that are made out of wood have long been the standard in residential ramp applications.

Let’s look at the different factors that should be considered when buying a wheelchair ramp so we can better determine which is going to be best. 

Price

If you’re judging wheelchair ramps solely based on price, then you’re going to go with wood ramps pretty much every time. However, when it comes to wheelchair ramps, you get what you pay for. 

Any expert will tell you that wooden wheelchair ramps are some of the cheapest options on the market. But those savings also come with some drawbacks, which we will get into later.

Aluminum ramps are fairly priced but they also tend to be higher quality and will likely last you longer. Even though you might end up paying a little more, you will likely be getting a better quality ramp too. 

Longevity

When you are considering longevity for a wheelchair ramp, you are talking about how long the ramp is going to last in the long term, provided that you do your part in maintaining it properly. An aluminum ramp is going to last you a very long time. This is because they are resistant to rust and only require maintenance every so often.

A wood ramp, on the other hand, needs to be maintained constantly. It also needs to be treated regularly with a wood sealer. 

Wood has the ability to last a long time but you need to think about whether or not it’s worth the maintenance process you will have to go through on a regular basis. 

You also need to think about the possibility of moving to a new house in a couple of years. If that’s the case, are you going to take the ramp with you?

With an aluminum ramp, you can take it all apart and bring it with you. You can also adjust the length based on your needs.

A wooden ramp cannot really be modified or adjusted after you build it. This can make them fairly difficult to take to a new location. 

Safety

When it comes to wheelchair ramps, safety is likely going to be your biggest consideration. So does an aluminum ramp stack up against a wood one? 

One of the biggest dangers that comes from a wood ramp is the possibility that it will rot. Also, moisture can collect during the winter months on top of the wooden ramp and cause the ramp to free.

An aluminum ramp can also become susceptible to gather an ice film. However, this can be prevented a few different ways. First, you can add a non-skid surface to increase the safety of the ramp.

You can also choose to go with an open-pattern ramp so that snow and rainwater will just pass right through it. 

Lastly, you need to remember that if your house catches on fire, the wooden ramp will likely light up too. While aluminum isn’t meant to resist a lot of heat, it is definitely going to be more reliable than one made out of wood.  

Long-Term Value

When you buy a new wheelchair ramp, you don’t just want to look at the immediate benefits but also the value that it can provide you in the long run. You want to make sure that you are making a worthwhile investment and you won’t just end up paying a lot in repairs or replacements.

Also, there is a big market for used aluminum ramps. That is unfortunately not really the case with wooden ones. 

Design

The feel and look of a wheelchair ramp are very important. That is because this is going to be a fixture of your house that you are going to likely use every day. 

Your ramp should be ADA-compliant so that it meets all of the necessary safety standards. It should fit appropriately with your home’s design. And if you have an all-wood home, then you may want to go with a wooden ramp to make sure that it doesn’t stand out too much. 

The Importance of Knowing About the Difference Between Aluminum vs Wood Wheelchair Ramps

Hopefully, after reading the above article, you now have a better understanding of the differences between aluminum vs wood wheelchair ramps. As we can see, both ramps can be useful, so it is important to understand what your needs are before making a purchase.

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