Health Benefits of Hardwood Flooring
The number of people affected by allergies each year is staggering. According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, researchers believe that nasal allergies affect about 50 million people in the United States alone, and that number is increasing every year. Allergies affect as much as 30 percent of the adult population in the U.S. and about 40 percent of children. Allergic disease, including asthma, is the fifth leading chronic disease in the U.S. for people of all ages. In children under the age of 18, it is the third most common.
A study conducted by Harris Interactive reports that most U.S. homeowners believe that their family’s health is directly related to the cleanliness of their floors. And the majority believe that hardwood floors are most effective in improving indoor air quality. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) agrees. They report that hardwood floors are hypoallergenic, which is a huge advantage for allergy sufferers. Hardwood floors do not harbor microorganisms or pesticides tracked in from outdoors as other flooring options can. They also minimize the accumulation of dust, mold, and pet dander, which improves overall indoor air quality.
But what you may not know is that hardwood floors have significant health benefits! The benefits of hardwood flooring are actually quite remarkable when you think about it. What other flooring option never goes out of style, lasts for generations, and is so easy to maintain?
But why are hardwood floors better than tile or laminate in terms of air quality? Certain types of flooring, such as carpet, are simply better gathering places for allergens. Small microorganisms, pollen, dust, dust mites, mold, pet dander, and other substances tend to accumulate in carpet fibers. Other flooring types, such as wood, tend to minimize the accumulation of allergens because there are no fibers to trap these substances. Even though tile and laminate do not have fibers like carpet has, they still have grout lines and an embossing which attract dust.
Hardwood flooring also improves indoor air quality in another, less tangible, way. This is because wood is a carbon-neutral product. As most people know, as a tree grows, it takes in carbon dioxide from the environment and produces oxygen. What most people do not know, however, is that products made from wood, including hardwood flooring, store carbon during their service lives. In other words, even after the tree used to make wood is cut down and manufactured into flooring, it continues to store carbon during its entire service life. That’s quite a green story and is yet another way wood flooring improves indoor air quality.
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