Sustainable living for a healthy lifestyle: rising expectations for a healthier indoor climate in living and working areas require the use of harmless building products. With its excellent environmental footprint and a host of other advantages, eco-friendly laminate flooring is the top choice when it comes to easy-to-maintain floor coverings for a healthy living environment.
Back in 2007, a study conducted by the renowned Fraunhofer Institute already gave laminate flooring manufactured in Europe a very good report. Describing laminate as an “environmentally-friendly product made of wood”, it was assessed not only as “almost odourless and very low-emission”, but also “easy to clean and suitable for allergy-sufferers” and of “high ecological value”. Similarly positive assessments are given in the authoritative EPDs (Environmental Product Declarations) published by the German Institute for Building and the Environment (IBU). This is where laminate floors produced by EPLF members can excel as they have a very good life cycle assessment: as well as hugely positive values for the primary energy needed for production and low potential for emitting greenhouse gases, the strength of these floors also lies in improved indoor air quality. For anyone wishing to choose a new floor with environmental impact and sustainability in mind, whether for private or contract use, laminate is the right choice because of its eco-friendly production methods. All laminate flooring components are made strictly without added pesticides, chloro-organic compounds or harmful heavy metals, and are also free of plasticisers.
Laminate floors rate highly in terms of indoor air quality and, importantly, hygiene, primarily because of their surface finish. House dust mites and other allergy-inducing micro-organisms find the smooth surfaces inhospitable to growth and reproduction. The melamine resin overlay is particularly tough and hard-wearing and offers high abrasion resistance, so that even after years of heavy use it will continue to resist household dirt, grime brought in from outdoors and other types of everyday staining or soiling, and prevent it from penetrating or being trodden in. Whether it’s fine dust entering rooms during ventilation or from smoking, fibres from carpets and household textiles, animal hairs, pollen, dust from books and documents, from housework, DIY or cooking and then made airborne by children playing ‒ the closed cell surface of laminate will prevent it from adhering.
These activities are all part of everyday life and cannot really be avoided, so the only question that remains is what needs to be done to remove the resulting dirt – and this is where, once again, laminate floors score highly. Simply sweep regularly or use a suitable vacuum cleaner to remove loose dirt. Should the floor receive the occasional rough treatment from, say, hard partying or kids’ muddy boots, all that is needed is a wipe over with a slightly damp mop or cloth, using just a little water and environmentally-friendly cleaning products, such as the cleaners specifically for laminate that are available in shops.
Laminate floors are certified in accordance with strict EU guidelines and as well as making a positive contribution to a pleasant indoor climate and easy cleaning, they excel due to their innovative, environmentally-friendly production methods, verified quality for a long service life, high-quality and varied surface designs, and they offer good value for money.