Wood Floors: Selling the Health Benefits

Date Posted: 17 January 2020

The benefits of hardwood flooring are remarkable when you think about it.

What other flooring option never goes out of style; lasts for generations, matches every décor; and is so easy to maintain? But what you may not know is that wood floors have significant health benefits as well.

Wood directly impacts indoor air quality. In fact, wood floors can significantly improve indoor air quality when compared to other flooring options.

A study conducted by Harris Interactive reports that most U.S. homeowners believe; that their family’s health is directly related to the cleanliness of their floors. And the majority believe that wood floors are most effective in improving indoor air quality.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) agrees. They report that wood floors are hypoallergenic; which is a huge advantage for allergy sufferers. Wood floors do not harbor microorganisms or pesticides tracked in from outdoors as other flooring options can. They also minimize the accumulation of dust, mold, and animal dander, which improves overall indoor air quality.

Wood floors also improves indoor air quality in another, less tangible, way. This is because wood is a carbon-neutral product.

As most people know, as a tree grows, it takes in carbon dioxide from the environment and produces oxygen. What most people do not know, however, is that products made from wood, including wood flooring, store carbon during their service lives.
In other words, even after the tree used to make wood is; cut down and manufactured into flooring; it continues to store carbon during its entire service life. That’s quite a green story and is yet another way wood flooring improves indoor air quality.

In recent years, wood floors also have improved by utilizing low VOC finishes and adhesives.

The California Air Resources Board, an organization known as CARB, monitors indoor air quality. CARB has established strict regulations for VOC emissions. It regulates VOCs in wood flooring finishes and adhesives, and provides the strictest VOC standards in the nation. Other areas of the country are regulated by the Ozone Transport Commission. CARB now is being used as a model to; develop national standards to; minimize harmful VOC emissions.

With all of these positive research results, it is easy to see how wood floors can reduce indoor allergens and improve overall indoor air quality. Communicating these positive messages to your customers can help you steer them toward products that will not only improve their décor, but also their health.

Anita Howard is Chief Operating Office at the National Wood Flooring Association in St. Louis. She can be reached at anita.howard@nwfa.org.

hardwood floors magazine
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