- Jeff Dean
Dover Flooring Blog
March 21st, 2015
Formaldahyde in Laminate Flooring?
With the recent hub bub surrounding Lumber Liquidators and some of the laminate flooring they sell containing toxic amounts of formaldehyde, we are pleased to announce that the Mohawk laminate flooring that we sell at Dover Floor Covering is Carb 2 compliant.
The recent 60 Minutes expose on Lumber Liquidators exposing the toxic amounts of formaldehyde found in most of their laminate floors has caused concern in the industry regarding the safety of laminate floors. Only the floors made in China failed the Carb 2 tests. The US constructed floors passed the Carb 2 tests. As you can see by the image to the right, some of the laminate flooring has almost 7 times the legal limit of formaldehyde in their flooring.
Not all laminate floors are created equal. The old saying of "You get what you pay for" is appropriate in this situation. Some of the really low low end priced floors have always been of dubious construction. Some of these floors were sold at below our cost and you had to ask yourself "How was this possible?" Now, there are always economies of scale. The larger amounts of flooring you buy on the wholesale level will always produce a slightly lower cost structure. But this never completely explained why Lumber Liquidators prices were always "so low"!
We knew there had to be another reason explaining how they could sell laminate flooring below cost. If the expose by 60 Minutes is accurate (and we have no reason to dispute their findings) then our concerns have been justified.
Not all laminates are created equal but all of the laminate flooring that we sell here at Dover Floor Covering manufactured by Mohawk Flooring is Carb 2 compliant. No toxic amounts of formaldehyde are present in their laminate products and no laminate flooring we sell fails any Carb 2 Compliance test.
It would be safe to ask for a Carb 2 compliant fact sheet from the retail flooring company that you plan to buy your laminate flooring from. This is just smart. Be smart, be safe.
Safe laminate flooring should be a no brainer but some unscrupulous flooring companies obviously don't share this concern. We do! Purchase only Carb 2 compliant laminate flooring and only buy from flooring companies that adhere to this principle. Companies that actually care about the safety of their customers.
No more needs to be said really....
- Jeff Dean
Dover Flooring Blog
February 28th, 2015
Vinyl Asbestos Floor Tile.....
Floor tile is a small segment of the flooring industry these days. Unlike back in the 50's and 60's where everybody put tile down in their kitchens, laundry rooms, bathrooms and basements most people these days will install wood flooring, ceramic tile, vinyl sheet flooring or even carpet depending upon the application.
Back in the day, vinyl tile was used extensively. It came in a different sizes such as: 6"x6", 9"x9" and 12"x12" tiles. Very common back then were the 9"x9" tiles and were probably vinyl asbestos.
If your home was built before 1980 and has the original floor tiles down in any room of the house then they probably contain asbestos. Especially if they were the 9"x9" variety. Most manufacturers stopped making vinyl asbestos tiles in 1978 but some continued until probably 1980. Even after that there was a lot of vinyl asbestos tile floating around in stores back rooms until the stock was finally exhausted.
Vinyl asbestos tile is not inherently dangerous. The asbestos was encapsulated into the vinyl tile itself. It cannot be released into the air (where it becomes a health risk when breathed in) unless something causes it to be released. Anything that can abrasively wear the surface of the vinyl asbestos tile can potentially release the harmful asbestos particles into the air. Normal wear and tear shouldn't be a problem. Never abrade the surface of a vinyl asbestos tile. Never clean it with steel wool or sand it for any reason as this will release the fibers into the air. Cleaning it with vinyl floor cleaners is fine and is the preferred method of cleaning. Be careful even scraping the surface of the tiles.
So if you do have vinyl asbestos tile in your home there really shouldn't be a health risk.
When the time comes to install a new floor in the room containing vinyl asbestos tile there are many options. Most companies, when they find that vinyl asbestos tiles are present on the job, will refuse to do the job until the tiles are removed. This has to do with the liabilities associated with vinyl asbestos tiles. But this is an overblown reaction to the situation. New flooring can be safely installed over vinyl asbestos tiles without any health risks whatsoever.
One option is to remove the asbestos tiles. This can be a very expensive proposition when employing a certified asbestos removal company or using a contractor that is asbestos certified.
Another option is just to go over the existing asbestos flooring. If the tile is installed on a concrete floor, such as you would find in a basement, you would just need to skim coat the surface of the asbestos tile. There are products out there designed to be applied to the surface of the asbestos tile that will allow another floor to be glued down on top. Covering the old asbestos tile is a safe and entirely satisfactory solution.
If you have asbestos tile on top of a wood substrate such as plywood, OSB or any other suitable base layer then you can install a layer of luan over the top and then the new flooring thereby sealing in the asbestos tile underneath. The old tile needn't be removed.
So there you have it. Vinyl asbestos tiles are not inherently dangerous and shouldn't be a cause of concern. Whether you are installing a new floor over the top or still using your current asbestos tile flooring, vinyl asbestos flooring is a safe and durable floor that will last decades. On the other hand, a new floor would look pretty good right about now, eh? LOL