Some laminate floors emit formaldehyde: Consumer Reports
For some consumers the cost of laminate flooring costs less, and looks almost as good as hardwood.
At Winnipeg’s Flantlanders Flooring it’s a popular option amongst customers, according to president Justin Chudyk.
"It's one of the most durable floors for the money, it's incredibly realistic, as far as its appearance compared to real wood," he said.
However, he said one issue customers are regularly concerned about is the chemicals inside the flooring.
Chudyk said the core is made mostly with saw dust and glue – there is little information about what chemicals are in it.
"Unfortunately a lot of the manufacturers don't publish or market what the rating of the formaldehyde is in the floors," he said.
Over the past year Consumer Reports put a variety of wood-based flooring to the test to see if laminate floors emitted formaldehyde, and at what levels.
"It was a small study,” said Urvashi Rangan, with Consumer Reports. “We did find that laminate and engineered wood had consistently higher levels of formaldehyde emissions compared to prefinished solid-wood samples that we tested."
He explained that if you already have laminate, you do not have to worry as much because formaldehyde dissipates over time. For homeowners looking to install new floors, Consumer Reports suggests solid-wood is the better choice.
Chuduk said there are other options, for example, he carries low formaldehyde products with an E1 rating.
"A laminate that has what's called at E1 class, or rating on it denotes the lowest available for chemical content,” he added.
Chudyk thinks low chemical floors are the way of the future and hopes more manufacturers start taking notice, so more homeowners can breathe easy.
For information on laminate, visit Consumer Reports.