Laminate flooring contains adhesives that have been reported to off-gas harmful toxins like formaldehyde gas, which could be toxic to you and your household.
Exposure to formaldehyde, according to the CDC (center for diseases control and prevention) and ATSDR (agency for toxic substances and disease registry), could cause a host of problems to your eyes, nose, and throat.
The extent of exposure affects how bad the effects get, so you may be worried about how long laminate flooring off-gas for; most laminate products off-gas for about ten years but usually at a very low level that usually is considered safe for flooring.
How Long Does Laminate Flooring Off Gas?
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Formaldehyde exposure causes a handful of problems; it also worsens the health condition of those who have asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder.
Laminate flooring off-gas for about ten years, but the emissions decrease with time, so the floor becomes less and less poisonous as it ages.
The amount of gas the floor releases is also affected by temperature changes, humidity, air circulation, and ventilation.
New flooring releases the highest amount of formaldehyde gases, but the toxicity levels reduce with time.
Read: Can you paint or stain laminate flooring
Is Laminate Toxic?
Yes, laminate is toxic; the flooring is made with wood-bonding adhesives consisting of melamine resin formaldehyde, cyanuric acid, isocyanates, and aluminum oxide that can be toxic to humans and animals.
Here’s a breakdown of some of the health problems caused by formaldehyde exposure:
- Formaldehyde is a known carcinogen according to the US national toxicology program; isocyanate is also a potential carcinogen.
- Aluminum oxide is known to cause asthma and negatively impact intelligence.
- Melamine and cyanuric acid cause irreversible kidney damage.
- Laminate adhesive also contains formaldehyde: urea-formaldehyde uf, phenol-formaldehyde pf, and melamine-formaldehyde mf.
Find out: How toxic laminate flooring can be
How is Laminate Flooring Made?
Laminate flooring is a relatively affordable and quite popular flooring option. Its made from wood, paper, and resin held together by adhesives. Laminate flooring requires low maintenance and is resistant to stains.
However, laminate tends to have poor insulation; unlike other floorings such as wood or natural tiles, it has a lifespan of about 15 years which isn’t that durable compared to other flooring options.
Laminate is a multi-layer synthetic flooring product held together through the lamination method. It is also referred to as floating wood tile and consists of melamine resin and fiberboard materials.
The different components of laminate flooring are subjected to intensely high pressure, heat which binds the chemicals and turns them into usable floor coverings.
How to Minimize the Toxicity Effects of Laminate Flooring
If you have laminate flooring installed in your home, you can reduce its toxicity by applying certain precautions:
- Open up your windows daily, even if it’s for a few minutes, to let in the fresh air.
- Install and use exhaust fans to increase ventilation in your home.
- If you smoke, try to do so outside your home, tobacco smoke contains formaldehyde which increases the toxicity level in your home.
- Maintain low temperature and humidity levels in your home.
Read: laminate or carpet ins bedroom, which is better?
Should I Uninstall my Laminate Flooring?
If your laminate floor was installed some years back, its toxicity levels might be reduced. But if you notice formaldehyde exposure, you can hire a professional to test your air to check the level of exposure. With the results, the professional can advise you on the best possible steps to take.
Remember, removing especially new laminate flooring may even increase the level of formaldehyde released, so consult with a professional before taking any action.
Read: Difference between laminate and vinyl flooring
As the question states; how long does laminate flooring off gas? How long laminate flooring off-gas depends on a couple of factors like humidity and temperature.
On a general note, laminate flooring off-gas for about ten years, usually at a very low level that doesn’t pose alarming risks.
You should, however, note that exposure to formaldehyde could cause a number of health issues, so you might want to keep an eye out and seek professional help if you notice a high level of off-gassing.