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Is Vinyl Flooring Toxic?

Many people might think that finding the perfect flooring for your home is a relatively simple process, but there are actually lots of things that you will need to think about when doing so.

It is not uncommon for a variety of different types of flooring to actually contain harmful or toxic chemicals, and this is definitely something that should be avoided. 

Toxic chemicals within your flooring can become a powerful source of indoor air pollution, which has become a major health risk worldwide.

Editor's Note: If any part of your house contains wood floors, check out our Hardwood Floor Vacuum and Mop Combos of 2021 Guide here.


There have been a significant amount of deaths or health risks that have been associated with indoor air pollution, and the majority of people have no idea that such a thing can even happen.

This is why it is more important than ever before to make sure that the flooring that you are choosing for inside your home is not going to negatively impact your health.

Vinyl flooring is a popular choice for many homeowners, and you might now be wondering whether or not it is safe to have in your house.

In this article, we aim to answer all of your questions regarding the safety of vinyl flooring, so you will know how to safeguard your home against toxic chemicals from flooring. 

What is Vinyl Flooring?

Vinyl flooring is a synthetic type of flooring that is super durable, more affordable, and really easy to install, which is why it has become increasingly popular.

Vinyl flooring is often confused with other types of flooring, like laminate, and we will get into explaining the differences shortly. 

Higher end vinyl flooring is a great choice for many due to the fact that it is a highly versatile material that is able to hold up in most home environments, no matter how chaotic.

They are also great because they often mimic other flooring styles, and they can look like real wood flooring or stone tiling when necessary. This means that you can use vinyl flooring in a variety of rooms, and it is really easy to lay down in comparison to laminate.

However, if you are looking into vinyl flooring, there are some things that you might need to know first.

Vinyl is a much cheaper alternative to many other types of flooring, and it can give you a very similar appearance due to the variety of designs that are available.

It is often a great choice for those who are redecorating on a budget, and they will still last for a very long time. 

What is the Difference Between Vinyl and Laminate Flooring?

The answer to this question is quite simple.

Vinyl flooring is made entirely of synthetic materials, but laminate flooring does contain real wood. This actually means that laminate flooring is vulnerable to moisture, which can damage the flooring. 

Laminate is a more realistic flooring option for those who are looking for wood flooring, but vinyl only mimics the appearance of wood and doesn’t actually contain it.

The Benefits of Vinyl Flooring

Vinyl flooring is a much-loved choice for home flooring by many people due to the fact that it is a more affordable option.

The cost is significantly less than most other types of flooring, and this, combined with the fact that it is durable and long-lasting, means that it is a more cost effective option as it cannot be damaged by things like water.

It also comes in a variety of textures, colors, and styles, which means that it can fit in with any room design.

This flooring actually comes in sheets or rolls, which makes it really easy to put down on the floor. 

The Negatives of Vinyl Flooring

Now you know all about the positive effect of vinyl flooring, it is time to go into some of its downfalls.

Vinyl flooring is not an indestructible flooring solution, and it does come with its own faults. 

It is more susceptible to scratches if something were to be dropped or dragged on the flooring.

If it gets damaged, you cannot just simply replace one section because you will have to pull up the entire flooring. 

Additionally, while vinyl might look like real wood flooring, it is difficult to actually achieve the real ‘feel’ of it. 

Is Vinyl Flooring Toxic?

Unfortunately, the answer to this question is mostly yes. Vinyl flooring is manufactured using toxic chemicals, which means that some types of vinyl flooring can be harmful to your health.

The vinyl itself is a synthetic product that is based on petroleum, and it is made from ingredients like PVC resin, plasticizers, pigments, and fillers.

The flooring can last for up to an impressive 20 years, depending on the environment. However, this does not mean that it is always a great solution.

Studies have found that the majority of vinyl flooring actually contained toxic phthalates, lead, flame retardants, and other chemicals that are not good for us.

These chemicals can lead to air pollution that can easily become dangerous, and these chemicals can come into the air in your home.

This type of flooring needs to be thoroughly researched before being put in anyone’s home, as the consequences can be very negative. 

What are Phthalates?

Phthalate is an organic chemical that is often used within vinyl flooring, and it can be sourced to around 60% of the finished product, which is a very high amount.

You can also find this chemical in other types of household furniture and products, but just because it is commonly used does not mean that it is completely safe.

Prolonged exposure to this chemical can cause health issues and other risks, including breathing problems and reproductive health issues.

This is the reason that vinyl flooring could well be harming your health.

Is There Non-Toxic Vinyl Flooring?

Thankfully, over the past few years, new safety measures have been brought in regarding the use of toxic chemicals in flooring.

This means that more and more manufacturers have started eliminating the use of Phthalates in their vinyl flooring in an attempt to make them more safe for use in your home.

However, this doesn’t mean that every single type of vinyl flooring is now safe, and it is recommended that you find out what ingredients have been used to make the flooring before you purchase it.

There are a variety of manufacturers that now produce vinyl flooring that is actually labeled as non-toxic, and if you are set on getting vinyl flooring for your home, then these are the best products to look out for.

Your health and safety are highly important, so when you are looking at purchasing your flooring, always go to a trusted and reputable company, as these are more likely to be following the safety standards and guidelines.

Other Types of Non-Toxic Flooring

There are many other options for flooring that you can look at if you aren’t sure about purchasing vinyl flooring, and we will leave them here for you to read about. 

Carpet Flooring

Carpet flooring is one of the most popular options for flooring.

However, just like with vinyl flooring, not every type of carpet is completely safe, and it can also contribute to air pollution inside your home. 

If you are looking at getting carpet flooring, you should look at eco-friendly versions that do not contain the harsh chemicals that can be found in other types. 

Ceramic Tiling

This is actually one of the safest options for flooring as it is completely non-toxic, and it is very easy to keep clean.

The only thing that could cause a safety issue is the type of grout and ventilation that is being used during the installation of the flooring. 

Linoleum

This type of flooring is made from all-natural and biodegradable materials, and it is completely safe to use in your home.

There are no toxic chemicals used to manufacture linoleum flooring.

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