Find Laminate Flooring with Off-gassing and VOCs – TheFlooringlady

This "article" is the result of questions reader had for me because they felt their situation or concerns were not addressed in the various laminate flooring articles they had read. I'd like to share with you the abundant information provided through these conversations. You may find your questions about the durability of laminate flooring addressed by the answers.

Q

How do you know which laminate floors are made with low voc materials, off gassed at the       factory and not made with urea formaldehyde?

Very concerned as I am pregnant.

​Thank you!

- Nicole

A

You have to go by reputation and advertising. And with advertising it's a carp-shoot. I know     by reputation and advertising Pergo has taken care of the off-gassing at the factory. And it         makes a great flooring product.

I don't know of the other laminate companies for sure. Read Pergo's information about their   off-gassing and then look at other companies that claim to off-gas their laminate products to compare descriptions of what and how they do that. Maybe you'll be able to decide for               yourself which products to buy.

Let us know what you buy.​

- The Flooring Lady​


Q

I recently installed Shaw Key West Laminate flooring. I love the way it looks, but have been     waking up at night with headaches. Do you think there could be a connection? I’ve tried to       find the VOC rating, but have been unsuccessful.

- Doug​

A

Hi Doug,

I doubt that the laminate flooring has a high VOC. Key West is a laminate flooring that does     not require glue, so I would assume that none was used.

Shaw does a very good job of being eco-friendly and now most their products (and glues!)         have NO VOC or at least fall into the recommended guidelines as safe. You can contact               them at 800-257-7429 to find more info about your particular flooring’s VOC rating. Their       website is www.shawfloors.com.

Just to be fair, it should also be noted that most of the laminate flooring manufactures have     gone ‘green’, it’s going to be tough to find products with a high VOC.

If nothing else, at least until you find out the VOC rating for your particular laminate, you         could leave the windows open as much as possible to help with off-gassing. It is also said that cut an onion and place it cut-side up in a bowl of water in each room will help remove odors.

FYI: I did check the Shaw website, clicked on the link at the very bottom of page entitled         “Shaw Environmental”, from there I clicked on Laminate and chose “Hickory”, since I             knew that was a choice in the Key West line. Yep, Key West showed up, so it must be one of     their environmentally friendly laminates…..but then again, I suspect they all are. :~)

- The Flooring Lady


Q

Hi Flooring Lady,

I  just installed a low priced laminate floor in my apartment, I have not moved in yet,                 because last Sunday I spent about 6 hours there arranging furniture ect and became very ill.     Lung pain, low grade fever...could this be an allergic reaction to the flooring? I have been         airing out the apt every change I get...will the fumes eventually go away?

Thanks​

- Cindy​


A

Hi Cindy,

I doubt it’s an allergic reaction to the flooring, but you never know. Most flooring products     are trying to be as ‘friendly’ as possible now and manufactures are making more and more       products with low or no VOCs. I don’t know what flooring product you bought or what kind     of adhesive, so I can’t tell you if both are low/no VOC. The odor should dissipate before too       long.

- The Flooring Lady


Q

How to find out which of the laminate are manufacuted with high VOC ingredients and which are safer ones? Could you please recommend a brand that is safe to use in bedrooms?

Thanks

- Santosh

A

Hi Santosh,

I don’t make it a practice to recommend one manufacturer over another simply because             flooring products change so quickly. Most are low VOC now though – it’s very easy to find         manufacturer’s websites too and look at the products they offer. I have noticed that most           flooring manufacturers (whether it be laminates or even carpeting) have something on               their homepage about being more environmentally friendly and go into detail as to why             their products are so much better now! ;~)

- The Flooring Lady


Q

Dear Sir or Madam, if a laminate floor has a high VOC what are some effects, and how will       you know if the product you brought has a high VOC? Thank you.

- Greg March

A

Hi Greg,

VOCs damage air quality and the animals using that space. Humans, and animals too, can         experience lung damage, breathing problems like asthma and allergies, when exposed to           VOCs, especially over time and while sleeping.

You can learn more about quality air by visiting The Good Air Lady, as well as reading     comments provided by readers in this article. Reputable flooring companies share technical   information about their laminate flooring, including information about off-gassing.

- The Flooring Lady

5 thoughts on “Find Laminate Flooring with Off-gassing and VOCs – TheFlooringlady

  1. This is so sad. What a misleading article you are conducting!

    Not all laminate has gone green. In fact only a few have fully changed to green low voc s.

    I have been shopping for affordable laminate and let me tell you 90% are not approved that are still on the market and still for sale to the unassuming public.

    Don’t play doctor. Yes you doubt that it is causing these people health issues… But you have zero proof. North America is a huge country with warehouses of these products. It will take years to weed the garbage off the market realistically.

    Thank you for your article but please realize people are gullible and vulnerable to big business lies and deceptions. That huge laminate flooring company was charged after stamping old smelly stock ad low emissions. They made a stamp on the line that lied. Billions were sold last year.

    • Hello,

      It is certainly not my intention to mislead! You are absolutely right that not all have changed to green low VOCs, but it is definitely true that there have been major improvements in laminate in the last several decades and that we, as a society, are moving towards greener, more healthful consumer choices.

      I think the best thing we as consumers can do is to continue to do as much research as possible and make informed choices. If we continue to choose more healthful and environmentally responsible products, companies will start providing more healthful and environmentally responsible products.

      Thank you for reaching out with your concerns!

      All the best!

  2. Hi, I purchase Pergo XP at Home Depot last month. I haven’t installed yet becouse my husband, my doughter and I felt very sensible to the “smell of wood” itchy nose, sneazing, so we moved all the laminate still in the pakage to one bedroom that we don’t use so much. And we felt better right away. But every time we go the this room where the laminate is simptoms came back. It feels a little better after all this month staying in this place. But still have headache and smell bothers me. I want to returned but I have to pay 15% reestocking fee ( $500 dlls) Home Depot, Pergo don’t care and they said nothing is wrong with laminate. My question is, if I decided to installed and hope the fumes go away, do you know how long does it take to this gas or fumes disappeared ?

  3. We have installed R.A. Seigel’s Hightown (Color buckskin) laminates in our family room, hallway and master bedroom 10 days ago. The box says this is made in Cambodia. The installer used Dri Tec 6200 glue. My wife says the house smells and that her breathing is affected. We are actually staying in a hotel. Formaldehyde levels were tested and measured zero. I find little on the Seigel website about “green” flooring except for their Mannington line. (Apparently Seigel purchased Mannington; I don’t think our flooring is from Mannington.) I have emailed Seigel asking them for VOC’s emitted by this flooring but, of course, will be a bit skeptical on any information they may send back. Do you have any info on this flooring and it’s VOC emitting properties? Thanks.

  4. Hi Flooring Lady!

    What do you know about the VOC/formaldehyde levels of Smartcore Ultra in Lowes? I know its greenguard certified but my concern is how do I truly know that its safe to use around my 5 month old and was not given a false certification? Thanks!

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