Hardwood floors are considered to be the safest and least toxic option for flooring, as they are completely natural and free of toxins. Milled from a single piece of wood, hardwood floors are the best option for health and efficiency. They have the fastest heat transfer and do not contract or expand with changes in temperature. Other great options include polished concrete, tiles, natural linoleum, carpets, and artificial wood.
When it comes to hardwood floors, the best choice is solid wood. It is important to use a low-VOC finish and a low-VOC installation method. Teak floors work best with a natural finish due to their high natural resin content. Ceramic, stone, and concrete are also inert materials that are safe and efficient.
They are great options for adding an elegant look to your home without all the aggressive volatile organic compounds that come with other types of flooring. When installing a wooden floor, nailing is a much better option than gluing. Many floor adhesives contain some level of volatile organic compounds, however, they may be necessary if you don't have a subfloor that can use the nailing method, such as concrete. Tile is one of the cleanest and safest flooring options for homes.
Manufacturers make tiles from clay, finely ground sand and feldspar and burn them in a kiln. Bamboo floors are also composed of glued strips and, until recently, all bamboo floors contained formaldehyde-based glues. When looking for non-toxic floors, it is important to look for GreenGuard certification and know where the floors come from. Polyurethane is by far the most common hardwood floor finish in North America, while in Europe floors are greased much more frequently.If you want to cover asbestos tiles with a new floor, it is safe to do so as long as you choose a material that is not affected by radiant floors if you have them.
Concrete floors can be covered with a material that is not affected by radiant heat if necessary.