Hardwood Floor Installation & Refinishing

Hardwood Flooring Choices: A Guide to Allergy and Asthma-Friendly Options

Hardwood Flooring Choices:

No matter how bad the weather conditions are outside or what conflicts are happening, you feel safe when you’re inside the four walls of your house. But for millions of people worldwide, home isn’t always a haven! These millions suffer from allergies and asthma. Even being indoors can cause a lot of problems for them. It can make their eyes itchy, their noses runny, and make breathing hard. While you can’t eliminate all the things that trigger your allergies, you can make some good choices about your home. One important choice? Your flooring.

Gone are the days of carpets being the undisputed king of comfort. While cozy underfoot, they’re notorious allergen magnets, harboring dust mites, pollen, and pet dander in their fluffy fibers. Thankfully, there are allergy-friendly flooring options, and hardwood stands proudly among them. So, let’s learn why choosing hardwood floors can make a BIG difference and which type of hardwood floor to choose for allergy and asthma sufferers.

Why is carpet flooring the worst for allergies?

 

Carpet flooring is really bad for people with allergies. Why? Because it traps things like dust, pollen, pet fur, and mold deep inside its fibers. This makes it hard to clean them properly. Unlike hard floors, carpets need special cleaning to get rid of allergens.

Also, carpets can get wet easily, and when they do, mold can start growing. Mold can make allergies worse. Stains and damage also make it harder to keep carpets clean. Overall, carpets are the worst choice for allergy sufferers. Hard floors, like wood or tile, are much better because they’re easier to clean and don’t trap allergens as much.

Why Hardwood Wins for Allergy Sufferers?

 

Hardwood flooring is a popular choice for homeowners who want to improve the aesthetics and feel of their homes. However, for those sensitive to allergens, hardwood flooring is a boon. Wondering why? Well, hardwood floors are better for allergies because they have a smooth surface that doesn’t trap allergens. Things like dust, pollen, and pet hair stay on top, so you can easily clean them by sweeping and mopping. This helps reduce the amount of allergens in the air, which means fewer sniffles and sneezes.

But wait, there’s more! Hardwood has several other allergy-fighting advantages that make it one of the best floorings for allergies:

  • Natural and low in VOCs: Unlike some synthetic flooring options, most hardwood emits minimal volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which can irritate airways and exacerbate allergy symptoms. Opt for natural finishes sealants that are natural and don’t have a lot of chemicals whenever possible.
  • Easy to clean: Regular cleaning is key to keeping allergens at bay, and hardwood makes it easy. Hardwood floors are easy to clean with just a sweep and mop. You don’t need to use harsh chemicals like you do with carpets.
  • Moisture-resistant:  Moisture can make allergies worse by causing mold to grow. Hardwood floors naturally resist moisture, so mold is less likely to grow on them. This helps make your home healthier for people with allergies.


Hardwood Flooring Choices that are Allergy and Asthma-Friendly

 

Now that you’re equipped with valuable knowledge about why hardwood floors are allergy-fighting champions let’s answer the big question: ‘Which one to choose?’ Well, not all heroes wear capes; some wear wood grain. Let’s dive into the specifics and help you choose the perfect allergy-friendly hardwood for your home:

Solid Hardwood

This classic hero, crafted from pure, natural wood, offers the ultimate allergy defense. Solid hardwood flooring is a natural choice for allergy sufferers due to its smooth surface and lack of fibers. Its smooth surface repels dust and mites like a knight deflecting arrows, and its natural composition boasts low VOCs. Plus, it can be refinished countless times, ensuring decades of allergy-free bliss.

Engineered Hardwood

This adaptable fighter brings the allergy-defying spirit of solid hardwood at a more accessible price. Its layered construction makes it moisture-resistant and stable, perfect for active kitchens and lively bathrooms. But remember, choose options with low-VOC adhesives and finishes to keep your air squeaky clean.

Speaking of advantages, engineered hardwood is highly affordable and less prone to expansion and contraction due to changes in humidity, making it suitable for installation in areas with fluctuating moisture levels.

Additional Hardwood Flooring Considerations for Allergy and Asthma

 

Wood Species

Not all hardwood species are created equal when it comes to allergens. Some species, like maple, walnut, cherry, and oak, are naturally hypoallergenic and less likely to trigger allergy symptoms. These woods have smoother surfaces with fewer crevices for allergens to accumulate, making them ideal choices for individuals with sensitivities.

Finishes

The type of finish applied to hardwood flooring can also impact indoor air quality and allergen exposure. Opting for low-VOC (volatile organic compound) sealants and finishes can help minimize chemical emissions and reduce the risk of respiratory irritation. Look for products labeled as “low-VOC” or “zero-VOC” to ensure a healthier indoor environment for allergy and asthma sufferers.

Installation

Proper installation is crucial for ensuring the longevity and allergen resistance of hardwood flooring. Make sure to hire a professional installer who has experience working with hardwood and understands the importance of sealing gaps and preventing moisture buildup. Gaps between floorboards can trap dust and allergens, while moisture buildup can lead to mold growth and exacerbate respiratory issues. By sealing gaps and maintaining optimal indoor humidity levels, you can create a healthier living space for allergy and asthma sufferers.

Alternative Flooring Options

 

Cork Flooring

Cork flooring is a sustainable and eco-friendly option that possesses unique properties beneficial for allergy and asthma sufferers. Cork is naturally resistant to mold, mildew, and insects, making it an excellent choice for individuals sensitive to allergens. Additionally, the cork’s soft and cushioned surface provides a comfortable and shock-absorbent flooring solution, reducing strain on joints and muscles.

Drawbacks:

  • Susceptible to moisture damage if not properly sealed.
  • Vulnerable to scratches and dents from heavy furniture or sharp objects.
  • Limited design options compared to hardwood flooring.

Bamboo Flooring

Bamboo flooring is another eco-friendly alternative known for its durability and aesthetic appeal. As a rapidly renewable resource, bamboo grows quickly and can be harvested sustainably, making it an environmentally conscious choice. Similar to hardwood, bamboo flooring offers a sleek and modern look while providing natural resistance to allergens like dust mites and pet dander.

Drawbacks:

  • Prone to moisture damage if exposed to high humidity or water spills.
  • Limited color and style options compared to hardwood flooring.
  • Some bamboo flooring products may contain adhesives or finishes with VOC emissions, which can affect indoor air quality.

 

Other Flooring vs. Hardwood: A Side-by-Side Comparison

 

Flooring
Material 

Allergy-Friendliness

Maintenance

Durability

Hardwood

A smooth surface reduces allergen buildup. Easy to clean with regular sweeping and mopping. Resistant to mold and mildew. Requires regular cleaning but is easy to maintain with sweeping and mopping. Refinishing can restore appearance and longevity. Highly durable and can last for decades with proper care. Resistant to wear and tear.

Carpet

Traps allergens like dust, pollen, and pet dander in fibers contribute to poor indoor air quality. Requires frequent vacuuming and deep cleaning to remove allergens. Difficult to thoroughly clean and may harbor mold and mildew. Prone to staining, wear, and matting, especially in high-traffic areas. Lifespan is shorter compared to hardwood.

Tile

The smooth surface is easy to clean and does not trap allergens. Resistant to mold, mildew, and moisture. Low maintenance, requiring only regular sweeping and mopping. Resistant to staining and scratching. Highly durable and can last for decades without showing signs of wear. Resistant to moisture and temperature changes.


Maintenance Tips for Your Allergy-Friendly Hardwood Floors:

 

Sweep or vacuum regularly: Use a soft-bristle broom or a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter that’s considered the best hardwood floor vacuum cleaner to remove dust, dirt, and allergens from your hardwood floors. Vacuuming with a HEPA filter helps capture tiny particles and prevents them from being recirculated into the air.

Use a microfiber mop: After sweeping or vacuuming, use a microfiber mop dampened with water or a hardwood floor cleaner to remove any remaining dirt or residue. Microfiber mops are gentle on hardwood floors and effectively trap dust and allergens without scratching the surface.

Wipe up spills promptly: Accidental spills should be cleaned up promptly to prevent moisture from seeping into the wood and causing damage or mold growth. Use a damp cloth to blot up spills and dry the area thoroughly afterward.

Avoid harsh chemicals: When cleaning your hardwood floors, avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaners that can damage the finish or leave behind residue. Opt for gentle, pH-neutral cleaners specifically formulated for hardwood floors.

Bonus Maintenance Tip:

 

Consider using an air purifier: In addition to regular cleaning, using an air purifier with a HEPA filter can help remove airborne allergens, such as dust mites, pet dander, and pollen, from your indoor air. To maximize its effectiveness, place the air purifier in high-traffic areas or rooms where you spend the most time. Breathe easy. You’ve got this!

Dust regularly: Dusting your hardwood floors and other surfaces in your home can help minimize the buildup of allergens. Use a microfiber cloth or a dusting wand to gently remove dust from furniture, baseboards, and other surfaces.

Final Verdict

Hardwood has the ultimate defense when it comes to specific floor choices. At the same time, engineered hardwood delivers similar benefits at a more accessible price point. Remember, opting for hypoallergenic wood species and low-VOC finishes adds another layer of allergy defense.

Ultimately, the choice is yours, but by considering your needs and the information in this guide, you can create a haven where you can breathe easily and live comfortably. If you’re ready to embrace the beauty and allergy-fighting benefits of hardwood flooring, Big Bro Hardwood is here to help. We offer a stunning selection of solid and engineered hardwood floors, all expertly crafted and sourced with sustainability in mind.

Remember, choosing hardwood flooring isn’t just about aesthetics; it’s an investment in your well-being. So ditch the carpets and embrace the allergy-defying power of Big Bro Hardwood floors.

With Big Bro Hardwood, you can finally say goodbye to sniffles and sneezes and hello to a healthier, happier home. Contact us today, and let’s make it happen.

Frequently Asked Questions

 

Q: Are hardwood floors suitable for people with allergies?

Yes, hardwood floors are a great choice for people with allergies. Their smooth surface makes it difficult for allergens like dust, pollen, and pet dander to accumulate, unlike carpeted floors where allergens can get trapped. Regular cleaning with a broom, mop, or vacuum with a HEPA filter can easily remove allergens from hardwood floors, helping to improve indoor air quality and reduce allergy symptoms.

Q: Can hardwood floors be stained in different colors?

Yes, hardwood floors can be stained in a variety of colors to match your aesthetic preferences and home decor. Whether you prefer light, medium, or dark stains, there are many options available for getting hardwood floors stain colors to complement your style. From traditional oak to exotic bamboo, hardwood floors can be customized to achieve the look you desire.

Q: Is it better to have light or dark hardwood floors for allergies?

Both light and dark hardwood floors can be suitable for people with allergies. The key is to choose a hardwood floor color that complements your home’s style while also considering maintenance and cleaning preferences. Light-colored floors may show less dust and dirt but require more frequent cleaning to maintain their appearance.

Q: What is the best way to clean hardwood floors to reduce allergens?

The best way to clean hardwood floors and reduce allergens is to regularly sweep, mop, or vacuum with a HEPA filter. Use a soft-bristle broom or a vacuum cleaner with a hardwood floor attachment to remove dust and debris from the surface.

Q: Do hardwood floors contribute to indoor air quality?

Absolutely! Hardwood floors don’t emit harmful chemicals or volatile organic compounds (VOCs) as some flooring materials do. This contributes to better indoor air quality, which is essential for allergy sufferers.

Q: Which is the healthiest flooring option for homes?

Hardwood flooring. Hardwood floors are naturally hypoallergenic, easy to clean, and don’t trap allergens like dust and pet dander, promoting better indoor air quality and reducing the risk of respiratory issues and allergies.