The Lowdown on Flooring VOCs - What You Need to Know
Welcome to the world of flooring, where comfort and style meet sustainability. As you embark on your journey to find the perfect carpet or flooring for your home or business, it’s important to understand the impact of volatile organic compounds, or VOCs. In this blog, we’ll answer your questions surrounding VOCs in flooring, addressing questions such as “What are VOCs?” and “Will they be in my carpet or flooring?” Join us as we shed light on the significance of low-VOC flooring options, with a focus on the eco-friendly offerings available at One Source Flooring.
What are VOCs?
While it might sound a little scary, simply put, VOC emissions consist of a range of ‘volatile organic compounds’ which at room temperature, may be released from materials or products in the form of gases. These compounds are found in a variety of everyday household products, from cosmetics and deodorants to building products, paints and adhesives, and yes, that includes flooring materials too!
In flooring, two of the more common VOC emissions are from formaldehyde and benzine, while in new carpet, it’s 4-phenylcyclohexene (4-PC) – a by-product of the manufacture of synthetic latex.* Carpet generally doesn’t call for any concerns, however we do often receive VOC enquiries surrounding our hard flooring options.
Will VOCs Be in My Carpet?
Carpets made in Australia and New Zealand generally meet Australian requirements for indoor air quality including the National Occupational Health and Safety Commission occupational limits and the National Health & Medical Research Council Interim National Indoor Air Quality Goals.
With good room ventilation, new carpet VOC emissions will drop below most indoor air quality criteria within a few days. Approximately 90% of all VOCs discharged from carpet dissipate within 2 days post-installation. After 96 hours, carpet VOC emissions fall to less than 1% of the initial value.*
Tips for your Carpet Installation Day
- The area should be ventilated with fresh air during installation to avoid re-circulation of air. Most emissions dissipate quickly with adequate air exchange and ventilation.
- Vacuum the floor after the old carpet and underlay have been removed.
- Operate a ventilation system at the normal room temperature for 72 hours after installation. If possible open windows and doors to maximise fresh airflow.
- If you are sensitive to VOC emissions, leave the premises during and immediately after carpet installation.
Will VOCs Be in My Flooring?
Flooring options like hybrid, laminate and vinyl can also contain varying levels of VOCs. These compounds may be present in adhesives, finishes, or the materials themselves. The impact of VOCs on indoor air quality is a valid concern for many homeowners. However, many manufacturers have recognised these concerns and have taken steps to reduce VOCs.
When investigating VOC levels, the ideal VOC rating is E0, which has the lowest emissions by Australian standards. E1 is also considered to be acceptable.
Materials that are synthetic or have been chemically treated in any way may emit VOCs during installation. While this can also occur with flexible vinyl flooring products, the VOC levels fall off significantly shortly after installation. Testing on vinyl flooring products has shown total VOC emissions to be well within European and Green Building Council standards. Low and Ultra Low VOC vinyl flooring is widely available. Rigid PVC products are very unlikely to emit VOCs.#
At One Source Flooring, our commitment to providing options to create a healthy home is also reflected in our curated collection of low or no-VOC flooring solutions, ensuring that you can enjoy your space without compromising air quality.
Why Choose Low VOC Flooring?
Opting for low-VOC flooring is a conscious decision that benefits both your health and the environment. Reduced ongoing exposure to emissions means a healthier indoor environment for you and your loved ones.
Aaron’s Top VOC Tip
When venturing into the realm of low-VOC flooring in Australia, consider the source. Opt for flooring that boast that they’re ‘low-VOC’ or better still, have certifications like GreenGuard and FloorScore, indicating rigorous testing for minimal emissions and compliance with stringent indoor air quality standards.
Certifications: Ensuring Quality and Safety
At One Source Flooring, we understand that your trust is earned through transparency and credibility. That’s why many of our products carry certifications such as GreenGuard and FloorScore®. These certifications guarantee that our flooring options have undergone rigorous testing for low emissions and compliance with indoor air quality standards. When you choose certified products, you’re not just investing in flooring; you’re investing in a healthier home.
What is GreenGuard?
Global GreenTag is one of the world’s most robust, trusted and widely recognised ecolabels. They independently assure that every product is tested and certified under one of two leading certification programs that use world’s best scientific methods.
For more information, visit globalgreentag.com
What is FloorScore®?
FloorScore® is the most recognised indoor air quality (IAQ) certification standard for hard surface flooring materials, adhesives, and underlayments. Developed by SCS with the Resilient Floor Covering Institute (RFCI), a leading industry trade association of flooring manufacturers and suppliers, it qualifies for many green building schemes including LEED v4.1, WELL, BREEAM, CHPS, and Green Globes.
FloorScore® verifies low VOCs and ensures good air quality. Working in the same capacity as the ECS in Australia and Green Label Plus certification for carpet in Thailand and China.
A Glimpse into Healthy Flooring Options at One Source Flooring
Explore the world of low-VOC flooring at our One Source Flooring Showroom, where each product is carefully selected to meet stringent standards. Our engineered timber flooring, low-VOC vinyl and eco-friendly carpets are just a few examples of our commitment to providing you with flooring choices that enhance your living space without compromising air quality. We have popped a couple below, with many more ranges available in our Flooring Showroom.
Elevate Your Home with Healthy Flooring Choices
In the quest for your ideal flooring, it’s crucial to recognise that it serves a more profound purpose in your home than merely serving as an aesthetic anchor for a room. Beyond its visual appeal, your flooring substantially influences the overall air quality within your living space. It’s important to understand that making well-informed choices regarding your flooring, both in its selection and maintenance, can significantly contribute to cultivating a healthier and more invigorating home environment. Don’t hesitate to assess your current flooring setup and contemplate making a change if it promises to enhance the quality of your living space.
One Source Flooring is your partner in this endeavour, offering a curated collection of flooring solutions that prioritise your well-being. Choose beauty, choose sustainability, choose health—choose One Source Flooring for a home that’s as stylish as it is healthy.