Earlier this year we moved shops and needed to source THE HEALTHIEST FLOORING WE COULD FIND. You see, we are thoughtful about everything we use in our bodies, on our bodies and around us in our environments. So when it came to flooring we picked something with really low Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs). On top of that Peter (our founder) had them airing for months before laying! This helps to out-gas extra components in the material that could make even the healthiest of us feel a bit “off”.
Peter is chemically sensitive and is careful about what materials are used, and ALSO in what he recommends to others. So many people have asked questions about what are SAFE PRODUCTS for renovating a home for those who are particularly health conscious or sensitive to chemicals, that we thought it important to cover his short answers here.
We hope this helps you, or someone you know
There are different types of timber floors.
1. Floor made with solid tongue and groove timber nailed on timber floor joists.
In that instance I would seal the floor with “Livos” natural plant and mineral based oil. There are no petro-chemicals in these products. However if you are sensitive you should allow someone else to do the oiling, with open windows, and either seal the room or move out for a week making sure the room is well aired. The low VOC in natural products air out quickly. Petro-chemical airing takes years. I suggest that you contact Livos.com.au for further information and ingredients.
2. Floors laid on top of concrete.
Option A, thin boards of solid timber. However these are glued to the timber bats which in turn are also glued to the concrete floor. I do not recommend those.
Option B, laminate, which was our best option to lay over the old concrete floor. I purchased one board and stood it in an open shed for a few days and ‘sniffed’ it. There was a faint odour but it did not cause my chemical sensitivity adverse reactions. However with the many boards we had to use the odour was much stronger and more obvious than the one board. I aired the boards for weeks in an open shed by separating each board and stacking them with thin 5 mm timber sticks in between, in three spaced positions to avoid bowing. They are laid on a foam underlay to give the boards a ‘soft tread’.
*—- Use the one with foil backing —-* The face is a laminate and this reduces odours penetrating into the air.
After following these steps, going into the shop the same day that the boards were laid caused me no ill effects.
*Please note that you should always do your own testing to determine your suitability.