The Healthier, Chemical-Free Option For Flooring Installation Plans

Those preferring to maintain a healthy home environment may actually wish to seriously think about what type of flooring should be installed. Granted, if the average homeowner was asked to name potentially hazardous items in the home, flooring probably would not make the list. This is because the main materials in the floor—such as wood—are not the problem. The formaldehyde in certain flooring selections is what creates concerns. Anyone who is thinking about installing new flooring should simply do a little research and select flooring that does not contain high levels of the chemical.

Concerns Over Formaldehyde

The Environmental Protection Agency recently issued regulations that limit levels of formaldehyde in products, but those regulations won't go into effect until next year. Current flooring products on the market made with formaldehyde can potentially present health hazards. Homeowners should not automatically panic since not all flooring contains the chemical. Consumer Reports noted pre-finished wood has very low levels, but certain imported laminated flooring comes with high levels. Making the right choice of a particular type of flooring contributes greatly to cutting down on exposure.

Homeowners do have some options when it comes to healthier home flooring installation:

  • Buy the Greenest

One strategy would be to purchase greener flooring. Bamboo and cork flooring are available in forms that contain no formaldehyde. While these types of green flooring may be costly, they do not contain any added chemicals and have the additional benefit of looking exceptionally nice.

  • Use a Better Adhesive

The flooring itself might not even present the highest levels of formaldehyde. Glues holding the wood intended to keep the wood affixed to the floor may contain significant amounts of the chemical. Do a little research into what particular glues have the least chemicals. Doing so reduces the chances of buying an adhesive laden with chemicals.

  • Purchase Rescued Wood

Wood that has been salvaged from demolition or renovation work is referred to as being reclaimed. Buying bulk orders of reclaimed wood for flooring is one way to acquire the wood without the added laminates or treatments contributing to the presence of any chemicals. Wood torn from the inside of a home's walls, for example, is not going to contain flooring treatments. The wood, however, can be cut into flooring tiles.

The Partial DIY Plan

Not everyone is going to be doing their own flooring. Many rely on a flooring company to handle the job. To keep formaldehyde out of a home, the homeowner has to do some of the work. Essentially, the homeowner could buy the materials and then have the flooring company cut, refine, and install the flooring.