Are waterproof floors good for people with allergies?
For people with allergies, it can seem like a lot of time is spent controlling them. From tracking seasonal pollen counts to taking allergy medicine to voraciously cleaning, many people are overwhelmed with keeping their allergies in control.
And your floors, one of the biggest surfaces of your home, shouldn’t be something that causes allergies, either.
According to the American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology (AAAAI), over 50% of homes have at least six detectable allergens present. So why should your floor contribute to that?
What is the best flooring for allergy sufferers?
If you research the best floors for allergies, you’ll find consistently that hard surface flooring are the safest floors for allergies. These type of floors (including hardwood, cork, and LVT) are easy to clean and don’t trap allergens like carpet does.
Even though we’ve narrowed it down to hard surface flooring, there are a lot of options to consider. Waterproof floors (sheet vinyl, LVT, and LVP) are a great option for those who need a durable floor that won’t upset their allergies.
Let’s go over some aspects to consider when looking for a new allergen-free, waterproof floor:
- Do waterproof floors trap allergens?
- Has the floor been tested for harmful chemicals?
- What can I do after installation to prevent allergens from living in my home?
Do waterproof floors trap allergens?
Because waterproof flooring is a hard surface, it won’t trap dust mites or allergens like pollen, mold, dust and pet dander. This makes them incredibly easy to clean, which is especially helpful during allergy season.
Additionally, loose lay waterproof floors perform well in flood-prone areas, like basements, kitchens, and bathrooms. Loose lay floors are installed without any locking system and are not glued down. If a flood happens in the space, you can remove the flooring boards to let the subfloor and flooring boards dry. When everything is dry again, you can re-install the flooring.
Can vinyl flooring cause allergies?
For people with asthma and certain allergies, another aspect to consider is the VOC (volatile organic compounds) level of the floor.
Most floors will give off some level of VOCs, even natural hardwood floors. These emissions are caused by a variety of factors, like the adhesive and finishes used with the floor.
Over the past several years, some waterproof and laminate floors have developed a reputation for having high levels of VOCs. Because of this, many homeowners are worried about having these products in their homes.
However, many waterproof flooring manufacturers use materials that are safe for those with allergies and asthma and that meet rigorous indoor air quality certifications.
Here are two ways to find a waterproof floor that’s safe for your home:
Look for GREENGUARD and FloorScore certifications
GREENGUARD and FloorScore are leading organizations that certify floors as healthy options for indoor installations.
GREENGUARD tests flooring and many other products for over 10,000 chemicals to certify that they give off low emissions.
FloorScore is a certification from SCS Global Services that tests finished flooring products for 35 individual VOC emissions (including formaldehyde).
Our rigid core flooring is both GREENGUARD and FloorScore certified, something that you won’t typically find in competing products. Get more details about these certifications here.
Opt for a no-glue installation
Flooring adhesives can also contain high amounts of VOCs. An advantage of waterproof flooring is that many come in loose lay or click lock constructions that do not require adhesive.
If you do need to glue the floor down, there are low VOC and no VOC adhesive options available. Always be sure to check that the product has the correct certifications.
How do I clean my house for allergies?
Keeping your home allergy-free extends beyond just choosing the right product.
Here are 3 things you can do to prevent allergens and irritants from living in your home.
Cleaning for allergies
Waterproof floors are one of the easiest flooring surfaces to clean. If you have seasonal allergies, it’s especially important to dust and sweep regularly when pollen is at its high.
To help keep dust, pollen, and dirt out of the house, use walk-off mats near doors and have a no-shoes-inside policy.
Get rid of allergens in your home‘s air
The American Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America encourages homeowners to use a whole-home humidifier and dehumidifier to keep your home below 50% relative humidity. This will help keep allergens like dust mites, and mold at bay.
Additionally, when seasonal allergies are at their high, avoid opening your windows. It can seem tempting to do, especially when the weather is nice, but you might invite pollen in with the fresh air.
Adding real plants can also purify the air. Be sure to choose ones that are easy to keep and are right for the type of lighting your room gets.
Get more ways to create a healthy environment in your home from the AAAAI.
Choose natural and low-chemical products
Like carpet, fabrics in your home can harbor allergens and irritants. When looking for decorations like rugs, bedding, and pillows, choose ones that are made from natural materials and can be machine washable. Once at home, clean these items as needed.
Additionally, look for other low-chemical products to use in your home. Like the certifications we talked about, there are other third-party certifications for other types of products like EnergyStar, Green Seal, and FSC International.
A cleaning product that we recommend is Real Clean Floors. Made with all-natural ingredients, this cleaner can be used on a variety of surfaces, like vinyl flooring, hardwood, concrete, and countertops.
Are waterproof floors the safest flooring for allergies?
Waterproof floors are a great solution for those needing a durable floor that doesn’t trap allergens and irritants. Look for ones with third-party certifications (like GREENGUARD and FloorScore) and opt for a no-adhesive floor if you’re sensitive to strong chemicals. After installation, clean the floors regularly, keep a healthy home environment, and use other products that don’t use irritating chemicals.
Taking these steps will make your home more peaceful and keep your allergies at bay.
Looking for a waterproof floor?
We’ve created a free guide that goes through everything you need to know when buying a waterproof floor. Find out the top 5 things to know before choosing a waterproof floor. We also cover the big question, “What does waterproof mean, exactly?”