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The best flooring for allergies and asthma

The best flooring for allergies and asthma
Table of Contents

If you or a family member suffers from asthma or allergies, you may not be aware that the type of flooring you choose can have a significant impact on your condition. The flooring you install can affect the overall air quality in your home and aggravate your symptoms. To improve indoor air quality and maintain good health, it’s important to choose the best flooring options for asthma and allergies. In the following paragraphs, we will discuss common allergens, their durability on different types of flooring, and methods for selecting the ideal flooring. Please stay with us to learn more.


What is an allergy?

Let’s start by understanding what allergies and allergens are.

“According to the AAFA definition, an allergy is your body’s immune system’s reaction to a foreign substance. These foreign substances are generally called allergens.”

Allergens can be encountered through eating, drinking, touching, or breathing. They can cause various symptoms such as coughing, sneezing, itchy eyes, runny nose, and throat. In severe cases, they can also lead to skin rash, hives, low blood pressure, breathing problems, asthma attacks, and even death.

Unfortunately, there is currently no cure for allergies, so prevention and management are crucial in controlling them. One way to manage and prevent the exacerbation of allergies is to create a safe and clean environment that is free from allergens. Choosing the right flooring can help with this matter.


What are common allergens? 

Allergens can be found in various substances, including mold, dust, pet dander, mites, plant pollen, chemicals, grasses, leaves, and certain types of food. These substances are commonly present in house plants, sheets, pillows, mattresses, soft furniture, pet skin, hair, and wet areas such as basements, kitchens, and bathrooms.


Now the question is,

How can you prevent allergens from entering your home? 

There are various methods to avoid allergens from entering your living space. However, in this discussion, we will specifically focus on the influence of flooring on allergies and provide some useful tips for choosing the appropriate flooring. It is crucial to note that eliminating allergens entirely is not achievable.

It is observed that soft surfaces tend to accumulate a higher amount of allergens and require more effort to clean.


What effect does flooring have on asthma and allergies?

When trying to choose the best flooring for asthma and allergies, there are three important issues to be aware of:


Dust and other allergens in the air

Airborne allergens such as dust, pollen, and other particles settle on the floor. Regardless of the type of insole you use, it is essential to have flooring that is easy to clean and does not allow for the growth of allergens. Carpets and rugs tend to hold onto allergens more than other flooring options, and they release these allergens over time when people walk on them. Dust and moisture also tend to accumulate in carpets, making it difficult to remove all allergens even with frequent vacuuming. Hard surface floors are generally a better choice as they are less prone to holding onto allergens. However, it is important to check the flooring’s VOC (volatile organic compounds) content, particularly if adhesives are used during installation, as such materials can increase the sensitivity of the flooring to allergens.


Which VOCs are the most important to watch out for?

Formaldehyde is considered to be one of the most harmful allergens for individuals who suffer from allergies and asthma. It is commonly used in the production of resins, varnishes, sealants, adhesives, and other materials that are often used in the installation and construction of flooring.

Apart from formaldehyde, there are other volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that can also pose a threat to one’s health. These include xylene, toluene, ethylbenzene, and benzene, which can be found in different products such as plastics, adhesives, paints, and sealants.


The good thing is that many floorings, especially tiles, have a health certificate that uses the lowest VOCs.


volatile organic compounds
volatile organic compounds



Mold can be caused by certain types of flooring when they come into contact with water. It’s important to keep in mind that molds are unhealthy and produce spores that can trigger allergies in many individuals. Therefore, it’s recommended to choose water-resistant flooring options, particularly for areas that are prone to moisture, such as the kitchen, bathroom, and entryway. This will help prevent the growth of mold and keep your environment healthy and safe.


Tile is an excellent choice for areas with high moisture due to its anti-fungal and microbial properties.


The best flooring options for asthma and allergies


solid wood flooring
solid wood flooring


Solid wood

Wooden floors are a great option for people with asthma or allergies since they are easy to clean, can be installed without glue, and naturally resist allergens.


Porcelain & Ceramic Tile flooring
Porcelain & Ceramic Tile flooring


Porcelain & Ceramic Tiles

Porcelain & ceramic tiles are an excellent choice for hypoallergenic flooring. This material has a smooth surface and can be easily cleaned despite the glaze. Correct installation and grouting are crucial to ensure that dust and pollution penetration points are reduced to the lowest level.

In addition to being a healthier option, tiles are also reasonably priced and come in diverse and attractive designs. By using tiles for flooring, you not only save money but also create a more beautiful and healthy living space. To check out some tile designs, click here.


Individuals with asthma should avoid being present during tile installation, as the powdered grout mixture can cause lung irritation.


CLEO limestone composite flooring
CLEO limestone composite flooring


CLEO limestone composite flooring

CLEO flooring is a type of modern flooring that resembles tiles and luxury vinyl boards. It is made using a unique mineral composite that is about 85% natural limestone. This flooring is great for people with allergies and asthma as it doesn’t contain any VOCs, solvents, softeners, phthalates, PVC, or other harmful components. CLEO flooring is one of the first types of flooring to be certified by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America and Asthma Canada. This flooring is designed with attractive patterns and designs using a unique printing process, which adds a beautiful touch to any space.


Engineered wood flooring
Engineered wood flooring


Engineered wood

Engineered hardwood is a commonly used flooring option, especially in areas that are often exposed to moisture. However, it is important to note that the adhesive used between the layers of this material can contain high amounts of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which can be harmful. To ensure that your engineered wood flooring is just as safe as hardwood, we recommend choosing a low-VOC option when making your purchase.


bamboo flooring
bamboo flooring


Cork and bamboo

Natural flooring options that limit VOCs are popular for people with asthma and allergies. Cotton and bamboo are environmentally friendly and naturally resistant to mold and bacteria.


Cork flooring
Cork flooring


Note that cotton belongs to the grass family. Therefore, it’s not an ideal choice for flooring for people with grass allergies.


Concrete flooring
Concrete flooring



Concrete is a type of flooring that can be beneficial for people with allergies and asthma. Unlike other flooring materials, it does not trap dust and allergens and is easy to clean. However, the Portland Cement Association warns that concrete can emit VOCs (volatile organic compounds). While these emissions are lower compared to other building materials, people with allergies who are concerned about VOCs should avoid visiting the site before the concrete is finished. It is also advisable to ensure that the concrete is properly sealed to prevent the release of harmful organic substances.


Linoleum flooring
Linoleum flooring


Linoleum flooring

Linoleum and vinyl are often mistaken for one another, but they are actually made from completely different materials. Linoleum is composed of natural ingredients like wood shavings, linseed oil, and natural resins. This type of flooring doesn’t contain materials such as phthalates and synthetic softeners and typically has low VOC levels. One of the benefits of linoleum is that it’s easy to clean and has a smooth, polished surface that is resistant to moisture. It’s also an excellent choice for people with allergies, as it doesn’t absorb dust or other allergens. Additionally, linoleum is resistant to mold and has antimicrobial properties, making it a practical option for many homes and businesses.



As we have discussed earlier, selecting the right flooring for people with allergies and asthma requires considering various factors such as the environment, personal preferences, and sensitivity. It is best to avoid soft and fluffy surfaces that can trap and accumulate allergens in favor of harder surfaces such as tiles, concrete, stone, or wood. However, if you are not allergic to grass, natural options like cotton can be suitable for your flooring needs.

No matter what type of flooring you choose, it is essential to use the appropriate sealant and glaze. Additionally, look for adhesives and sealants that have low or no volatile organic compounds (VOCs) to minimize respiratory irritation.


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Frequently Asked Questions:

What floor coverings are good for people with allergies?

Floors that are not soft and susceptible to absorbing and storing allergens will suit people with asthma and allergies.

Is carpet or wood flooring better for asthma?

Unlike carpet, wooden flooring is one of the popular options for asthma and allergies. It has many practical features in dealing with asthma, with its hard surface and low VOC emissions.

What is the best flooring for less dust?

Types of flooring with a hard surface and suitable sealing, such as tile, vinyl, and wood, are resistant to dust and loads.


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