With the arrival of spring and summer comes the increase of allergies. Allergy UK estimate that over 20% of the population in the UK suffer from some kind of allergy or asthma. For anyone that has to deal with an adverse reaction to dust, dirt, pollen or any other kind of contaminant, it can make life harder to manage.
This is why it is important to take it into consideration before installing a new floor into your home. If you can minimise the threat of an allergic reaction to dust, mould or mildew in your home, then you can fully relax and enjoy the space you live in. Read on for our advice on choosing the best flooring for allergy sufferers.
Low pile carpets and rugs
Allergens can become trapped in high density carpet piles which invariably means they will remain in the room for longer to irritate sufferers who are nearby in the room. Longer fibres will retain more dust and potentially lead to the flare up of allergies.
Regular vacuuming of carpets and rugs that cover larger areas will help to reduce this, but always remember to clean the rug by following the manufacturer’s instructions. Smaller rugs may prove to be a better alternative especially when placed over flooring that is more allergy friendly.
Vinyl and Lino flooring
Due to the hard, flat nature of vinyl and lino this is very good choice for anyone who is a long term allergy and asthma sufferer. There are a number of different style options available and the smoother the tile, the less likely it is to store dirt and dust. Flooring with grooves and rougher surfaces and edges will naturally retain unwelcome elements that require more intense levels of cleaning.
Where vinyl is a man-made plastic, lino is derived from linseed oil which is far more allergy friendly. Simply using a wet mop with a domestic floor cleaner once a week will be enough to keep the area clean. Flat ceramic and porcelain tiles are also a good alternative.
This always proves to be a popular choice as dust mites, mould and mildew find it very difficult to thrive on the material. Clearing away any animal hairs or general debris is easy on hardwood floors which is what makes them so easy to maintain.
The only draw back to this option may be price. Hardwood flooring tends to be at the more expensive end of the scale and not always the first choice for homeowners. However, it does last for a long time and the benefits it offers for allergy sufferers may make it worth the investment.
Similar to hardwood, laminate flooring doesn’t retain dust mites or pet hairs. Although there is still a possibility it may not be suitable for anyone who is an extreme allergy or asthma sufferer. Laminate is created by the gluing together of recycled hardwood which means it may contain formaldehyde and other volatile organic compounds (VOCs).
The best way to check this is to check the product packaging for either an E0 or E1 rating. Using a mop with a common domestic floor cleaner is usually enough to keep it clean, as long as it is done on a regular basis.
This is another good alternative to hardwood as they are resistant to mould and mildew thanks to the presence of suberin in the material. This is a natural element that prevents the growth of bacteria and any other allergens that may cause issues in any given room.
Cork is great for providing another layer of insulation in the house which makes it a warmer material to walk across, and provides further benefits during the winter. It is an easy material to maintain, with the use of a dust mop enough to keep it in good shape.