If you are interested in green interior design (or eco-friendly interior design) but you don’t want the typical green options like bamboo or cork ..or maybe you can’t afford a good eco option, there’s STILL a way for you to be green and reduce the toxins in your space.
I’m talking about the humble glue. Typical flooring adhesive has quite a number of toxins in it that are better kept out of your breathing space and out of the environment. The glue used in your flooring may be adhesive to lay tile, vinyl, cork, carpet or sometimes hardwood. It is also often used on the subfloor or underneath layer between the foundation and top flooring material.
Why is it bad? There are chemicals in many adhesives, including those used on flooring, called Volatile Organic Compounds or VOCs. VOCs are bad because they are types of chemicals that release easily into the air (hence the word volatile). In the environment, VOCs act as air quality pollutants that last from a short to a long time. For human health - the Environmental Protection Agency list a variety of health concerns that depend on exposure, the most severe to be cause cancer, liver disease or nervous system damage.
What are the alternatives to flooring adhesives with VOCs? Well of course adhesives WITHOUT VOC’s. My go-to resource is to check the website Greenbuildingsupply.com and sure enough they have a whole list of suppliers offering low and no VOC flooring adhesives.
With floors taking up almost the largest amount of surface area in your home, it’s important to have an eco-friendly option. If you can’t get green floors for your interior design project, be sure to at least get non-toxic flooring adhesive!