Wood Floors Improve Indoor Air Quality

MOSAIC Group Guest Blogger: Anita Howard, National Wood Flooring Association
Did you know that nearly one in four Americans suffers from asthma and/or allergies? According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, that represents 60 million people in the United States alone. A recent study conducted by Harris Interactive indicated that the vast majority of U.S. homeowners believe that their family’s health is directly related to the cleanliness of their floors. The same study indicated that of all the flooring alternatives available, the majority of homeowners believe that wood floors are most effective at improving indoor air quality.
A recent Life Cycle Analysis of wood flooring conducted by the University of Wisconsin supports this belief. The study compared five different floor coverings in regard to four substances considered to be harmful to the atmosphere: carbon dioxide, methane, nitrogen oxide and particulate matter. All these substances contribute to atmospheric warming and human respiratory ailments.
The results of the study show that wood flooring had no emissions for methane, nitrogen oxide and other particulates, and minimal emissions for carbon dioxide. Wood floors also have the added benefit of not harboring allergens, microorganisms or harmful pesticides that can be tracked in from outdoors. In addition, dust, mold and animal dander contamination is minimal in homes with wood floors, which can significantly improve indoor air quality.
Wood floors are easy to maintain as well. Simply sweep the floor regularly with a soft-bristle broom or dust mop to remove surface dirt and debris. If your floor contains beveled edges, use a vacuum with a soft bristle brush attachment to remove dirt and debris from between the floorboards. That’s all there is to it.
Want to know more about the eco-benefits of wood floors? Visit the National Wood Flooring Association’s website at http://www.nwfa.org/.
The NWFA is a not-for-profit trade organization of more than 4,200 wood flooring professionals working worldwide to educate consumers, architects, designers, and builders in the uses and benefits of wood flooring.