When picking out new flooring, many people overlook the toxic chemicals that some flooring types can emit into the home. Young children and pets can be especially susceptible to these toxins which is why it’s important to choose a floor that is as natural as possible and free from any toxic chemicals that can contribute to indoor air pollution. Use this as your guide to non-toxic flooring.
Carpet has traditionally been a popular choice of flooring, however as we become more aware of the health risks associated with carpet flooring, people are searching for more natural options. There are many areas in which toxic chemicals could be used within carpet, including the dye used to colour the carpet, adhesives used to bind carpet fibers, and the chemicals used to create a resistance to stains. New carpet installation is a large contributor to indoor pollution, a recent EU study identified over 59 hazardous substances found in carpets.
Carpets hold these chemicals for months, if not years, but fear not, if you are set on choosing carpet or a rug for your home, place the rug outdoors or a well ventilated area for at least a week, as the first few weeks are when the carpet expels the most toxic fumes.
There are two types of hardwood flooring, solid or engineered. When installing hardwood floors the most common option is to glue the floor down. There are many safe, non-toxic glue options that you can use, speak to your installer about sourcing a non-toxic glue. Alternatively, flooring profile options have advanced including 5G click, which simply clicks together allowing you to ‘float’ the floor, without requiring glue.
Solid hardwood flooring is considered the safest and least toxic option as it’s completely natural and free from any toxins. Solid hardwood floors are made of planks milled from a single piece of timber. It has many advantages, including its durability, with proper maintenance and care, solid wood flooring can last a lifetime. For an even more eco-friendly option, choose 100% FSC certified wood floors, as the timber used to produce the floor comes from legal sustainable sources. However, as solid hardwood floors are 100% wood they can’t be used in moist areas, including bathrooms and basements.
Engineered hardwood flooring has low toxicity and similar advantages to solid hardwood flooring, but can also be used with underfloor heating. Engineered flooring is made from multiple layers of wood for extra stability.
Laminate flooring mimics hardwood, but instead uses synthetic wood. Unfortunately, due to the toxins and chemicals in the bonding adhesives, laminate isn’t the safest option for non-toxic flooring.
Ceramic tile is also another safe option, as the tiles are usually made from non-toxic materials. However, tiles do require a thinset mortar for the tiles to adhere to, as well as grout to fill the spaces between each tile. While, the tiles themselves do not contain these chemicals, it is possible that these products do.
When choosing your flooring opt for the most natural materials and products for a non-toxic home that is safe for pets and children.
Atkinson & Kirby is committed to supplying non-toxic hardwood flooring, with solid hardwood floors being manufactured at our mill in Britain. All of our hardwood floors are FSC and PEFC meaning you can be sure the timber was sourced from sustainable forests. View our solid hardwood floors or engineered hardwood floors.
If you would like to order a sample, or speak to one of our experienced customer service team, call 01695 572 234 or email email@example.com.