Understanding what flooring options are easy to maintain and are cost-effective are two important factors in making your decision on what floor you want but another factor most people overlook when making that is what flooring options could affect my health. Let’s start with carpet, carpet offers acoustical and comfort benefits. However, from an indoor environmental perspective, carpet should be the last choice or the choice when acoustical and comfort is one of the ultimate goals. For instance, carpet in a bedroom heightens the comfort level. However, carpet and carpet padding attract and collect biodegradable dust that is not easily vacuumed and that may create an environment conducive to the growth of bacteria and mold.
Resilient flooring is an excellent choice for high traffic areas including hallways, classrooms, cafeterias, restrooms, and auditoriums. They are especially appropriate for areas where there is the possibility of liquid spills. Hardwood floors will be discussed under engineered wood products.
Regardless of the type of flooring, regular cleaning and maintenance requirements should be considered when selecting the flooring and flooring finishes. Consideration should also be given to entry mats as well. Entry mats have been recognized as a great tool for trapping soil, pollutants, and moisture keeping them from spreading across the building floor or throughout the building.
Particular consideration should be given to flooring adhesives because of the off-gassing of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) for a period of time after installation. Carpet and hardwood flooring choices should be given an opportunity to air out in a clean, dry area prior to installation.