If you've read our Tuesday blog about the dangers of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in flooring materials, you might be considering a new floor with a low VOC count. The good news is that the flooring world is wise to VOCs and has plenty of healthier options for you to choose from! You can have the look and feel that you want from your floor without having to worry about what it might be doing to your family's health. How nice is that?
While we can't list every little detail about low-VOC flooring in this one blog - and let's be honest, nobody has time to read through all of that - we wanted to give you a quick glance at a few things you should think about when choosing a low-VOC floor. For more information and answers to any questions you may have about low-VOC flooring we suggest contacting a professional flooring contractor directly. Our team would love to help you out!
1. Pay attention to adhesives.
The adhesives used to lock your floors in place often are a major contributor to the VOC count in your home. Whether you're installing your floor yourself or are planning on having a professional put your floor down you should make sure that the adhesive used in the process is water-based or is labeled as a low-VOC adhesive.
2. Avoid synthetic materials.
As much as we love some of the budget-friendly, durable synthetic floor options such as vinyl flooring and synthetic carpeting, they tend to be higher in VOCs. Look for natural flooring options like bamboo, wool, and cotton.
3. Forget all finishes.
Installing a hardwood floor often means having to coat it with a finish. The problem with doing so is that all finishes have emit VOCs. Beyond that, hardwood flooring itself can emit the unhealthy gases due to the formaldehydes used in the boards. If you want the luxurious look of hardwood floors without harming the environment, opt for sealing your floors with a water-based polyurethane.
4. Be careful with your carpeting.
When installing a carpet use tack strips instead of adhesive to keep it in place. You should also avoid installing carpeting in damp areas of your house and ensure a moisture barrier is put down before adding said carpeting. Most importantly, choose a chemical-free carpet made from natural materials.
5. Choose one of these!
Here are some of our favorite flooring materials that emit little to no VOCs into the air.