These days it seems like everyone is seeking to purify their lives and their environments. We prefer foods without GMOs (genetically modified organisms), drive energy efficient vehicles, and pay attention to the chemicals that are in our toiletries and household cleaners. These considerations even come into play when building or remodeling a home, as many homeowners want to make sure that the building materials they choose are healthier for their families and the environment. Flooring and paint are materials that are of particular concern to homeowners right now. Here are a few suggestions to help you make healthy selections.
Hardwood. The type of flooring you choose for your home is crucial in terms of both style and function. There are a wide variety of attractive options for health-conscious consumers of every interior design aesthetic.
- Hardwood. The first thing to think about when picking hardwood flooring is its environmental sustainability. Look for wood that has been certified by the Forest Stewardship Council. It is best to select a sustainable product that uses water-based glue or none at all and an underlayment that is free of toxic formaldehyde.
- Carpet. Many homeowners love the soft, comforting feel of carpet, but did you know that many newer carpet products contain volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, that emit toxic fumes when inhaled? These fumes can cause sore throat, difficulty breathing, nausea and even allergic skin reactions. When shopping for carpet, make sure that the product you choose has been tested by the Carpet and Rug Institute’s (CRI) Indoor Air Quality testing program for lower emissions. Ask your distributor or builder to let the carpet air out before installing it in your home.
- Tile, Linoleum and Other Options. Ceramic tile is a non-toxic choice for kitchens, bathrooms and entryways. The same goes for genuine linoleum, natural rubber and concrete (as long as you use low-VOC adhesives and finishes to secure and seal them).
Just like carpet, adhesives and sealants, it’s important to look for interior paint, stains and primer that are low in or free of VOCs. Many popular paint manufacturers offer low-to-no VOC versions of colors. Look for options with less than 250g of VOCs per liter.
While many professionals prefer oil-based paints for interior wood work, they do leave strong fumes and odors for several days following application. Another option is acrylic latex enamels, which have improved greatly in recent years, and can rival the traditional oil-based enamels in hardness and sheen.
Your home should be a healthy safe haven for your family. When building or renovating, it is so important to work with a knowledgeable contractor who values your family’s health and safety enough to use and educate you on the best non-toxic building products and practices. The team at Robinson Builders works hard to stay in the know and apply the latest in green, sustainable building to all of our custom homes, kitchen remodel projects and bathroom renovations. Call or contact us today about your next home project.