Keep allergens away with hypoallergenic flooring

If someone in your family has asthma or allergies, or you simply want cleaner, greener floors, try one of these hypoallergenic flooring options.

Keep allergens away with hypoallergenic flooring

Hypoallergenic flooring can be a good choice for many people, especially those who suffer from asthma or allergies.

There are many options for flooring, and not all of them are necessarily the safest for your family.

  • Carpet fibres can release mould spores and dust mites into the air, in addition to potentially harmful Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) used in the manufacturing process.
  • VOCs can also be present in adhesives used to install tile flooring.
  • Formaldehyde may be used in the manufacturing or finishing of some wood flooring.

While it may be hard to avoid exposure to all chemical substances, you can make smart flooring decisions to limit that exposure.

Carpet

If you are choosing carpet, look for greener options or go with a real wool carpet. It will be more expensive than synthetic materials, but it will also be safer and more durable.

  • Whichever carpet you choose, be sure to ask about the levels of VOCs.
  • Unfortunately, even hypoallergenic carpet fibres can provide a home for dust mites, pollen, pesticides and pet hair that may be carried indoors on shoes.
  • To minimize the allergens in carpet, clean it regularly with a High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) vacuum.

Ceramic or stone tile

Both are made from natural materials, making them a great option.

  • Additionally, they are installed using grout made from a cement that does not emit odours.

Cork or linoleum

Both are environmentally friendly, low in allergens and easy to maintain.

  • Cork’s tight cellular structure resists water, dust and pollen infiltration, which means allergens cannot be trapped within its surface.
  • Genuine linoleum flooring is free of the petrochemical solvents and plastics that may emit irritating fumes into enclosed spaces within the home.
  • Ask about low-VOC adhesives before you have the flooring installed.

Vinyl

Vinyl is easy to maintain, and its hard surface is not mould or dust-mite friendly.

  • If you are using vinyl, choose high-end vinyl tiles.
  • Inexpensive vinyl flooring is more likely to contain a higher level of VOCs.

Hardwood

Natural hardwood is basically allergen free because it is a natural material and is also free of nooks and crannies that can trap pollen, dust and pet hair.

  • Look for hardwood that has been finished with a water-based polyurethane or varnish rather than a solvent-based coating, which contain VOCs.

Bamboo

Bamboo is naturally hypoallergenic and antibacterial.

  • However, some people suffer allergic reactions to bamboo or the adhesives used to install it.
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