Why is it important to consider alternatives to vinyl (aka "PVC") flooring? For starters, an incredibly toxic chemical known as Dioxin is released in the manufacturing, burning, and landfilling of PVC as chlorine molecules are heated to high temperatures. Dioxins not only persist in the body for years after exposure, but with links to cancer, reproductive disorders, and hormone disruption, they have been called the most toxic man-made substance ever created.

It is important that designers seek healthier alternatives in linoleum, cork, natural rubber, or bio-based materials that avoid any inclusion of vinyl.

Flooring

7 products
How to Use This List

About Our Collections

The goal of our collections is to help promote transparency in the material ingredients of building products by fostering knowledge and awareness of products and materials for which life-cycle information is available, and that have environmentally, economically, and socially preferable life-cycle impacts.

Keep an eye out for the following symbols:
A Healthier Affordable Building Product

Products with the designation of "Healthier & Affordable" were specified and installed in at least one of our Case Studies of healthier affordable housing.

Available at the Donghia healthier Materials Library

The Donghia healthier Materials Library library is open to Parsons student and faculty. Learn more about access and opening hours here.

New Product

This product has been added to the collection within the past six months.

Ingredient Disclosures

There are several ways of evaluating a material’s health that we include with product information. Disclosures are reports by manufacturers about product ingredients, impacts, or other attributes.

Key Disclosures include:
Health Product Declaration (HPD)

A voluntary technical specification for reporting information on product contents and associated health information, intended to be the health-analogue to Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs).

Declare Label

Declare is a transparency platform and product database that answers three questions: 
  1. Where does a product come from?
  2. What is it made of?
  3. Where does it go at the end of its life?

Environmental Product Declaration (EPD)

A standardized format for communicating the environmental effects associated with a product’s raw materials extraction, energy use, chemical makeup, waste generation, and emissions to air, soil, and water.

Safety Data Sheet (SDS)

A reporting format that provides basic information about a material’s chemical ingredients, the potential safety hazards to installers, and recommended practices for installation.

Other
Learn More
Category Sub-category Manufacturer Product Ingredient Disclosures

Marmoleum Modular

A Healthier Affordable Building Product
Available At the Donghia Materials Library

Marmoleum Modular tiles are made from natural materials. The product has a low carbon footprint, and is free from toxic materials such as phthalates. The modular tiles allow you to mix and match to design a unique floor surface.


Category
Flooring, Linoleum
Manufacturer
Forbo Flooring Systems
Product Website

Material composition *

Linseed Oil 20%, Gum Rosin 2%, Tall Oil 6%, Wood Flour 31%, Calcium Carbonate 8%, Reused Marmoleum 23 %, Titanium Dioxide 3%, Various other pigments 1%, Polyester 5%, Lacquer 1%

*As reported by manufacturer and product EPD

AVAILABLE SIZING

9.8”x 9.8”, 9.8”x 19.69” and 19.69”x 19.69” Tiles

COLORS

Available in a variety of colors

COUNTRY OF MANUFACTURE

RAW MATERIALS ORIGIN

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Striations BBT

A Healthier Affordable Building Product

An alternative to PVC flooring that contains 2% renewable corn material. Striations BBT designed for heavy-traffic corridors in K-12 and higher education buildings, retail spaces and corporations.


Category
Flooring, Bio Based
Manufacturer
Armstrong Flooring
Product Website

Material composition *

Calcium Carbonate 85-88%, Bio-based Polyester Resin 11-14%, Titanium Dioxide 0.5%, Colored Pigments <0.1%

*As reported by manufacturer and product EPD

AVAILABLE SIZING

12”x 12” and 12”x 24” Tiles

COLORS

Available in a variety of colors

COUNTRY OF MANUFACTURE

RAW MATERIALS ORIGIN

CERTIFICATIONS & DISCLOSURES
Health Product Declaration (HPD)
Declare Label
Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) icon-pdf Created with Sketch.
Safety Data Sheet (SDS) icon-pdf Created with Sketch.
Other
FloorScore
NSF/ANSI 51 Certification
Last Updated

September 23, 2016

Download data sheet icon-pdf Created with Sketch.

Norament Tiles

Available At the Donghia Materials Library

These rubber flooring tiles are made by pressing rubber under high pressure. This process creates a very dense, sealed surface which is resistant to wear and supports fast and easy cleaning.


Category
Flooring, Rubber
Manufacturer
Nora
Product Website

Material composition *

Polymers (Synthetic Rubber) 39%, Minerals 46%, Titanium Dioxide 8%, Auxiliary Substances and Vulcanization System 7%

*As reported by manufacturer and product EPD

AVAILABLE SIZING

39.53”x 39.53” Tile

COLORS

Available in a variety of colors

COUNTRY OF MANUFACTURE

RAW MATERIALS ORIGIN

Harmonium XF2™ - Veneto​

Harmonium XF2™ - Veneto is made of 73% rapidly renewable content, and is available in a wide range of colorways. This project is free from toxic phthalates, and is Cradle to Cradle Silver Certified.


Category
Flooring, Bio Based
Manufacturer
Tarkett
Product Website

Material composition *

Linseed Oil 22-33%, Wood Powder - Cellulose 17-35%, Wood Powder - Lignin 17-35%, Cork 17-35%, Calcium Carbonate 11-39%, Cured Linoleum Scraps 0-10%, Colophony 3-5%, Jute 5-17%, Titanium Dioxide <10%, Carbon Black <1%, Iron Oxide <1%, Proprietary Organic Pigments <1%, Walnut Husk Powder <7%, Vegetal Carbon Powder <7%, PU Foam <18%, Proprietary Adhesive <4%, Polyurethane Acrylate Coating or Acrylic Finish <1%, Proprietary Formulation Auxiliaries and Impurities <2.4%, Aluminum Oxide <1.2%, Magnesium Carbonate <1.2%, Calcium Dihydroxide <1.2%, Jute Batch Oil <1.2%, Tamarind Kernel Powder <1.2%

*As reported by manufacturer

AVAILABLE SIZING

Roll 32 m x 2 mx 2.5 mm

COLORS

62 Colors

CERTIFICATIONS & DISCLOSURES
Health Product Declaration (HPD)
Declare Label
Environmental Product Declaration (EPD)
Safety Data Sheet (SDS)
Other icon-pdf Created with Sketch.
Cradle to Cradle | Silver icon-pdf Created with Sketch.
Last Updated

February 27, 2018

Download data sheet icon-pdf Created with Sketch.

Multi Layer Flooring

A Healthier Affordable Building Product

Kährs's 3-layer flooring product is made up of a surface layer, a core layer, and a backing. All of their surface treatments are naturally free from solvents, formaldehyde and isocyanate, and the floors carry a FloorScore emissions certification. The Multi Layer Flooring can be installed floating on a level surface as opposed to being glued down. This allows you to avoid potentially unhealthy adhesives in addition to allowing for future disassembly and reuse.

*NOTE: This product is ULEF as opposed to NAF, meaning it contains ultra-low emitting formaldehyde.


Category
Flooring, Engineered Wood
Manufacturer
Kährs
Product Website

Material composition *

Wood/Wood Fiber 93-94% [Amino Based Glue 2.6-3%, Carbamide Adhesive 1.0-2%, Lacquer Sherwin-Williams 0.8-1%, Filler 0.1%, Polyvinyl Acetate (PVA) 0.08-0.1%], Polyolefin Foam Plastic 0.4-0.5%, Polyester Foam - Bottom 0.5-0.5%

*As reported by manufacturer and product HPD

AVAILABLE SIZING

72’’x 6 1/4” Plank; 3/8", 5/8", or 3/4" Thickness

COLORS

Available in a variety of wood species

COUNTRY OF MANUFACTURE

Micro Edge Grain

A Healthier Affordable Building Product

Kaswell laminates wood flooring in a linear fashion in order to make their Micro Edge Grain floor. This product is durable and long lasting, and is free of VOCs and formaldehyde.


Category
Flooring, Engineered Wood
Manufacturer
Kaswell Flooring System
Product Website

Material composition *

Oak 20%, Plantation Recycled 80%, E1 Resin Glue, Solvent Free Urethane (undisclosed %)

*As reported by manufacturer

AVAILABLE SIZING

7”x 86.2” Plank

COLORS

Available in 6 different wood species

CERTIFICATIONS & DISCLOSURES
Health Product Declaration (HPD)
Declare Label
Environmental Product Declaration (EPD)
Safety Data Sheet (SDS)
Other
Last Updated

September 23, 2016

Download data sheet icon-pdf Created with Sketch.

Corques Liquid Lino

Corques Liquid Lino offers a revolutionary way to use linoleum. An alternative to traditional rolls and tiles, this product from Duracryl International is sold as a liquid and poured onto a subfloor onsite. It sets overnight at ambient temperatures to create a seamless durable and natural looking resilient floor. Corques Liquid Lino is made from vegetable oil, cork, wood-flour, limestone, and natural color pigments. It is free of VOCs, PVC, plasticizers, formaldehyde, chlorine, and heavy metals.


Category
Flooring, Linoleum
Manufacturer
Duracryl International
Product Website

Material composition *

Binder: Castor Oil, Linseed Oil; Filler: Calcium Carbonate, Quercus Suber Bark; Pigment: C.I. Pigment Yellow 42, Dilron Trioxide, Iron Oxide (Fe304), Titanium Dioxide; Finish: Polyurethane

*As reported my manufacturer and product Declare label

AVAILABLE SIZING

N/A (Poured Material)

COLORS

Available in 54 Colors

CERTIFICATIONS & DISCLOSURES
Health Product Declaration (HPD)
Declare Label icon-pdf Created with Sketch.
Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) icon-pdf Created with Sketch.
Safety Data Sheet (SDS)
Other
Declare | Red List Free
Last Updated

June 10, 2019

Download data sheet icon-pdf Created with Sketch.

Hazard Avoidance and Emissions Criteria:
The products in this collection have been evaluated for the primary hazards found in resilient flooring, including PVC/Vinyl, Phthalate plasticizers, Heavy Metals, Halogenated Flame Retardants, and Tire-Derived Recycled Rubber. According to the products’ respective ingredients disclosures, all have shown to avoid these primary substances.
All products in the collection must also meet the Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) emissions criteria of the California Section 01350 Standard, which has been adopted by certification programs such as FloorScore®, GreenGuard, and the Collaborative for High Performance Schools (CHPS).

Spec Guidance

Linoleum, cork, and natural rubber are preferable when selecting resilient flooring. These products are typically made from bio-based ingredients and more likely free of hazardous ingredients commonly used in materials like vinyl.

Avoid vinyl flooring. It tends to contain harmful plasticizers called phthalates. As studies show, phthalates can disrupt the endocrine system, the body’s system of regulating hormones. The vinyl chloride monomer in PVC (polyvinyl chloride) is a known carcinogen.

Note: In 2015, leading home improvement retailers committed to actively avoid selling vinyl flooring that contain phthalates. A word of caution: Other plasticizers have been substituted and are not fully tested. (as reported by HBN, Mind the Store Press release. June 2019)

Be especially wary of post-consumer recycled vinyl. The recycling process mixes various types of vinyl products. Recycled vinyl may have lead, arsenic, toxic Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB), and elevated levels of plasticizers in it.

Avoid post-consumer recycled rubber. Recycled rubber (also known as ‘crumb rubber’) is derived from recycled tires, and can contain harmful substances such as lead and hydrocarbon processing oils.

Avoid flooring made from polyurethane. Polyurethane contains isocyanates and can cause asthma and other respiratory problems.

Updated July 18, 2019
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