Healthy Flooring Materials: What to Consider

healthy flooring material

It’s not easy picking a new flooring. There are various materials from which to select, and all come along with multiple characteristics. Health and safety are also of great concern when selecting flooring. The market is also full of several unique and enticing flooring materials. But are they healthy flooring?

Whether you want laminate, hardwood, vinyl, carpet, tile, and many others, you want to ensure you select a material that will serve you for many years. Therebefore, many factors influence choosing healthy flooring. We have created a healthy flooring guide for you as you select flooring materials.

Flooring Material Chemical Composition

The biggest factor to consider is the material that you choose. Healthy and safety is a major concern when selecting healthy flooring. There are many lethal chemicals in some luxurious flooring options. Most of these flooring materials have a chemical component that varies in distinct levels.

Though wood flooring is cherished, loved, and adored, it contains chemicals such as acrylics, aluminum oxide, and polyurethane. They help improve its quality. Such chemicals can be harmful during sanding as they cause respiratory issues. Oil-based wood flooring also contains VOC or volatile organic compounds, which emit gases into the air. When inhaled, some of these gases can cause kidney, liver, or central nervous system problems. If you want healthy hardwood floors, you need to purchase pre-finished flooring.

1. Laminate

Its composition makes it one of the most preferred materials. It’s composed of 90% natural material and synthetic material at 10%. As such, it mimics natural stones and wood. However, it is also made up of binding chemicals such as urea-formaldehyde. These chemicals can lead to respiratory, gastrointestinal, and immunological problems. Exposing yourself to the chemicals in a short duration can also cause respiratory problems. To get healthy laminate flooring, you can purchase laminate without the urea-formaldehyde or formaldehyde. Choosing a laminate that doesn’t require adhesive for installation is also a good choice.

2. Tiles

Many homeowners go for ceramic tiles for their durability, resilience, and being waterproof. It’s ideal for wet rooms. However, if it is glazed with metals such as lead, it can be harmful. The antimicrobial chemicals can also cause reproductive risks and hormonal disruptions. It can also cause hypersensitivity to allergens. The stringent regulations in this field make tiles one of the healthy flooring options to choose. To avoid any issues, always ensure you are buying your materials from certified sellers.

3. Vinyl

You will find luxury vinyl (LVF) and sheet vinyl flooring (SVF) in the market. Though it’s cheaper, it can mimic expensive wood. It is composed of various compounds such as PVC resins, plasticizers, pigment, and others. Vinyl is 100% synthetic, making it highly water-resistant, extremely durable, and fire-proof.

It also has bio-accumulative carcinogens like Dixons, heavy metals, organotin, and halogenated flame retardant. For healthy vinyl flooring, choose one without hazardous plasticizers.

4. Carpet

Carpet flooring is cozy and ideal for home or office. You can purchase ones made from synthetic or natural materials. Though they may be ideal for the sitting room, you cannot have them in wet areas. A carpet is made of styrene-butadiene resin latex (SBR) and vinyl. The SBR has some carcinogenic compounds.

Additionally, carpets can produce allergens as they are conducive for dust and foreign product build-up. If you are asking, is carpet flooring healthy? The answer is yes. However, you can avoid vinyl-based carpets and choose ground glass backings instead of buying coal fly ash.

Location

Various rooms in the home require a different material as not all flooring materials are ideal for all rooms. However, you can decide to add carpet flooring in rooms such as the sitting room or your kids’ bedroom. When selecting healthy flooring materials, you also want to look at the room you will install them. Laminate and tile flooring materials are versatile. They are cozy and comfortable.

The kitchen, laundry room, and bathroom are some of the areas that wet most of the time. You can choose tile or other flooring types resistant to water. Areas with high traffic also experience faster wear and tear. When choosing healthier flooring materials, you also need to consider this aspect.

Additionally, your home’s climate also affects your choice. If the floor is exposed to moisture, rain, or snow, you want an ideal flooring material for safety and health reasons. In such cases, you do not want to choose wood to prevent the growth of mold.

Lifestyle

Another factor to consider when looking at healthy flooring options is your lifestyle. Do you have kids or pets in the house? They will influence the material that you choose. Such an active home will require resilient flooring. Pets often scratch hardwood flooring. However, if you choose a carpet, it can be difficult to clean that accidental indoor potty.

The flooring will also need to be slip-resistant. If you or anyone in your home uses a wheelchair, such a floor will provide more traction and add to stability. Additionally, if you want a trendy home, you want to consider your style and choose the best flooring material to match your style.

Allergies

If you are wondering what is healthier carpet or hardwood floors? You may also need to consider this factor. If you have allergies or asthma, you may want to steer clear of carpets. It provides a conducive environment for the growth of dust mites and mold. If you have a synthetic carpet, it emits volatile organic compounds, which can irritate the eyes and cause asthma. Hardwood floors may be ideal in this case.

Durability

Apart from considering if anyone in the home has allergies, you also want a durable carpet. It prevents you from constantly requiring a new one often. Additionally, installing a new floor can cause quite a dent in your finances. As such, you want to do one perfect job when you begin the project.

When selecting healthy flooring materials, you want quality floors that will add value to your home and bring you comfort. Some of the choices include vinyl, laminate wood, hardwood floors, or tiles. Furthermore, if you settle for wood, you want to ensure its professionally installed to avoid any problems soon.

When getting healthy flooring, you also need to ensure it can hold enough weight. Residential floors may have a limit to the number of people at a certain time. However, commercial floors are designed to hold hundreds of tons. If your floor has a higher-than-average weight, you need to factor in this aspect when getting the materials.

Cost

When remodeling your floors, budget is a huge concern. It influences the materials that you choose in the end. As you choose the materials, you also need to think about the number of years it will take to replace them as you look at the cost. Many products in the market have attractive prices. However, you need to get the best deal.

Apart from the cost of the materials, you need to consider the installation and maintenance costs. Purchasing wooden and stone flooring is more expensive compared to vinyl which is pocket-friendly. Professional installations help you to avoid problems later.

Eco-Friendly

Another healthier choice of flooring is eco-friendly materials. These materials are sustainably sourced and are durable. Some of these eco-friendly healthy flooring materials include hardwood, bamboo, cork, stone, and tile. Many manufacturers are now producing stylish designs to match every style.

Apart from being energy-efficient and cost-effective, eco-friendly flooring helps in improving indoor air quality. This makes it the best healthy flooring option. Additionally, if you or anyone in your home are prone to allergies, these materials make for the best choice. There is limited to no use of toxic chemicals during manufacturing. Also, they contribute to a healthier environment by reducing waste.

Long-Term Value

Choosing current trends in flooring may not be a good idea if you are planning to sell the home within the next few years. For this reason, you may choose healthy wood flooring which will raise the value of your home. It can also increase the resale value as it is of a higher quality and long-lasting.

Conclusion

How we design spaces directly affects the health and safety of people within these places. For any homeowner, health and safety should be a major consideration when choosing flooring materials. Eco-friendly healthy flooring materials such as wood, cork, stone, tile, or cork are ideal for homes with people prone to allergies.

Traction is also a major concern when designing flooring. It mostly important in homes with kids, the elderly, people using wheelchairs or other assistive devices. Proper flooring installation also helps reduce the growth of mold, which is hazardous when inhaled. Moreover, many of the materials used in making flooring materials contain chemicals.

Vinyl, laminate, and tiles have various compounds which can cause health problems. Wood can also cause respiratory problems when sanding. Dealing with certified sellers ensures you are getting healthy flooring options.

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