With greater concern for creating healthy living environments, selecting a flooring material and style for a home renovation is increasingly important. Timber floors are a natural alternative to other flooring options, including vinyl and carpets, which can emit toxins into the home long after installation.
According to Professor Margaret Burchett of the University of Technology Sydney, "If you are getting a 'new' smell from carpet it means you are scenting toxic volatile organic compounds (VOCs)." Professor Burchett says research shows that excessive exposure to VOCs, found in the dyes, backing and fibre of carpeting, can cause symptoms including sore eyes, nose and throat, a feeling of dizziness, loss of concentration, headaches, mild nausea and faint disorientation.
In contrast, solid timber floors can be laid and finished using water-based stains or seals with no lingering odours and low VOCs for better home air quality.
Replacing carpet with timber flooring can also assist for those sensitive to dust, including asthma and allergy sufferers. Unlike carpet, timber floors are less likely to trap dirt, dust mites, pollen or allergens, making it one of the healthiest floor coverings available.
Benefiting home health even further, the durable surface of timber floors is easy to wash, sweep and disinfect, standing up to the spills and mess created by kids, particularly in high traffic living areas. Cool in summer and warm in winter, timber flooring is also friendlier on bare feet compared to stone or tiled surfaces.
After years of wear and tear, timber floors are also easy to renew by sanding and refinishing - extending the value of the investment.