Is Laminate Flooring Toxic?

Last Updated on December 11, 2023 by Kimberly Crawford

The wood that makes the laminate flooring is non-toxic. So, why then is the laminate floor toxic?

The manufacturers use many types of adhesives to bond the wood. Toxicity arises from these adhesives that make up the laminate boards.

Notably, adhesives may contain melamine resin formaldehyde and other chemicals such as isocyanate and cyanuric acid.

All these components are toxic. It is the raw materials that may cause harmful effects but not the laminate wood itself. The raw materials making the laminate flooring which are responsible for the toxic nature of the laminate flooring include:

  • Aluminum oxide
  • Isocyanate
  • Formaldehyde
  • Melamine
  • Cyanuric acid

The compounds above do cause some health issues such as Asthma and irreversible kidney damage. Cyanuric acid and melamine, for instance, may damage the kidneys.

Notably, the types of laminate flooring vary, and each of them will emit varying amounts of toxic gases. PF, for instance, is considered less harmful because it does not release large amounts of formaldehyde. UF is the worst for it is rich in toxic gases. MF is the most common type though it also has its shortcomings.

The difference arises from the appearance. PF is less attractive and appears dull despite it being less harmful, unlike its counterparts.

Does laminate flooring emit gases for too long?

Yes, it takes up to ten years. Worth noting is the fact that the formaldehyde becomes less active as time progresses. The emissions will decrease as time passes making it to be less toxic. The factors that affect the toxicity of the gas emissions from the laminate flooring are;

  • Ventilations
  • Humidity
  • Temperature
  • Air circulation space

An increase in temperatures can increase the rate of emissions. High temperatures can also increase the damage to your laminate flooring. Make sure that you maintain proper temperatures and ventilation to be on the safest side.

There are specific adjustments you can make to reduce the toxicity effects. If you have the laminate walls already in your house, it will be vital to make the following adjustments.

  • Keep the temperature, and the humidity levels low.
  • Avoid smoking because the tobacco you are smoking will increase the formaldehyde levels.
  • Houses with laminate flooring need to have exhaust fans. If you don’t have one, then it is time to install it.
  • Open your windows do it at least for some minutes every day.

Staying in with newly installed laminate flooring may expose you to some health issues. It is possible to experience symptoms such as irritation in the nose, eye, throat, and even the skin. You will also experience other health issues as coughing and wheezing. Cancer may arise after long years of exposure, so it is always good to take precautions on this.

So what is the rational thing to do if you already installed the laminate flooring?

laminate flooring with dogs

Are you considering removing the laminate floors? You do not need to remove it. Removing it may worsen the situation by increasing the amount of formaldehyde. The only rational thing that you can try is to test the air in your house.

Experts can help you do this. It may be a good idea to remove the old laminate floors rather than the new ones because the new ones do have a high concentration of toxic that will be released as you try to remove it.

It will be prudent to test the air in your home if you experience serious health issues that might make you suspect your laminate flooring. Notably, the laminate flooring will only be emitting volatile organic compounds that make adhesives in the laminate flooring.

Most common laminate woods that will contain formaldehyde include particleboard, plywood, medium-density fiber wood, and many other forms. Notably, the gas emission does vary depending on the type of adhesives making up the wood.

Best laminate flooring boards that are less toxic

Formaldehyde is the gas that is responsible for the toxic nature of the laminate boards. You can opt to buy other types of laminate flooring that won’t expose you to the risk of harmful gases.

Float a laminate flooring that does not use adhesives. Some manufacturers use boards that do not emit any gas. They allow them to off the gases before they start distributing. Do your due diligence so that you purchase from the best manufacturer that cares about your health.

Bottom line

Not all laminate flooring releases toxic gases. The toxicity reduces with time. There is no need to worry about it because they might be free from these gases. Just stick to all stipulated guidelines and everything will be well with you.

You need to choose from the best brands, Rather than thinking about toxicity. Many companies are aware of the toxicity of the adhesives they are using, and they are now treating the laminate woods before distributing them in the market.