Want To Eliminate VOCs? Check Out These Flooring Choices

Kim J. Clark

Are you attempting to produce a toxic-absolutely free living house? Are you working tough to eliminate VOCs by producing better selections? As you transform or establish, your flooring tops the checklist as one particular materials that can make a huge variance in the surroundings you generate.

What are VOCs?

VOC is short for unstable natural and organic compounds. VOCs are substances that have been verified to have an effect on health possibly in the brief or lengthy term. Some of them are carcinogenic, and have been proven to harm wellness.

Thousands of prevalent, everyday items applied during residential and business spaces have high ranges of VOCs. As we develop into a lot more informed of what they are and how they effect us, we’re doing work tricky to minimize them in the items most probably to impact us.

Nevertheless, some products have substantial VOC degrees, this sort of as cleaning items, paints and finishes, and other building elements. When in position, they “off-gas” and launch chemical compounds into the air source. Dependent on the situations, that may perhaps expose all all around it to significant pollutant concentrations. VOCs off-gassing may perhaps include things like chemical substances these kinds of as:

  • Formaldehyde – found in pressed wood, plastics, lacquers, paneling, flooring, finishing goods, and home furniture.
  • Phenol – uncovered in some vinyl flooring and wall coverings.
  • BTEX – found in petroleum-based solutions.
  • Methylene chloride – the most common of all VOCs, it’s in flame retardant chemicals. It is frequent in adhesives.

Living with VOCs

Sadly, our life-style of fashionable conveniences dictates that VOCs will be a part of our lives for the foreseeable upcoming. When hundreds of substances occur jointly indoors to type a poisonous soup, the results can consist of head aches, dizziness, fatigue, and shortness of breath. Prolonged-phrase publicity can guide to really serious ailment, which includes injury to the central anxious process, or most cancers.

A analyze by the EPAs Business office of Study and Growth observed about a dozen typical organic and natural pollutants to be two to 5 occasions greater inside of houses than outside the house, no matter of no matter if the residences were positioned in rural or extremely industrial parts.

Want To Eliminate VOCs? Check Out These Flooring ChoicesWith so several harmful chemical substances within your house, several home owners are taking the move to discover a lot more about VOCs, what it takes to remove them, and make greater selections when choosing house merchandise this sort of as flooring alternatives.

How to discover the most secure, greenest flooring decisions for your house

As you deal with unique household improvement assignments, pay out interest to the elements or substances made use of for just about every product or service you convey into your residence. This may well sound like an overpowering job at to start with, but this is a thing you can get started paying notice to about time.

The EPA presents a finish checklist of acknowledged VOCs, what they are, and how they may be detailed on the materials or solutions you order.

You can also search for certification courses outlined on the items you obtain. The most popular certifications for evaluating a product’s influence on indoor air excellent include things like:

GreenGuard – it has two levels of certification that evaluate VOC stages in items. The GreenGuard Gold certification is typically regarded the most handy for analyzing healthier goods on the industry now.

Floorscore – Floorscore certification gives a standard certification procedure for all types of tough floor flooring components, underlayment, and adhesives. Floorscore complies with the legally allowable boundaries in California, which does indicate it is not as in depth as GreenGuard. But it is even now a starting off point to acquiring cleaner, significantly less toxic flooring.

Eco-friendly Label As well as is the carpet industry’s VOC certification course of action. They check for 35 compounds mentioned in California pointers for VOCs. This incorporates carpet, padding, and adhesives.

There are other organizations that offer you suggestions on what VOC limitations are permitted in the production of the flooring content. If you have any concerns, you can ask a single of our flooring consultants, or do a minor analysis you to get far more at ease about the product you’re thinking about obtaining.

What flooring decisions should really you think about?

It’s tough to make a single distinct recommendation for flooring in an article like this mainly because the guidance would be subjective at greatest.

1 of the greenest solutions can get rid of VOCs and be a great flooring choice for your household, yet have particular characteristics that might not be conducive for the way your family members life. Yet another solution may well have very low VOCs and be installed in these a way that it poses small possibility to your living setting.

What’s the best flooring to fit your requirements? Only you can make that decision.

Having said that, as suggestions for reduced or zero VOCs, we normally counsel:


Pure hardwood flooring is really frequently at the top of the list as a secure solution for removing VOCs from your household. There are, of system, points you will have to check out out for as you make your remaining choice.

Wood incorporates pure terpenes that are deemed risk-free in most situations. If you have a higher sensitivity, specially fragrant wood decisions may perhaps induce far more than other products and solutions.

All wooden goes by processing from forest to closing installation. Some of the chemical substances that flooring items go as a result of can harbor substances that may perhaps effect hugely sensitive men and women. This is the place it pays to keep warn as to the item you purchase and what processes the company utilized to deliver the flooring to market place.

Wooden also is a porous materials, which implies it has a larger chance of harboring mold. Abide by all rules to guarantee your hardwood is correctly acclimated to your property in advance of set up.

Finishes and adhesives can also alter 1 of the greenest solutions into one particular of the most harmful. There are quite a few lower and no VOC possibilities for equally. Just be absolutely sure your installer is conscious of your dreams, and can help you choose the very best of both.


Yet another organic merchandise that can be a terrific addition to your property is tile.

Marble tile is a terrific decision for both of those good appears to be and small VOCs. Due to the fact marble is quarried from mother nature, you will be bringing a pure products inside your residence. Like wooden, you are going to have to spend focus to the creation approach to make sure the over-all products has minimal or no VOCs once it’s set up inside of your home. And sealants, finishes, or adhesives must be checked to make certain they meet your anticipations on VOC levels you want to deliver within your home.

Slate is also a good alternative. A resin is typically utilised in producing to fill in tiny pits and holes to make it a smoother area. Be certain the goods utilised are very low VOCs. This is in which it pays to go with a well-regarded company, 1 you can analysis completely right before you finalize your buy.

If you’re ready to remove VOCs and find the proper flooring selection to match your requirements, these are just a number of of the products that may possibly make fantastic additions to your dwelling.

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