Health hazards in flooring: what you didn’t know

When it comes to safety in your home, you don’t want to take any chances putting your family at risk. That’s why it’s important to know how certain products in your house or apartment might be affecting your health.

“Many people don’t realize that the wood or carpeting they’re buying can contain chemicals that are toxic,” says Byron Saracoglu, Project Manager at Metrotown Floors + Interiors. “If you think about something like a laminate floor, for example, or engineered hardwood, which has layers of plywood, there is glue that holds it all together. Many companies were using huge amounts of formaldehyde in the glue.”

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According to a study done by the Hardwood Plywood and Veneers Association, samples from random flooring stores were tested, says Saracoglu. And out of eight samples, six were high on formaldehyde carcinogens.

“That’s why Metrotown Floors is very selective,” he says. “We deal with reputable North American and European suppliers.”

Saracoglu advises customers to not make price the primary decision-maker in the buying process. Cheaper items are often higher in formaldehyde.

“Think about what happens when the wood is being cut to size in your home,” Saracoglu explains. “There’s sawdust from the cutting that goes into the air and circulates.”

And it’s not just wood products that are a concern, he says. Carpets also have toxic off-gassing from the backing where glue is used to put the piles together. And sometimes it can be worse for you than wood.

“As long as you don’t destroy the wood, it won’t harm you,” says Saracoglu. “But carpets will off-gas from their backing. And low-cost manufacturers cannot verify what’s on the back.”

To be safe, choose all-natural carpets, such as those made of wool fibre. Metrotown Flooring imports its high-quality wool carpeting from around North America, New Zealand and Greece.

Saracoglu says fewer than 5% of his customers ask about it toxins in the materials. That’s why he’s taken it on himself to educate them.

“We can’t risk the health of our customers,” he says. “Even crawling on the floor can be dangerous with the wrong kind of flooring in your home.”

Want to make sure your flooring is safe? Visit the experts at Metrotown Floors at 5690 Imperial St, Burnaby or check out their website, call 604-434-4463 or email.  You can also find Metrotown Floors on Facebook, Pinterest or Houzz.

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