What does healthy flooring mean, and how is flooring unsafe for my family?
Providing healthy flooring choices for your customers can be very tricky. Even “green options” aren’t always so healthful.
Bamboo, for example, is made from a fast growing & sustainable resource, but it’s also frequently produced with dangerous adhesives.
Hardwood such as oak is routinely sealed with oil based polyurethane, a respiratory irritant.
Carpet acts as a reservoir that collects allergens, dust mites, mold & animal dander. Even vacuuming & steam cleaning doesn’t fully remove all these contaminants.
Certain Laminate has been found to use formaldehyde glues or resins that are high in VOC’s (volatile Organic compounds). These compounds are linked to respiratory illnesses and can cause headaches & dizziness.
The best and most prudent way to find the right “healthy floor” for your home is doing appropriate and thorough research online yourself. Check through the manufacturers specs relating to all the “VOC’s” listed as well as the additives in that product. I suggest buying brands that use no- or low VOC adhesives.
Unfortunately, It’s not always safe to count on the info you receive from the installer or retailer on these important details.
Primary Choices for Green Flooring Alternatives with No Health Risks
Porcelain Tile is an Excellent choice due to its durability, extreme low maintenance, reasonable cost & no adverse health risks.
Natural stone (travertine/marble/slate)
Natural stone (travertine/marble/slate) is also an excellent choice and much more affordable than past years. It doesn’t attract dust or mites making it hygienic & non-allergenic. Very durable with a long lasting appeal. Will need sealing every 2-3 years for protection.
Engineered Wood is an excellent choice as a timeless upgrade. It is solid, stable & warmer than tile/stone. Also helps reduce demand on forests by using leftover wood scraps. Typically has low VOC’s.
Bamboo is a good choice for its soothing/warm look & renewable “green” qualities, but I’ve found more issues in AZ with gapping & buckling if not acclimated and installed professionally.
It also typically needs resins in the manufacturing process which can emit off-gases.
Cork is a good choice as another durable and renewable flooring option. It is soft, well insulated, easy on the feet/legs with great acoustic properties. Check for VOC levels. I find its probably the least desirable, from an appearance & resale perspective.
LVT (Luxury Vinyl Tile/Plank)
LVT (Luxury Vinyl Tile/Plank) is the hottest trend in the flooring industry. It mimics the appearance of natural materials. It’s design, low maintenance and performance is great.
Be careful of material content, Also I’ve not installed very much do to the stigma of “vinyl products.
All of these products really create the atmosphere in your home and give it its identity. Choosing the best choice for you & your family comes by doing the research to ensure safe indoor air quality.
It is equally as important to work with a licensed, bonded & insure professional flooring contractor. Getting the deal or lowest price, rarely provides you the best long term value and security.
Continue the conversation, call Gainey Flooring 602-989-8255 to talk about healthy alternatives to use on your next project