Best Flooring for Allergies & Asthma Sufferers
Best flooring for allergies? Best flooring for asthma sufferers? The answer’s right under your nose.
It’s the sneezing fits, the lingering headache, and that alarming moment when, suddenly, you can’t breathe. You take medicine and do your best to avoid the triggers, but being out in a world full of allergens is extremely challenging for asthma and allergy sufferers. Imagine how much worse it is when this happens in your own home.
According to the Allergy and Asthma Foundation of America (AAFA), approximately one out of every five people in the United States suffers from asthma or allergies. Whether it’s you or someone you love, no doubt steps have been taken to create a better breathing environment. However, sometimes it’s easy to overlook what is right there underfoot.
Many people don’t realize that your choice of flooring plays a key role in a room’s air quality, and ultimately your wellbeing. And with May 2018 being National Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month, there’s no better time than now to shed light on this important topic that impacts millions of individuals.
The Worst Flooring for Allergies & Asthma Sufferers
What do we want to avoid? Let’s start with the worst offender. Good old fibrous, moisture-retaining carpeting is definitely not the best choice for asthma and allergy sufferers. No matter how clean you think it is, the pile of most carpets hosts a multitude of microscopic triggers—dust mites, dust, mold, mildew, pollen, pet dander, grass, dirt, and pretty much anything else that comes in on your shoes. Even the fibers of the carpeting itself can detach and find their way into your air space and cause irritation, sight unseen.
The hard surface of vinyl and laminate flooring may be easier to keep clean than carpeting, but they present a different trigger to asthma and allergy sufferers that can’t be washed away. These types of synthetic floors are manufactured and treated with a variety of chemicals—otherwise known as VOCs (Volatile Organic Compound)—that can be emitted in a gas form into the air you breathe. This is what’s called “off-gassing,” and one of the most common VOCs you can find in these products is formaldehyde. Even if you don’t have asthma or any known allergies, you can find yourself with eye, nose, and throat irritation, coughing, headaches, dizziness, and nausea if high levels of VOCs are in your home.
Stone and ceramic tile can be better choices than vinyl and laminate. However, if treated with chemical sealants and installed with modified mortar and grout (which contain latex and other additives) then you’re right back into VOC territory. Plus, the rougher the stone surface, the more dirt and other allergens it can hold.
So that brings us to hardwood—specifically, LIFECORE® hardwood with ZERO-ADD® technology.
The Best Flooring for Allergies & Asthma Sufferers
Hardwood is widely known to be the best flooring for asthma and allergies. According to The National Wood Flooring Association (NWFA), “wood floors have the added benefit of not harboring allergens, microorganisms or harmful pesticides that can be tracked in from outdoors. In addition, dust, mold and animal dander contamination is minimal in homes with wood floors, which can significantly improve indoor air quality.”
Hardwood is also easy to clean and maintain. Frequent sweeps with a static dust mop and weekly spritz with an eco-friendly floor cleaner should do the trick for keeping superficial irritants at bay.
What sets LIFECORE apart from other hardwoods goes deeper than clean. LIFECORE uses a process with an extremely low presence of VOC additives for every aspect of manufacturing (including finishes, adhesives, etc.). This is why the levels of formaldehyde in LIFECORE hardwood flooring are considerably less than even the lowest of levels deemed suitable by law, making it healthier without compromising performance, durability, or design.
The outside world may still present its challenges to asthma and allergy sufferers, but with the right flooring at home, at least you can breathe a sigh of relief.
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