Don't Let Allergies Limit Your Floor Choices

When you come home at the end of the day, you want to relax, not spend your time coughing and sneezing. But for people with asthma or allergies, special care has to be taken to maintain good air quality at home. Choosing the right flooring material, and maintaining it once installed, can make a big difference in the amount of allergens in the home. But while some materials are easier to keep clean and allergy-free than others, almost any flooring material can be allergy-friendly if chosen carefully. 


Smooth laminate floors are easy to keep clean and dust-free, which is great for people with allergies. However, choosing the right laminate is important. Be on the lookout for two things: flooring that is low-VOC and formaldehyde-free. VOCs are volatile organic compounds, and they can cause allergic reactions in some people. Formaldehyde is a carcinogen that is used in some laminate flooring adhesive. Finally, choosing a moisture-resistant underlayment like cork or foam rubber can prevent mold.


There are many types of vinyl flooring out there, and some are more allergy-friendly than others. In general, vinyl floors are easy to keep clean, which is a plus, and properly-installed vinyl is also moisture-resistant. When browsing vinyl, look for flooring that is listed as low-VOC. And as with laminate, laying a vinyl floor on top of cork or foam rubber is a good idea to prevent mold growth.


In addition to its natural beauty, hardwood flooring is a dream for people suffering from allergies. The smooth finish of hardwood flooring means easy cleaning and no hiding places for dust and dander. The key is to check not only the flooring but also the finish for VOCs. Penetrating oil finishes and water-based polyurethane are common low-VOC options for hardwood flooring.


Porcelain and ceramic tile are excellent choices for allergy sufferers. Because they are non-porous, they won't trap allergens in them, and they are very easy to clean. One of the reasons tile is so popular in bathrooms is that, even in such a humid environment, mold and mildew can only grow on the surface of tile and can be easily wiped off with water and bleach.


Carpet does have a disadvantage when it comes to allergens – carpet fibers can easily trap dust, dander, and other materials from the air and then release them as people walk across the carpet. However, that doesn't mean that people with allergies have to stay away from carpets.

There are three main things to look for in low-allergy carpeting. First, you'll want a relatively low-pile carpet. This will be easier to clean and have less space to trap allergens. Second, you should look for carpeting that's listed as mold-resistant. And third, no matter what carpet you choose, you'll want to vacuum it frequently with a machine with a HEPA filter.

To learn more about flooring, contact a company like National Carpet Mill Outlet