U.S. vinyl flooring manufacturers are aware of the dangers and have taken steps to eliminate phthalates from their vinyl products. To be sure, there are questions you should ask.Q: I have put my plans to put vinyl flooring in my kitchen and family room on hold because of news reports about phthalates in vinyl flooring. Why is this information just coming out now, and can you recommend an LVT (Luxury Vinyl Tile) that does not contain these chemicals?
A: This is not new news. The Consumer Product Safety Commission and the U.S. EPA have been looking at potential health concerns with phthalates for more than a decade. It began in the 1990s, with studies, and then rules restricting phthalate use in children’s items, like rattles and teethers -- things that they would routinely put in their mouths. Flooring was not on the list.
More recently, the U.S. EPA has issued an action plan for several phthalates, some of which have been used in vinyl flooring.
Luxury Vinyl Tile’s realistic patterning and glue-less installation boost demand despite uncertain “green” product attributes
A floor does not have to be natural to look natural. And the new natural looks of a number of luxury vinyl tile (LVT) brands – coupled with glue-less installation options -- are noticeably boosting LVT sales.
Newer, self-locking installation systems do not require adhesives for installation, and replication improvements mean fabulous imitations of wood, ceramic and other patterns.
You don’t need adhesive to install these products. So the products much easier to install and repair, they are more indoor-air friendly, and they’re water-resistant, too.
DuChateau strives for vinyl flooring that is better for people and planetMore mainstream flooring manufacturers are paying attention to the growing controversy over phthalates – a plasticizer – in vinyl flooring, even though studies suggesting a link between phthalates and lowered IQ, endocrine problems and respiratory ailments have been dismissed as independent and fringe.
DuChateau Floors is now making vinyl without phthalates, though the product’s backing, made using recycled content, still may contain trace amounts because old product is recycled by the company.
This switch by DuChateau follows the introduction by competitor Tarkett of its “phthalate-free except for recycled content” vinyl flooring earlier this year.
“Only a very small portion of phthalate-containing plasticizer can be detected from the recycled bottom layer,” says Don Bufalini, western regional sales manager for DuChateau Floors. “The tile should not really be affected by the phthalates if they are in the bottom layer.”