Many products are claiming low or 0% VOC’s but what does all this mean? Should you be concerned about 'VOC exposure'?
What are VOC’s?
VOC’s (Volatile organic compounds) are the chemical substances (including both man made and naturally occurring chemical compounds) that evaporate into the air from certain solids or liquids as they dry at room temperatures.
‘Organic’ refers to the chemical make up of the ingredients/ components and ‘Volatile’ refers to its evaporation into the air, making them easy to inhale.
Where are these VOC’s?
These organic chemicals are used in many household products. This includes products such as paints, varnishes, cleaning products and many other household consumables.
All of these products can release VOC’s while you are using them, and, to some degree, even when they are stored. Exposure to many VOC’s are consistently higher indoors (up to ten times higher) than outdoors.
How are we exposed to these VOC’s?
Chemicals can enter our bodies through either breathing, touching or swallowing. This is known as exposure. Differences in age, health conditions, gender and level of exposure to other chemicals all affect potential effects of exposure to VOC’s. When it comes to VOC’s, effects to one’s health depends on the level of chemical toxicity, the amount of chemicals present in the air and how long the air is inhaled.
Why are they hazardous? Products that contain VOC’s, release hazardous vapours that not only affect humans and animals but also the environment. These VOC’s have varying health effects, some being short term and long term. Excessive exposure can cause allergic reactions, breathing and eye issues. Harmful VOC’s typically may not be acutely toxic for humans but have compounding long-term health effects.
Additionally, the gasses emitted affect the atmosphere, contributing to our current greenhouse gases issues.
Did you know that up to half of the dry weight of wood is carbon that’s been absorbed from the atmosphere by trees as they were growing!? Since the start of the Industrial Revolution there has been a sharp increase in greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere- mainly from carbon dioxide, burning fossil fuels and changes to land use.
Greenhouse gases work in much the same way as the glass in a greenhouse. It lets light in and keeps the heat from escaping, providing warmth for the plants inside. In a similar way, when the Sun's energy reaches the Earth’s surface, some radiates back into space, and some is trapped in the atmosphere, keeping our planet warm enough for life to flourish.”
How is Engineered Flooring Different From Solid Timber Flooring?
Solid timber flooring is exactly that; 100% hardwood from the top to the bottom of the plank. Engineered Flooring is made from layers of ply or birch-wood that are bonded together in a cross-grained arrangement. These boards then have a top layer of solid hardwood (around 3-6mm). The mm's used for the top layer is dependent on the board's width and can vary between brands.
Engineered flooring is becoming increasingly popular as it looks just as good as solid wood flooring but holds more benefits than solid timber flooring ever has.
What are the Benefits of Engineered Wood Flooring?
Can I Get More Sands From Solid or Engineered Flooring?
The tongue and groove joint connects together when the flooring is laid. The re-sandable part of solid flooring is measured from the top surface of the flooring to the top of the tongue and groove. This is the same with engineered flooring.
Whether you are sanding solid or engineered flooring, you can only sand down to the tongue and groove joint. The thicker the hardwood layer on your engineered board, the more re-sands you will get. However, bear in mind that the thicker your top layer, the higher the cost.
Can Anyone Install My Engineered Flooring?
We recommend that a qualified flooring installer lay your flooring for you.
European and French Oak Flooring. What's the Difference?
This refers to the source of the timber as well as where the engineered flooring has been produced.
Proparq's French Oak flooring is 100% Made in Italy. The engineered core is made from Marine Grade Russian Birch and the hardwood top layer is made of French Oak, both of which are sourced from sustainable forests. Proparq products are proudly formaldehyde and solvent free, and have been cultivated from radiation free zones, which basically means that there won't be unseen chemical leaching into your home when laid. This makes it a very healthy choice for flooring in your home.
Speak to us about the healthier floor colours and finishes, if this is something you would like to achieve in your project.
Are you considering the possibility of timber flooring for your new or renovated home? We would be happy to talk and provide you with some expert advice.
Contact your Exclusive Auckland suppliers of Italian Made Proparq Engineered Oak Flooring today on 094145467 or email sales at dilegno.co.nz.
Have more questions about the best timber flooring for you? Visit our showroom in Rosedale, Auckland or send us an email!