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The Best Flooring Types for Allergy Sufferers
As we head into spring, many of us start to feel the onslaught of allergies - it’s not uncommon. That particulate matter gathering in the air can wreak havoc with our sinuses and lungs. But there are other allergy sources which can affect people all year round. We are often asked about interior allergy sources, so we thought we would share some info on the best flooring types for allergy sufferers. We always try to be a resource for flooring questions and concerns in the Greater Toronto Area. So here goes.
What an Allergen Is
An allergen is a reaction your immune system has to foreign matter entering your body. Very often the path of entry is through the lungs - in other words, your everyday breathing. Typical allergy symptoms you may be well familiar with include:
Severe symptoms can include rash, hives, low blood pressure and in extreme cases, even death.
A Significant Potential Source of Allergens is in Your Choice of Flooring Material
Of all the materials found in your home or workplace, flooring can be the most common source of airborne allergy producing matter. You can probably guess the worst culprit:
The Reasons Why Carpet is Such an Allergen Source
Allergens are usually very small, even microscopic in size. Carpet is a fantastic haven for such particles; they can be trapped within its fibres and even be furthered in them. Dust gathering within the carpeting further exacerbates the issue. You can try to vacuum all you want, but you will never be able to remove all the potential allergens in there. Plus, you’ll never be able to get at all the potentially harmful material below the carpet - the under-padding.
While many carpet manufacturers now offer hypoallergenic carpet, they will still remain a source for keeping allergens within the fibers.
Good Flooring Alternatives for Allergy Sufferers
In short, just about any type of hard surfacing is more effective against allergen collection, than the soft fibers and other materials found in carpeting and under-padding. Of all the harder varieties of flooring out there, an excellent choice is something like porcelain tile. Particularly if you go with a smooth surface type, you will be able to minimize allergen collection on the finished floor, simply by regular sweeping, and periodic washing of the surface. Porcelain therefore offers both a stylish look, and the durability you’ll need, especially in high traffic areas. Plus you get the benefit of an easily maintainable surface, which can be very important in your efforts to keep allergies at bay.
Note that we make particular mention of smooth porcelain tile types and styles. While we carry a fantastic selection of porcelain tile with many finishes, for the allergy-conscious installation, textured or rougher finished surfaces, and grouting work, are to be avoided.
For contractors out there, keep in mind that when you are promoting flooring styles to potential clients, you should bring to their attention that there are great choices to minimize allergy issues, such as smooth porcelain tile.
We’re Here to Help with Your Flooring Material Needs
We are happy to help with all your questions and concerns. We get them all the time, from designers, decorators, contractors, as well as home and business owners. We hope you found this summary of allergy-friendly choices and options useful. If there is any other topic or question you have for us, please contact us. We’re here to help with your flooring material needs!