The quality of indoor air is affected by everything from ambient air pollution to a fine dust to volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Yet the concentration of indoor pollutants can be two to five times higher than outdoor pollutants.
Flooring is an important aspect of air quality that many people overlook. Flooring affects your indoor air quality more than you realize. In order to maintain your health and well-being, you need to be very careful with the flooring materials you use, whether you are at home or in any public indoor space.
We have explored floorings and air quality extensively, but for those of you who are just curious, which floors are best for air quality? In summary, here are the top five best floorings for indoor air quality:
- Using tiles
- The wooden floor
- Flooring made of natural linoleum
- Concrete that is polished
- A rubber floor
It’s important to consider the materials in your floor when designing your home, office, school, or any other building. When it comes to indoor air quality, flooring materials play a large role.
Understanding the pros and cons of various material options can help you make an informed decision, whether you’re searching for the best material for your space or simply looking for ways to improve your indoor air quality. The indoor air quality of your home and office can be affected by flooring.
You should be aware that the chemicals and allergens present in your floors may spread into the air and may become a problem throughout your house. Here are a few of the contaminants that may be in your floors.
VOCs (volatile organic compounds)
As a result of the off-gassing or emission process, harmful VOCs such as formaldehyde are released from new floor surfaces, causing an unpleasant odor to emanate. Inhaling VOCs can cause long-term and short-term health problems, including nose and throat irritation, headaches, nausea, liver damage and kidney damage.
A synthetic carpet fiber and adhesive used during installation may contain formaldehyde. You should consult your flooring specialist about low-VOC or no-VOC products and methods when installing your new floors. Materials that are low in volatile organic compounds are best for indoor air quality.
The asbestos problem
For insulation and damage resistance, tile and vinyl sheet flooring contained asbestos from the 1930s to the 1980s. Manufacturers stopped using asbestos after realizing that it caused severe illness. Long-term exposure to asbestos can cause inflammation or even cancer if it is inhaled.
Your home may contain asbestos if it was built in the 1980s or earlier and you haven’t updated your vinyl or tile floors. Replace your flooring with a newer, more eco-friendly material to improve your indoor air quality.
The following are some healthy flooring materials that you can install in your home.
With luxury vinyl flooring, you don’t have to worry about maintaining it. You can have your flooring specialist recommend low-VOC options, even though it might contain VOCs. Manufacturers can make it look like natural stone, ceramic or hardwood.
As a result of its water resistance, vinyl floors can be kept free of mold growth. If you notice a spill or leak, you can easily clean it up. Since the hard surface does not hold onto allergens or harmful bacteria, you can use mild detergent and warm water instead of cleaners that contain volatile organic compounds.
Unlike hardwood or natural stone, ceramic and porcelain tiles can retain heat to lower your energy bills and look like other materials. They do not contain any VOCs because manufacturers create them at extremely high temperatures.
Its hard surface makes it easier to clean with a mild detergent rather than harsh chemicals that could harm your indoor air quality. Tile flooring is resistant to moisture to prevent mold growth, and it is easy to clean with a cloth.
You can add a one-of-a-kind natural beauty to your home by installing hardwood flooring. Hardwood floors are relatively easy to maintain, and they can add value to your home. Hardwood floors can last for more than half a century if you take care of them properly.
If you want better air quality in your home, ask the specialist to use a water-based polyurethane finish with a low VOC count. This durable, all-natural material does not contain VOCs. With its hard surface, hardwood flooring makes it easier to see and clean dust, and it does not trap contaminants or bacteria.
Wool carpet with a low pile
Brand-new low-pile carpeting is available in a variety of color and texture options to complement your room’s design aesthetic. It can trap sound and make a room warmer in the winter. If you are concerned about indoor air quality, carpet isn’t always the best choice. Low-pile carpets made of natural wool fibers are the best choice.
There are VOCs in synthetic carpet fibers, whereas wool is a natural and renewable material that is free from harmful contaminants. You can conveniently clean wool carpeting with a vacuum and it even acts as a dehumidifier to prevent mold growth. Low-pile carpets have short fibers that serve as a hard surface rather than trapping dirt and debris.
You can add wood laminate flooring to your property for an inexpensive, low-maintenance option. The planks are resistant to dents and scratches, so contaminants will not get stuck in them. They come in a variety of colors and designs that can resemble natural wood or stone.
You may be able to find low-VOC laminate options in your flooring specialist’s inventory, even though laminate can contain VOCs. The hard surface of this material makes it easy to clean off bacteria and other contaminants. You can clean up spills with a microfiber cloth or mop since it’s resistant to moisture and mold growth.