Is Vinyl Plank Flooring Toxic?

Some vinyl plank flooring may be toxic. Keep reading to learn more.

Over the past few years, vinyl plank flooring has become extremely popular because it is affordable, relatively durable, and has noise dampening abilities. However, a few concerns have arisen about whether this flooring releases toxins that could harm your family’s health and even the environment. 

The manufacturing processes that are being used to create vinyl flooring planks involve the use of various chemical compounds, along with PVC. For instance, chemicals are included in the manufacturing process to provide this flooring with the correct texture, color, hardness, and shine. As a result, some individuals have raised concerns about whether vinyl flooring is toxic or not. 

PVC Softeners are Classified as Toxic

PVC softeners – also called phthalates – are one of the chemical compounds used to give vinyl flooring its flexibility, comprising about 60% of the end product.

Some studies that have been performed have indicated that these industrial softener products can cause lung, kidney, and liver damage in some individuals. In addition, it has also been suggested that these compounds could affect reproductive health. 

Consumer Reports have also raised concerns that the phthalates used to make vinyl plank flooring more flexible could not only have a negative effect on the endocrine system; they could be classified as potential carcinogens.

Contamination of Indoor Air

The phthalates used to manufacture this flooring aren’t only bound to the planks themselves – they can leach, evaporate and migrate into a home’s indoor air and accumulate dust. As a result, they could pose a reasonably severe health risk to children and older adults. 

Contamination can quickly occur through skin exposure, ingestion, and inhalation. For example, Kids that enjoy playing on the floor could be exposed to these toxic chemicals. 

Potential Asthma Risk

Studies have indicated that there could be a link between exposure to phthalates and increased cases of asthma in sensitive individuals, especially children. 

The study revealed that children born to mothers exposed to the phthalates found in vinyl plank flooring during pregnancy stood a far higher chance of developing asthma.

Which Vinyl Plank Flooring Contains Toxins?

Various brands of this flooring will, of course, contain differing amounts of toxins. While some companies are making an active effort to phase out the use of harmful chemicals, others haven’t made an effort in this regard yet. 

As such, it’s strongly recommended that homeowners inquire about the phthalate content in flooring before making their final choice. 

Choosing and Caring for Vinyl Plank Flooring

When searching for vinyl plank flooring, you must be able to view and feel the different available options physically. This will allow you to determine which options are better qualities than others.

Although many homeowners may not always be able to afford to install top-of-the-range vinyl plank flooring, it is often possible to shop around between suppliers about pricing. So you may get a better price on a higher quality product this way. 

It’s strongly recommended that vinyl plank flooring be professionally installed, as this will ensure you can get as much use out of it as possible over time. Also, only a damp mop and mild detergent should be used when cleaning it, as harsh chemicals will cause damage to the top layer. 

In some cases, it’s possible to obtain discount coupons for this flooring, meaning that you could sometimes get top-of-the-range options at heavily discounted prices.