Choosing the right flooring material can be overwhelming with the endless available flooring options. One attribute of flooring that you might not have thought about is how it affects your health. In short, it all depends on the various components that go into the flooring product. To explain, here is a quick rundown to give you somewhat of an idea and possibly aid in your healthy flooring expedition.
Natural fibers like organic wool and cotton, sisal, jute and bamboo are a few environmentally friendly carpets. These materials usually do not require fertilizers or pesticides to grow. When shopping for carpet, an excellent certification to look for is the Green Lable Plus program from The Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI). The certification ensures carpets and adhesives meet high standards of indoor air quality. Therefore, carefully selecting natural carpeting will allow you to enjoy your new carpet without worrying about VOCs and other potentially harmful odors.
Solid hardwood floors are beautiful and one of the healthiest flooring choices out there. You will want to make sure that these floors are marked as "pre-finished," meaning that the stain and topcoat were applied during the manufacturing process, so you will not have to. This ensures that you do not have to expose yourself to the variety of harmful chemicals necessary to finish the wood floors. Engineered hardwood floors require glues to help hold the sheets of wood together. They use a chemical called formaldehyde frequently in the glues to hold engineered wood floors together. Look for engineered wood floors that do not contain formaldehyde in the glue. Like solid wood, look for pre-finished engineered wood.
Due to the unbelievable durability and impressive visuals, vinyl is one of the best flooring options. The downside is that vinyl flooring can contain harmful VOCs. However, low-VOC vinyl flooring has come a long way in recent years. Some advice is to look for Phthalate-Free vinyl products, choose virgin vinyl instead of recycled vinyl and shop with your nose. Low-VOC vinyl flooring is out there; you just need to shop wisely to find it.
Ceramic tiles come in an endless array of patterns and are a safe flooring option as well. However, you need to be aware of where they are from. Ceramic tiles made in the United States are tightly regulated and do not contain heavy metals like lead and mercury, among other dangerous chemicals.
Laminate flooring is made by gluing a sheet of decorative paper over wood. This makes laminate a versatile choice because there are so many different types of decorative paper you can choose from. The manufacture uses glue to hold the layers together. Like engineered wood, look for laminate floors that do not contain formaldehyde in the glue.
Our advice is to do your research and shop at an independent flooring store instead of a box store. Here at Creative Carpet & Flooring, our flooring consultants are knowledgeable specialists that know everything about the products we sell. Box store staff members… well, not so much. Please stop by one of our showrooms for assistance in finding healthy flooring options for your home today!
Cody is not only a flooring consultant, he is a qualified vinyl tile installer. Cody holds a certification for luxury vinyl flooring installation from Karndean Design Flooring. Being the youngest within the Bouquet family flooring business, he is no stranger to ANY type of flooring! Passionate about all that is flooring and its possibilities, Cody provides residential and commercial consulting services at our Mokena, Illinois showroom. Stop in for a consultation with Cody and experience the massive “Bouquet” flooring expertise first hand!