Are vinyl floors toxic in a home? (2023)

byamanda woolly|June 10, 2019|indoor air quality,COV

Building a new home or renovating the home you currently live in will leave you with many decisions, some of which will be critical both to the air quality in that environment and to the health of those who are exposed to this polluted air on a daily basis. Building materials are among the most dangerous items for an indoor environment, as they are filled with potentially toxic materials that, over time, release hazardous chemicals into the air of this enclosed area. From new paint, new furniture, additions to the walls inside the house, and even the removal and replacement of new flooring, all can be potential sources of hazardous chemicals entering the indoor air of your home.

It turned out that the new flooring contains a large number of different chemicals in its composition which, when installed in an indoor environment such as a house, off-gas and release these chemicals into the air of this enclosed area, leading to a level dangerous form of air pollution that can have lasting effects on human health. Among the flooring options for homeowners, one of the most popular options is vinyl flooring, which will give your home a fresh, clean look. However, this type of flooring can be a toxic floor in your home that will release toxic chemicals into the air.

In this article, we'll take a look at the downsides of vinyl flooring, the chemicals it releases into the air, and how you can effectively remove the chemical contaminants produced by vinyl flooring from the air in your home after installation.

See more information:How to improve air quality at home

Choosing a non-toxic floor

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Flooring is an item inside your home that can become filled with a mixture of different chemicals that can be released into the air and pollute indoor air quality. Indoor air pollution and air quality have become a major concern in recent years as the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) has conducted extensive research to show that many indoor environments may be more polluted and more toxic than indoor/outdoor environments.

When it comes to installing new flooring in a home, this construction material releases potentially toxic chemicals into the environment known as VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds). These VOCs can become airborne and significantly degrade indoor air quality, so it's important to do your research to select a non-toxic floor inside your home that won't pollute or stain indoor air quality.

Disadvantages of vinyl flooring

Are vinyl floors toxic?? When it comes to selecting the ideal flooring for their home, many consumers opt for vinyl flooring that is durable, versatile, and cost-effective, saving them a lot of money. However, this type of flooring, while it may seem like the perfect flooring to select for your home, is actually full of toxic chemicals that can pollute indoor air and possibly affect the health of those exposed to that environment. A recent study found that vinyl flooring contains toxic chemicals including phthalates, lead, flame retardants, and VOCs like formaldehyde, which release gases into the air after the installation process in a home and pollute indoor air quality at levels dangerous. .

More than 14 billion pounds of vinyl flooring is manufactured in the United States each year and installed in homes and other interior spaces. This can cause many environments to become contaminated with toxic airborne chemicals that are produced through gassing that can occur over a long period of time after installation is complete. Vinyl flooring will also produce other dangerous airborne chemicals from the adhesives used to install the flooring. These adhesives will contain lead and other VOCs which, once acclimated to room temperature, will turn into a gas and consequently be released into the air.

Are vinyl floors toxic in a home? (1)

Toxic humus for vinyl floors

Vinyl flooring is constructed from new or recycled PVC or polyvinyl chloride, known to be one of the most environmentally hazardous consumable materials produced for flooring. PVC will create a large amount of toxic chemicals, such as dioxins and phthalates, which are released into the air and can produce toxic fumes in the environment. Chemical fume produced by this type of flooring is the result of the release of gas that releases the chemical into the air and affects indoor air quality, and as it releases this chemical, it creates a pungent odor that permeates the entire indoor environment. . . space.

How long does gas free vinyl flooring last?

During the production of materials such as vinyl, the use of chemicals on this element will lead to a process that will take place in this internal space called degassing. Outgassing is identified as the release of a mostly noxious chemical that will turn into a gas at room temperature and be released into the air, leaving this space significantly compromised by the released chemicals. Outgassing of vinyl flooring chemicals will be a painstakingly slow process that can progress for some time after installation; The time will depend on a variety of factors, such as the amount of chemicals released into the air, the ventilation in the space, and the size of the environment that is affected by the gas release. In reality, the gas release should be strongest for the first two weeks and continue for months after it is placed in your home.

Learn more about the EnviroKlenz Air System

Health Hazards of Vinyl Flooring

Once vinyl flooring is installed inside your home, chemicals released from the floor into the air off-gas and create a strong odor in the room. The toxic fumes produced in this space are the product of airborne chemicals that, when inhaled and/or exposed to human health, will result in very dangerous and potentially catastrophic health hazards to people in the environment. From the chemicals produced from the vinyl itself to the chemicals (VOCs) used to install vinyl-like adhesives, all can create a toxic environment for your home.

Symptoms that can occur after installing toxic vinyl flooring in your home may include the following:

  • Irritation of eyes, nose and throat.
  • Headaches
  • nausea
  • allergic skin reaction
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • conjunctival irritation
  • And liver and kidney damage.

Building air purifier for VOC

When it comes to the release of chemicals into your home due to construction or renovations, the best way to effectively mitigate these chemicals from the air and help improve conditions in this indoor space is to purchase and use an air purifier. with VOC removal. There are a variety of different air fresheners available to consumers these days that can concentrate and mitigate certain pollutants in the environment like noxious odors, allergens, particulates, and even chemicals from the air.

(Video) Vinyl Plank Flooring - Review After One Year in Our Home!

OEnviroKlenz Mobile Air SystemIt is the ideal air purifier for a wide variety of airborne contaminants that can be found in the air from allergens, harmful odors, chemicals, and microorganisms. The EnviroKlenz Air Purifier uses two-stage filtration that includes a VOC air cartridge that utilizes EnviroKlenz's proprietary ground mineral technology that is capable of effectively interacting with chemicals such as VOCs and harmful odors created from these products. chemicals in the air through neutralization. The second stage is a hospital-grade HEPA filter capable of filtering particles down to 0.3 microns in size, which will include particles such as allergens.

Are vinyl floors toxic in a home? (2)

When it comes to construction inside your home, such as installing new flooring, the EnviroKlenz air system will be able to remove toxins produced by new flooring from polluted air and filter out VOCs, formaldehyde, PVC, and other chemicals that are aired out. in the air, as well as breaking down and neutralizing odors created by these released chemicals.

(Video) The Truth About Vinyl Flooring

Are vinyl floors toxic in a home? (3)

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EnviroKlenzGenericName®Medical Disclaimer:

(Video) Vinyl flooring concerns? Here's some answers

“Any information provided on this site is not for use by any commercial or personal entity without the express written consent of the blog author. The material and statements illustrated in this blog are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or medical condition. The author also does not guarantee or validate in any way the validity, completeness or effectiveness of the claims and, therefore, will not be responsible for the content of the claims. Always consult your doctor for any specific medical advice or recommendations.

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(Video) Pros and Cons of Vinyl Plank Flooring | Everything You Need To Know About Vinyl Plank Flooring


Is vinyl flooring still toxic? ›

Vinyl Plank, Luxury Vinyl Plank (LVP), and Luxury Vinyl Tile (LVT) are very low in volatile organic chemicals (VOCs) and offgassing. Most people find it odorless, but those like me with a high sense of smell can pick up a little bit of offgassing.

How long does vinyl flooring give off toxic fumes? ›

In reality, the off-gassing should be the strongest during the first two weeks and continue to off-gas for up to months after it is placed into your home.

Which flooring is the least toxic? ›

Solid hardwood flooring is considered the safest and least toxic option as it's completely natural and free from any toxins. Solid hardwood floors are made of planks milled from a single piece of timber, which makes it a healthy flooring option.

What chemicals are in vinyl flooring? ›

Polyvinyl chloride resins, also sometimes just called vinyl resins, are the primary ingredient in vinyl flooring. Polyvinyl chloride, or PVC, is a thermoplastic resin made of 5 7 percent chloride and 43 percent carbon, and is manufactured via a polymerization process of Vinyl Chloride Monomer (VCM).

Why do people not like vinyl flooring? ›

CON: Vinyl floors can be tough to remove.

Once vinyl's adhesive backing hardens to the floorboards, the glue is difficult to remove. Fortunately, removing vinyl floors doesn't require professional tools or techniques; it's all about elbow grease. Clear the room of furniture and remove baseboards and trim if possible.

Is Home Depot vinyl flooring toxic? ›

To be clear, all our products -- vinyl or otherwise -- are safe for consumers."

How toxic is luxury vinyl flooring? ›

Due to the materials used in the production process of vinyl, it will sometimes emit various levels of VOCs into the air for a short amount of time after installation. These toxic chemicals can be harmful to air quality of the immediate environment it's installed in and may cause respiratory problems over time.

How long do you have to stay off vinyl flooring? ›

Don't walk on your vinyl flooring after installation for at least 48 hours. Click lock vinyls can be walked on immediately, however, glue down planks should be given time to securely set. Don't use a beater bar when you vacuum vinyl. This can cause scratching and other damage to your floors.

What kind of flooring has the lowest VOC? ›

Generally speaking, floors with a nontoxic seal or finish have the lowest VOC levels. These include solid hardwood floors, polished concrete, and tile. Keep in mind that every flooring option comes with a lot of variety. Take the time to consider the different materials and finishes available to you.

Which is healthier laminate or vinyl? ›

Vinyl flooring is best in high-moisture areas and it's easy to keep clean. Yet laminate flooring offers a wider variety of style choices and has a higher resale value.
Laminate Flooring.
Vinyl FlooringLaminate Flooring
Materials100% polymers, no organic contentMostly high-density fiberboard made from wood
3 more rows
Nov 8, 2022

What are the safest flooring for home? ›

Healthier Flooring
  • Use solid surface flooring instead of carpet.
  • Choose FSC-certified solid wood.
  • Use natural linoleum or tile made in the U.S.
  • Choose low-VOC finishes and sealants.
  • Look for NAF-certified products.
  • Install without glue; use nail-down or click-lock.
  • Avoid laminate, vinyl flooring and synthetic carpeting.

Which is more toxic vinyl or laminate? ›

Vinyl Flooring

Since it's made completely from synthetic materials, it'll emit harmful VOCs after installation at a higher rate than laminate floors and contribute to indoor air pollution.

What are the health concerns of vinyl flooring? ›

Researchers have found that children living in homes with vinyl flooring and sofas treated with fire retardant chemicals show increased levels of certain toxic chemicals. These chemicals have been associated with serious health issues, including respiratory problems, neurological issues, skin irritation, and cancer.

What are the disadvantages of vinyl flooring? ›

The disadvantages of vinyl floors

Cannot be repaired. Can emit volatile organic compounds (VOCs) Shorter lifespan than wood floors. No impact, or negative impact, on home resale value. Difficult to remove, especially if adhesive is used during installation.

What vinyl flooring has asbestos? ›

Armstrong, Congoleum-Nairn, Ever-Wear, KenTile, KenFlex, Montgomery Ward, and Sears & Roebuck are some of the brand names of vinyl tile from that period that might contain asbestos.

Does vinyl flooring reduce home value? ›

While luxury vinyl flooring has come a long way from its creation and has increased in durability and visual appeal, unfortunately vinyl may decrease your resale value in the long run. It's important to recognize that while you may spend less on vinyl vs. hardwood, the ROI may be less.

Is vinyl flooring OK for living room? ›

Is vinyl flooring suitable for the living room? Vinyl flooring is a great option for living rooms. It's more durable, easy to clean and maintain, and is naturally soft and warm underfoot. Also, LVT is more forgiving of the comings and goings of family life.

What is the most popular flooring in homes today? ›

Tile. Tile is the most obvious choice for kitchens and bathrooms, as it is naturally waterproof and fairly indestructible. Some tile trends include realistic stone or wood looks. New homes tend to include timeless looks like marble, limestone, or slate.

Is Lowes laminate flooring toxic? ›

If you bought Tescun laminate flooring from Lowe's, you may be able to help get a class action lawsuit started against the company. Reports have surfaced that the store's Chinese-made laminate flooring contains toxic levels of formaldehyde, a chemical that can cause serious health problems with prolonged exposure.

What is the new vinyl flooring made of? ›

The primary components of vinyl floor coverings include polyvinyl chloride (or vinyl) resins, plasticizers (high molecular-weight solvents), pigments and trace stabilizers, and a carrier sheet or backing. According to, polyvinyl chloride is made from ethylene, which comes from crude oil.

What is vinyl toxic? ›

Vinyl chloride exposure is associated with an increased risk of a rare form of liver cancer (hepatic angiosarcoma), as well as primary liver cancer (hepatocellular carcinoma), brain and lung cancers, lymphoma, and leukemia.

Is vinyl flooring better than laminate? ›

While costs are similar, the value of premium vinyl far exceeds that of laminate based on quality and value. Unlike laminate, premium vinyl is durable and stable, resistant to moisture and climate, and is easy to install and maintain. Laminate is restricted to light traffic and low moisture applications.

What is safe on luxury vinyl plank flooring? ›

How Should I Clean My Luxury Vinyl Floor?
  • Wipe up any spills or stains right away.
  • Damp-mop weekly with a mild, non-abrasive floor cleaner and a microfiber mop.
  • Avoid using too much water when you mop. ...
  • Don't use a scrub brush or scrubbing attachment on your mop. ...
  • Don't use ammonia or bleach on your luxury vinyl.

Are laminate floors toxic? ›

CDC/ATSDR found that exposure to formaldehyde in the CPSC-tested laminate flooring sold at Lumber Liquidators® could cause irritation and breathing problems. However, you can take steps to reduce formaldehyde levels in your home.

Should I remove old vinyl flooring? ›

This is why the old vinyl must be removed if you want to place down the vinyl perfectly. The vinyl adhesive can add layers to the subfloor. If it is not removed from the sub-floor, from the previous project, it can start to cause uneven texture.

How often should vinyl flooring be replaced? ›

Vinyl Flooring Lifespan: 10 years for low quality and installation, 15-25 years with high quality tile and proper installation.

Can you put furniture on vinyl flooring? ›

Yes, although vinyl isn't as durable as timber, our vinyl floors are well-designed and durable enough to be able to handle heavy furniture placed upon them.

How long do VOCs last in vinyl flooring? ›

During the drying and curing process, the floor's finish releases potentially harmful chemicals into the air via evaporation, a process called off-gassing. Off-gassing is heavy during the first two days after application, and the floor's finish can continue to emit small amounts of VOCs for up to thirty days.

Is vinyl safe to breathe? ›

People who breathe extremely high levels of vinyl chloride can die. Studies in animals show that extremely high levels of vinyl chloride can damage the liver, lungs, and kidneys. These levels also can damage the heart and prevent blood clotting.

Does luxury vinyl flooring emit VOCs? ›

Not environmentally friendly. Manufacturing vinyl flooring requires the use of toxic chemicals, and after installation, vinyl floors have been known to emit VOCs (volatile organic compounds).

Why is vinyl unhealthy? ›

PVC production releases dangerous pollutants including vinyl chloride, ethylene dichloride, mercury, dioxins and furans, and PCBs. Vinyl plastic products expose children and all of us to harmful chemical additives such as phthalates, lead, cadmium and organotins — all substances of very high concern.

Is vinyl a carcinogen? ›

Vinyl chloride exposure is associated with an increased risk of a rare form of liver cancer (hepatic angiosarcoma), as well as primary liver cancer (hepatocellular carcinoma), brain and lung cancers, lymphoma, and leukemia.

What is the disadvantage of vinyl flooring? ›

The disadvantages of vinyl floors

Can emit volatile organic compounds (VOCs) Shorter lifespan than wood floors. No impact, or negative impact, on home resale value. Difficult to remove, especially if adhesive is used during installation.

What are the symptoms of vinyl chloride disease? ›

Exposure to very high levels of vinyl chloride is deadly. Breathing vinyl chloride causes dizziness, sleepiness, and even unconsciousness. Other effects are lung irritation, trouble breathing, ulcers, stomach bleeding and an irregular heartbeat.

Is vinyl safe for bedrooms? ›

Luxury vinyl tile and vinyl plank flooring are excellent choices for any room of your home, including bedrooms. They are durable, have a great lifespan, and offer stunning visuals that complement any existing décor or interior design, including various colors, patterns, styles, and finish types.


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