LVT floors are cool and on-trend. Using the latest design techniques, LVT floors are produced with the realistic look and feel of wood and stone varieties that are indistinguishable from the natural product. What is more, LVT floors offer many practical benefits that make LVT flooring an even more attractive proposition. They include comfort-enhancing properties such as suitability for underfloor heating and cooling. They can insulate sound and, being water-resistant, are easy to clean. Furthermore, LVT floors are very strong and scratch-resistant, which means that the floor has a very long service life and only requires minimal maintenance. All in all – an ideal floor!
“Isn’t PVC a harmful chemical product?”
PVC, which forms the basis of the floor, is available in many different qualities. PVC is a chemical product that is naturally rock-hard. To be able to process the PVC, plasticisers are added to make the product more flexible and workable. Choosing the right raw materials for the PVC itself and for the plasticiser is therefore very important in order to guarantee the health and well-being of users.
To keep things clear, mFLOR has summarised the main points to consider:
In Europe, the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) classifies chemicals that could be harmful to health or the environment centrally in Regulation (EC) 1907/2006. This is achieved on the basis of the ‘Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and restriction of Chemicals (REACH)’ system. For specific high-risk products, such as toys and childcare products that can be put in the mouth, precise requirements dictate which chemicals (including phthalates) may be used in these products and in what quantities. These requirements are much stricter than for other products, such as floors or furniture.
At mFLOR, we prioritise safety and health above all else. That is why our design floors not only meet the strictest standards of the ECHA for interior applications, but even meet the same standard that is defined for plastic materials in toys and childcare products that can be put in the mouth. mFLOR only uses a phthalate-free plasticiser. If our production team had their way, you could eat off the floor!
Emissions are volatile organic compounds released after processing a product. A familiar example is the way a new car smells. This odour is caused by emissions, which steadily diminish over time. The amount of emissions released depends on the quality of the product. The more emissions released, the more you are likely to experience undesirable effects, such as headaches. Since a lot of time is spent on a floor, it is important to keep these emissions to a minimum.
Unfortunately, there are still no European standards governing emissions. The Netherlands, for example, does not have a standard at all; some countries have drawn up their own standards, but these vary widely as to their content. Besides the different national standards, various voluntary standards have been developed in this area. All of these standards are assessed on the basis of standardised laboratory test methods.
The sheer quantity of these standards can make things quite confusing. For this reason, Eurofins – a prominent international test laboratory – has developed its own, more comprehensive ‘Indoor Air Quality’ standard. Eurofins has also expanded this standard to include the ‘Indoor Air Quality Gold Standard’, which involves testing an even wider range of substances and specifies lower emissions than any other national standard.
Because mFLOR considers health and the environment supremely important, all our design floors have very low emission values. It’s no surprise, then, that all our products carry the Eurofins Indoor Air Certificate Gold, showing that our products more than meet the most stringent requirements.
So, yes, a PVC floor is a practical, strong and comfortable floor, but be sure to look for right quality and certificates!