When you suffer from severe allergies, whether seasonal or year-round, every decision you make regarding home repairs and remodeling should take your allergy symptoms into consideration. One of the most important decisions you can make in your home regarding your allergies is choosing the right flooring material. Some materials are superior to others in their resistance to mold and mildew, their ease of cleaning, and whether or not they will trap and/or hold allergens.
One of the best flooring options for homeowners who suffer from severe allergy symptoms is porcelain tile. Porcelain is a ceramic material, meaning that is a natural substance that is fired to increase its hardness and durability. This is a great floor because it is natural, non-toxic and contains few to no contaminants and chemicals that could aggravate allergy symptoms. Tile is also a great option because many stores, like Atwood Floor and Tile, offer many styles and colors.
Porcelain tile is also highly moisture resistant. This means that mold and mildew will not be a problem. Porcelain tile will give you the peace of mind that your flooring will not be a source of mold-causing allergy flare-ups.
Porcelain tile is also easy to sweep and clean so you can dispose of allergens that are tracked into your home quickly and efficiently. And, if you have pets (whether you are allergic to them or not), this is particularly important as their fur can carry many allergens.
Hardwood flooring is another good flooring option for allergy sufferers. The biggest benefit of hardwood flooring is the unparalleled smoothness of the surface. Such a smooth surface makes it virtually impossible for tiny allergen particles to become trapped in or on the flooring. Hardwood is by far the easiest type of flooring to keep clean.
However, hardwood floors are not nearly as moisture resistant as tile and will not serve you as well in areas that are exposed to moisture frequently. Water from spills or splashes (i.e. in the kitchen, bathroom, or mudroom) can soak through the hardwood surface and pool underneath the boards. This can cause unseen mold growth which can actually worsen your allergy symptoms.
Laminate or Vinyl Flooring
If you prefer the appearance of hardwood flooring, but want an option that is a bit more resistant to moisture and mold growth, then you can opt for laminate or vinyl flooring. Both of these options offer similar texture and smoothness to hardwood flooring, but can be designed with antimicrobial treatments to prevent mold infestations.
While these two options are perfectly viable, they do use a lot of artificial and man-made components and treatments in manufacturing. Vinyl flooring, for example, has been known to contain vinyl chloride, a potentially toxic chemical. Amounts released are very low, but the long-term effects of such chemical exposure are still unknown.
As you can see, there are several flooring options available to you when you suffer from allergies. Now all that's left is to consider your options and make the selection that best suits your home decor.