Vinyl Flooring

Best (and Worst) Flooring for Allergies and Asthma.
Your home is your castle. Your secure haven from the stresses and dangers of everyday life. However, for allergy sufferers, even the home may be a labyrinth of triggers and health risks on a regular basis.
According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 50 million people in the United States suffer from allergies every year. Allergies are the sixth major cause of chronic illness in the US. Allergies are an incurable disorder that affects both adults and children on a daily basis.
With numbers like those, it’s understandable why you’d want to avoid allergy triggers as much as possible. Especially within the home. And, while many individuals go to great lengths to “allergy-proof” their home, they frequently ignore one of the primary sources of allergy triggers in the home: the floor.
Let’s look at what solutions are available for allergy-sensitive households. Is there really such a thing as an allergy-proof floor? Which flooring is best for reducing allergy triggers? Keep your antihistamines handy; this article will teach you everything you need to know about choosing the best allergy-friendly flooring.
ALLERGIES: WHAT IS IT?
Before we go into the possibilities, it’s useful to grasp the situation. You may catch a cold a few times a year, but these are not allergies. It’s possible that your nose runs because of something other than allergies.
So, what precisely are allergens?
An allergy, according to the AAFA, is an immune system reaction to a foreign material in or on your body. These compounds are commonly referred to as allergies.
An allergy can be ingested, inhaled, injected, or merely touched. The reaction can result in coughing, sneezing, itchy eyes, a runny nose, and a scratchy throat. In severe situations, rashes, hives, low blood pressure, breathing difficulties, asthma episodes, and even death have happened. As previously said, there is no cure for allergies. However, allergies can be managed by prevention and treatment.
What are common allergens? The bad news is that your house is usually filled with them. Mold, mildew, dust, dust mites, pet hair, pollen, dirt, grass, leaves, and even chemicals.
Allergens can live in a variety of locations around the home, including often-overlooked flooring. They can also be found in indoor plants, bedding and cushions, mattresses, stuffed toys, soft furniture, on pets, and in damp areas like basements, kitchens, and bathrooms.
So, how can you prevent something as common as an allergy from invading your home? As you can expect, that’s a huge order, so let’s start with the basics.
What to Look for in a Floor?
Rather than burn the place down after reading those horrific lists of allergens and their locations, we’ll look at some possibilities for which flooring is best for allergies, and which is the worst.
It’s useful to understand some general principles for what constitutes good, hypoallergenic flooring and what may not be. In the case of allergies, this is a short list, but we’ll go into greater detail as we go over each choice.
In general, soft surfaces are not the ideal option, so stick to hard surface floor solutions and avoid rugs. That gives you more flooring options than many other project factors (water-resistant flooring is much more limited). To prevent chemicals, opt for natural products over man-made alternatives.
All that being said, if you’re not sure where to begin, contact the flooring professionals at The Good Guys. They are available to answer all of your inquiries, from allergy-friendly product selection to installation and maintenance.
Least Allergy-Friendly Flooring
Okay, let’s start with the bad news. As previously said, one flooring option is deemed less successful than others when dealing with allergens. Spoiler alert: carpet is the worst.
This is not to argue that carpet is terrible. Carpet is a beautiful, soft, and affordable carpet option for many houses. However, if you’re seeking for allergy-friendly floors, avoid soft surface goods, particularly carpet.
But why? Many of the minute allergens we discussed are retained and amplified by carpet. Carpet traps dust mites, grime, and moisture (MOLD!!!) better than any other flooring material. Even with frequent vacuuming and a HEPA filter, allergens cannot be totally eliminated from the carpet. Remember that if you only deal with the carpet, you are missing out on half of the space where allergens hide. These “hidden dangers” outlined above can soak through the carpet material and into the padding beneath, making removal difficult, if not impossible.
Many carpet manufacturers now offer hypoallergenic carpet, moisture-resistant cushioning is available (particularly beneficial in basements, for example), and natural fiber or renewable “green” carpeting is more allergy-friendly than traditional products. However, they are all made of carpet and pad, which can collect, store, and even attract allergens.

Better Options for Allergy-Friendly Flooring
Laminate and Vinyl Flooring
Laminate and vinyl flooring meet the hard surface vs. soft surface requirements, removing some of the disadvantages of carpeting. However, they are not totally resistant to allergies. Laminate and vinyl plank flooring do not retain allergens like carpet and are typically considerably easier to clean.
Luxury vinyl plank and vinyl tile flooring are among the most popular new flooring styles in recent years. It’s long-lasting, easy to clean, and available in a wide range of trendy colors, patterns, and styles.
Vinyl is a fantastic allergy-friendly option since its firm surface properties make it easy to clear of dust and dirt while not trapping allergens. Check the VOC content of both the flooring (due to its petroleum base) and (for glue-down choices) the adhesive used to apply it, as both can be significant sources of allergy-inducing emissions. Higher-end vinyl materials are often more durable and have lower VOC content. Definitely a “you-get-what-you-pay-for” issue.
Laminate is a manmade product that comprises few natural materials. The majority of laminate plank and rigid-core vinyl flooring options require click-lock or floating installation, which eliminates the need for adhesives.
Engineered Hardwood
Engineered hardwood is made up of numerous layers of genuine wood that are connected to a base layer to provide strength. That foundation layer is frequently composed of man-made elements that have been fused together using a chemical adhesive. Engineered hardwoods are most commonly bonded down with adhesives.
All of these adhesives and man-made materials may include allergies. Because they are chemically based, they have the capacity to produce Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) immediately and at a certain time. If you’re considering engineered wood for your floors, pay close attention to the level of VOCs in each product and choose the lowest amount feasible. To determine VOC content, request copies of the manufacturer’s Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) for each product. Check the levels and presence of one particular VOC: formaldehyde. This is a common allergen in flooring because it is used in both the construction and adhesives. Be aware that this may be present in the plywood subfloors or some engineered wood products used in the construction of your home.
Tile and Stone
As with any potential new flooring project, our search for allergy-friendly floors leads us to tile and stone. Tile and stone, which have long been popular for their durability, style, high-end appearance, and variety, are good allergy-friendly flooring solutions if properly selected, styled, and installed.
Any smooth-finish tile or stone is a suitable hypoallergenic alternative. Dirt, dust, mold, and other allergens can become trapped in the “holes” in natural stone or porous tiles, as well as tiles with rough edges. Polished marble and granite are attractive and allergy-friendly, but they can be slick underfoot, so keep this in mind when making a decision.
No matter what tile or stone you choose, check the glue and grout for VOC content and choose one with lower levels. Furthermore, it is necessary to correctly seal the tile and grout, as well as to clean and reseal it on a regular basis, as recommended by the manufacturer. Sealing keeps dirt, dust, and other allergens from permeating the porous surface of the tile or grout.
Solid Hardwood
Hardwood floors have been a popular flooring option for literally hundreds of years. They are long-lasting, refinishable, flexible for usage across the home, and, most importantly, allergy-friendly.
Hardwood flooring are constantly regarded as one of the most allergy-friendly options on the market. Hardwood floors, when properly placed and finished with an allergy-friendly polyurethane-style clearcoat, do not host microorganisms like dust mites or trap dirt, dust, or other tracked-in allergens. Dust, mold, animal dander, and hair may all be readily removed with a dust mop and regular cleaning with a suitable hardwood floor cleaner.
Hardwood floors may be restored and, with proper care, can last a lifetime or more. They are natural, renewable substances that, like anything in nature, emit some VOCs; nevertheless, they pale in comparison to those found in (surprise!) the adhesive and finish coat. Not to seem like a broken record, but keep an eye on the VOCs in those goods. Your friends at The Good Guys can help you navigate some of these tough allergy-free items.
Natural Flooring.
Natural flooring solutions, such as cork and bamboo, are also ideal for allergy sufferers. They are natural, which reduces VOCs, eco-friendly, and easy to maintain, resulting in an allergy-free floor for years.
When correctly polished, even porous products such as cork might be beneficial to allergy sufferers. It is inherently resistant to mold, mildew, and germs and, like hardwood floors, can be simply maintained with a dust mop and the appropriate cleaner.
Bamboo is another renewable, environmentally friendly choice that is long-lasting and allergen-resistant. One word of caution about bamboo: it is technically a grass rather than a tree product, so if you are looking for flooring that is friendly to grass allergies, this may not be the ideal option. When properly sealed, bamboo flooring, like wood, tile, and cork, resists mold and mildew growth while not trapping dirt and dust.
As with any of these items, be aware of the VOCs present in the sealant and adhesives used during installation and adapt your product selection accordingly.
Is it concrete? What absorbs water and, by extension, mold, mildew, dirt, and other allergens? Is that allergy friendly?
Actually, sure. Concrete is not only a popular design and flooring alternative, but it is also a very allergy-friendly flooring option when properly treated and decoratively completed. There are nearly endless color and finish choices available, and upkeep is as simple as using a dust mop and finish-friendly floor cleanser.
While concrete emits VOCs, it emits far less than most other construction materials, according to the Portland Cement Association, a policy, research, education, and market intelligence group that serves America’s cement manufacturers.
Prior to staining/finishing, make sure the concrete is prepared with low VOC materials and thoroughly sealed with a low-VOC or VOC-free sealant for longer life and worry-free maintenance.

Vinyl Flooring