As long as you can be selective in finding a natural pre-finish, a hardwood floor is a safe choice with barely any VOC off-gassing once it’s in your home. Box store staff members? VS. Laminate planks. © 2020 FlooringStores, Inc. All rights reserved. Choose laminates printed with water … Below, we’re going to get into everything you need to know in order to shop smart for low-VOC vinyl flooring. The primary layer of laminate is made of High-Density Fiberboard (HDF) which provides strength and rigidity. 4. Most of the other resellers hesitated or were less transparent. For example, water-based polyurethane will off-gas fewer chemicals than oil-based polyurethane. This method of floor installation is great for DIY-ers and professionals alike. Like Toucan Sam always says, follow your nose! As a general rule, most of the VOC off-gassing occurs in flooring that uses adhesives. There is a new trend away from laminates towards a flooring called luxury vinyl tile flooring (LVT). When it comes to the style difference between laminate and vinyl flooring, vinyl edges out laminate by virtue of its array of colors and textures. For example, natural linoleum and ceramic tile are a great alternative to toxic vinyl floors. Helping You Live in a Home Without Chemicals. Basically, formaldehyde can be found almost anywhere, even in the best engineered wood floors—so it’s best to limit your exposure whenever possible. In fact, many types of vinyl flooring are completely waterproof—one of the reasons it’s a go-to mudroom flooring option. Is laminate flooring dangerous to your health? These common VOCs include: Eco-friendly flooring is a phrase we’re seeing more and more these days, and we think that’s great. This standard sets VOC limits for composite wood products, so it’s a great resource to use if you’re interested in laminate flooring. When you are looking for a flooring solution that will withstand high … Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) refers to the quality of air inside of a building—no surprise there. Sign up today and be the first to get notified on new updates. LVP vs. LVT: What’s the Difference Between Vinyl Plank and Vinyl Tile? But it has perks that can’t be denied. ... Are VOCs still a significant concern with laminate flooring brands? VOCs stands for Volatile Organic Compounds. Instead, its core is made up of (you guessed it again) stone powder and plastic. Again: you just have to know what to look for. Ideally, you want to sleep and live elsewhere while the floor is drying and off-gassing. The tree doesn’t have to be cut down at all and will renew by itself, while the cork floor can last for decades inside a home if properly maintained. Volatile Organic Compounds or VOCs are gases that can become trapped in your home. Formaldehyde is used to create the resin overall, and it isn’t only in the wear layer. Many floors have a wear layer to give it the desired look and features like scratch resistance and fire retardancy. Are there some disadvantages of floating floors? Of course—but installation isn’t one of them. Laminate flooring products are made using a plasticized “picture” or image of wood glued to fiberboard, and as such, cannot be sanded and refinished. Low-VOC vinyl flooring? Unless you need highly durable floors for a commercial, high-traffic project, high durability may just be a selling point. FSC-certified wood flooring is also a good way to ensure you’re getting a safer product in your home. When it comes to VOCs, if you don’t choose a good product or installation method, you’ll be feeling the effects for years to come. When it comes to vinyl, things can get confusing quickly—because there are so many names for this type of flooring. Indoor Air Quality VOC’s and FloorScore Low-VOC Vinyl vs. Non-Toxic Laminate Laminate flooring is similar to vinyl in that they’re both composite floors, but the materials used to make them are different. Even hardwood floor alternatives like engineered wood can contain formaldehyde (one of the disadvantages of engineered wood is that its multi-layer construction requires adhesives). Its website is a great resource – use it to do a search for each flooring product to find what’s best for you and your home. Luxury Vinyl Plank (LVP) and Luxury Vinyl Tile (LVT) are higher-end versions of vinyl flooring. When the scandal about phthalates in vinyl flooring came out in 2015, Home Depot was found to already have been working on fully eliminating it from all their flooring aisles. These toxic substances are harmful to the air quality of the immediate environment and can cause respiratory problems over time. WPC contains no solid wood. In its most basic form, vinyl flooring is made out of PVC (polyvinyl chloride)—plastic. May Fade Slightly in Direct Sunlight. ... VOC Emissions Tested Products. Whatever brand you go with, make sure their products are tested and certified before you purchase them. I fully understand that there may be cases to keep a floor, so this is a general, broad brush stroke kind of answer. LVP and Laminate Planks are notoriously low-maintenance flooring options. Comparison chart click-lock laminate vs vinyl planks flooring. Bamboo still comes from overseas, so you’ll have to buy from a reputable, transparent manufacturer. Namely, all vinyl flooring types are made with some kind of plastic. Where sustainable flooring is concerned, WPC and SPC may be higher in VOCs thanks to the adhesive used in their multi-layer construction… but they might not. Priority Home and Design LLC is compensated for referring traffic and business to these companies. If it isn’t labeled and doesn’t have any manufacturer names or logos on it, it should make you wonder why. And if you buy a good product and install it without adhesives, it doesn’t have to be harmful! And for more flooring info, check out: Steph is a book nerd, rule follower, and pizza lover who can't get enough of playing outside. Over time, many floor types may slightly fade in direct sunlight, including vinyl and wood. It’s used for the adhesive and resin. Laminate; View All; Ultimate Guide to Laminate Flooring; Featured Product: Station Pine. When you compare vinyl side-by-side with any types of wood flooring—from Douglas fir flooring to ash flooring (heck, even to hemp flooring)—you’ll find that vinyl is not the more non-toxic option. Finding the right low-VOC vinyl product for your home is another matter entirely. You can read this post to find out more about phthalates and their dangers in vinyl flooring. Let’s find out. Even though the bamboo itself is natural, the adhesive may contain synthetic chemicals that off-gas. She was raised on the ice rinks of MN and currently resides in sunny San Diego. Its Gold certification is considered to be the most stringent by many in the industry. In simpler terms, vinyl flooring is also a synthetic product, which why laminate and vinyl flooring are often compared. The “differences” are minimal, and the names exist for marketing purposes. WPC stands for Wood Plastic Composite; SPC stands for Stone Plastic Composite. There are other VOCs your flooring may contain like toluene, xylene, arsenic, acetate, benzene, and many others. The fact that most of them have been banned in children’s toys in both Europe and the United States ought to tell you its dangerous effects on health. While recycled is usually a word that means a greener product, the standards for vinyl recycling are different. Laminate flooring is similar to vinyl in that they’re both composite floors, but the materials used to make them are different. Luckily, many brands are now offering phthalate-free vinyl flooring. You’ll find them in many items you use every day. These days, the terms are often used interchangeably. It doesn’t off-gas and can make a floor last for decades. Vinyl is a resin that is made by polymerizing vinyl compounds. Recently, laminate flooring has been in the spotlight for emitting significant levels of formaldehyde, which is in the glues used to bond together the layers of pressed-wood laminate and the adhesives used for installation. Suitability. Most people fall into one of two groups when it comes to installing floors. Laminate Vs. Similar to luxury vinyl, laminate also features a click-lock installation system for easy installation and is one of the biggest draws for selecting this floating flooring option. Pergo also has a vinyl product, Pergo Extreme, that goes through the company’s rigorous proprietary VOC testing process—and the Pergo Extreme reviews are fantastic. Hardwood flooring can be buffed out and refinished if it starts to look damaged. Sign us up! Blog; ... Environmentally, Eco-Friendly ADURA® Vinyl. Like we said above, the makeup of vinyl plank vs. laminate isn’t so different. For example, FloorScore tests for emissions of 35 commonly found VOCs and follows the California Section 01350 standard. ... Laminate also emits VOC emissions from the glue and surface treatment and is non-recyclable. And it’s also why low-VOC vinyl flooring products are on the rise—they offer another way for vinyl to compete with hardwood! Health comes first minimal, and rigid vinyl floor types and follow steps... Harmful VOC ’ s how you can read this post to find out more about and. Flooring to toxic levels of formaldehyde in hundreds of homes in the FSC program also have guaranteed to a... 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