Singapore Flooring Articles & News

Is Laminate Flooring Safe For Kids?

Laminate flooring is stylish and it's a great way to give a room some shine. However, a lot of concerns among the homeowner community have come up regarding emissions and health concerns regarding laminate flooring. How safe are they and how often should they be used in a home?

Laminate Flooring

- Does Laminate Flooring Cause Cancer?
Some of the initial concerns raised by parents and homeowners is that laminate flooring can contain a high amount of volatile organic contaminants. Some of these toxins have been known to cause certain types of cancer. However, this particular type of floor has a substance known as formaldehyde. Formaldehyde basically only makes these toxic chemicals come out during what's known as the gassing stage.

Floor carpet also contains the substance formaldehyde but it can hold this substance for up to eight years as it absorbs it a lot longer. The important thing to look at here is the emission level of the flooring you're choosing. Different types of flooring will contain different levels of emission and these should always be listed by every manufacturer of the chosen flooring. 

To keep yourself safe from emission, it's recommended that you choose a floor that has a maximum emission standard level of 0.042 ppm. What does this mean? Some types of laminate flooring will actually contain gas amount of up to 0.1 ppm or even higher. For these floors, they usually come with hazard and warning labels upon purchase. With that being said, the risk of obtaining cancer from any kind of laminate surface is relatively low and the amount of recorded cases in history are also very rare.

It's more about the quality of the floor and where you're obtaining it from because not all laminate is created equal.

- Shop For Quality
Making sure you obtain laminate floor of upstanding quality is priority number one. You want to make sure that the floor you get has 80 percent wood and paper and that the other 20 percent contains synthetic material. The paper and wood will make up the very core of the laminate piece. On the very top of the piece, you should see a nice printed on coast of resin. It can be stamped as well but it's usually printed. 

The layers are merged together with high temperature heating technology, some pressure and some sealers. The formaldehyde we discussed earlier is often contained within the sealers of the finished product.

- Why Is Laminate Flooring So Popular? 
1) Laminate floor is very easy to install. You don't have to be a construction expert or handy to install this type of floor. One of the greatest perks or benefits of installing this particular type of floor is that you don't have to use any types of adhesives. It's very painless and very quick to install as well, so most of your floor can fill a room within a day of work.
2) While this type of flooring does contain some emissions found in the sealers, other types of traditional flooring often contain adhesives that are very toxic or carcinogens. So while some people may freak out over the level of emissions found in laminate, other types of flooring may contain much higher levels of dangerous chemicals.

Flooring

- Are The Emissions Dangerous For Children?
Keeping your family safe is a number one top priority for buying a home or doing some home renovation. You don't want your children or anyone in your home breathing in anything that can be considered dangerous. While there are some toxic substances and chemicals used in the production of this flooring, it's often not dangerous and it's never usually fatal. 

While laminate flooring sometimes can exceed 0.1 ppm (the recommended maximum amount is .042 ppm), there are other things in your home you should worry about for your children. 
1) Dust and debris that's floating around your house. Especially for people who have purchased a new home, you know how irritating dealing with dust can be. You can get a stuffy nose, it can feel hard to breath and in some cases, it can even make you sick.
2) Mold is another common problem new homeowners run into when purchasing a new home. You have to have the house carefully inspected for mold because while most mold is harmless, there are certain types of mold such as black mold that can have dangerous or sometimes deadly effects on your health, especially children.
So while the emissions may be a caution to the wind, they're not nearly as dangerous as some other types of flooring or common new homeowner mistakes such as forgetting to have the house thoroughly inspected. 

- What About Alternatives?
If you're worried about your health and the health of your children, there's good news if you're still in the market for laminate flooring. There are plenty of alternatives out there on the market today that can either eliminate the amount of emissions altogether or there are also some low-emission types of flooring with laminate texture. These substitutes can last just as long as their regular counterparts if placed correctly.
1) There's natural cork flooring for starters. Natural cork is a very easy replacement and it's relatively easy to install. Also, for those who need peace and quiet in some rooms, you can get the added benefit of acoustic insulation as well from cork flooring.
2) Then, there's the natural linoleum flooring. These are made from a mix up of organic and non-organic ingredients: Linseed oil, cork, clay, chalk and pin resin are some of the ingredients usually used in linoleum floors. 

- Conclusion
Is laminate floor safe for children and safe for the family? Absolutely. While there are warnings about the emissions, you shouldn't have any issues as long as the rest of the house is kept up to standard and thoroughly checked. What about those other types of dangerous floors out there? One floor, PVC flooring is often known to give off gasses that can radiate from very harmful chemicals. PVC flooring is not recommended in the home environment, especially those with little ones running around.

As as many questions as you can before buying flooring as the salesman may be able to help better direct you to the appropriate floor for your home. Ask about any concerns you have over emissions and whether or not they're safe for your pets and children.
 
 


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