Laminate Safety Questions

Posted on Mar 4th 2015 by Meredith — Comments ↓

I have vinyl, hardwood, bamboo, carpet, or ceramic tile in my house. Do I need to be worried about formaldehyde in my floors?

The only products called into question on 60 Minutes were laminate products. CARB regulations regulate wood-based materials and the adhesives used to bind them. Vinyl, carpet, and tile flooring products do not fall within their focus.

What if my laminate was made in Europe or America?

To the best of our knowledge, laminate made in the United States and Europe complies with the strictest environmental regulations and is perfectly safe for long-term use in a residential or commercial setting.

I’m concerned about laminate flooring I purchased from another major retailer, like Lowe’s or Home Depot.

As shown on 60 Minutes, the Chinese laminate from Lowe’s and Home Depot tested well within the CARB standards.

I don’t know where my laminate was manufactured, so I don’t know if I’m living in what the EPA calls “polluted indoor conditions.” I can’t afford to rip up my floor. What should I do?

Laminate flooring does not continuously produce formaldehyde; it simply may contain some measure of the chemical after it is manufactured. A chemist who does regular testing for formaldehyde consulted by Floors To Your Home told us proper ventilation is a key factor in eliminating formaldehyde within a home environment.

Is formaldehyde a naturally occurring chemical?

Yes. In fact, it is found in a variety of everyday foods, such as cow’s milk. Average 2% milk found at a grocery store can contain anywhere from 0.075 to 0.255 PPM (Parts Per Million air molecules) of formaldehyde. To offer some perspective, CARB compliancy allows for a piece of Medium Density Fiberboard, which has the highest allowances for any part of the flooring, to emit only 0.11 PPM of formaldehyde, less than half that of milk.

Why does your company sell Chinese laminate?

In order to compete with the large nationwide retailers, we have to go the extra mile, and we do that by offering an unusually wide selection of colors, styles, and designs.  Price is not our determining factor. Style and design is our determining factor. We already get great pricing for CARB 2 compliant materials made in Europe and the United States. We go to China for additional features and styles that just aren’t made anywhere else, such as planks with sizes beyond the too standard 5″ x 48″, and so many more colors and styles. Laminate manufacturers in Switzerland and Germany don’t produce nearly the same range of choices. Our goal is to offer every Floors To Your Home customer a huge variety of floor choices that are as beautiful as they are safe.

If you sell laminate flooring, why should I trust your company?

Our reputation has been built over almost 100 years, on the key principles of honesty, ethics, and good business practices.  We don’t need deception, tricks, or games. Our reviews offer an honest, telling testament as to how core ethics shape our company and build our profits.

Still, it’s a legitimate question. 60 Minutes reported that “every single sample of Chinese-made laminate flooring from Lumber Liquidators failed to meet California formaldehyde emissions standards.” According to Anderson Copper, “At all three mills they also admitted falsely labeling the company’s laminate flooring.” How can you know what to trust?

We’re not the big guys. We’re a small business, and we have long-standing relationships with our Chinese suppliers. For upwards of five years we have put our faith in the safety and quality of their products.

Just to be sure, we’re going one step further. We have sent samples from each of our manufacturers to a certified laboratory to ensure that every product we sell is safe and reliable. This is a third party lab, not one of our own. Our president is taking this initiative and paying for these tests out of his own pocket. We expect our test results back in two weeks’ time, and in the unlikely event that any of our products are outside of CARB regulations, they will be disposed of immediately. Furthermore, we are implementing a random testing policy on incoming laminate products to ensure continued safety and compliance.

We want to offer you peace of mind and the ability to make a safe, informed, honest choice about your flooring. We hope to have earned your trust; if we have not covered your concern here, please don’t hesitate to contact Floors To Your Home today.