NEW YORK — Home Depot will be the first major retailer to remove a chemical from vinyl flooring that’s considered dangerous to children. The key to successful installation of vinyl flooring lies beneath the flooring itself. Vinyl tiles require an extremely smooth surface, because any flaws and imperfections will show through as bumps and indentations in your floor. Most manufacturers do not recommend laying new vinyl over more than one layer of existing vinyl, and in fact will not guarantee the flooring if there is more than one layer of vinyl beneath.
Another problem with laying over existing vinyl is that if the lower layer is patterned, the texture will eventually show through your top layer. Vinyl flooring can be laid on top of concrete, but again, uniformity and smoothness can be a problem. Some manufacturers offer do-it-yourself installation kits, but many homeowners choose to use a contractor in order to achieve a smooth, professional look. Over time, excessive moisture can lead to bubbles forming in the vinyl flooring.
Tests performed recently by that group and the Ecology Center showed that 38 of 65 vinyl floor tiles had phthalates in them. And the tests showed that flooring tiles that do contain phthalates had levels of the chemical between 10 and 90 times greater than the standard for children’s toys, according to the Ecology Center’s Jeff Gearhart. The 3 major manufacturers of vinyl wood plank flooring are Karndean, Earthwerks and Nafco.
The public interest groups have been working with Home Depot on the products for more than a year and praised the retailer for making the change. Home Depot itself did not issue a release about the new policy but confirmed the switch, which will take place by the end of this year. The safety of flooring products has been getting lots of attention since a 60 Minutes report earlier this year said that laminate wood flooring imported from China by Lumber Liquidators contained dangerous levels of the toxic chemical formaldehyde.
Lumber Liquidators said it is also working with its suppliers to remove phlalates from its vinyl flooring but doesn’t have a time frame for when that would take place. To be clear, all our products — vinyl or otherwise — are safe for consumers,” said the company. Iallonardo said parents concerned about the flooring in their home should be sure to frequently clean their child’s hands and face as well as the floor. There are numerous advantages to installing vinyl wood plank floors for your home.