Since we provide timber flooring to Melbournians, we very often get asked if vinyl floors are toxic. That’s because we decided to share some information with you.

Are vinyl floors really deemed to be toxic?

As popularity of the vinyl floors is growing day by day, there are some serious environmental and health issues connected with them: Is it harmful for the human health especially for children? How about the storage and installation safety? What is its impact on the environment?

Characteristics of vinyl floors

If you are about to buy a new timber flooring or going to replace an old one with more modern and economical option, vinyl floor is a versatile, durable and cheap choice. Vinyl floors are resilient surface material made of PVC, a term for vinyl used in flooring materials. Thanks to great properties of the vinyl, floorings utilizing it are reliable, durable, water-proof and resistant to almost any stain and liquid. 
The life cycle of the vinyl floor extents 10-20 years which is the same as or more than the most natural or luxury tile floorings. In the other hand, they fade out by time and cannot be refinished. The sole cure in this situation is replacement of the damages surface in part or in whole.
 Furthermore, vinyl floors are generally thin and can fit into almost any surface. Even in high traffic situations like public buildings, thicker or more dense vinyl layers can be employed without any problem. 
The other advantage of the vinyl floor is that it can take any look. This is achieved by surface printing. In this way many natural and expensive flooring can be simulated with a high degree of similarity. If you are looking for a pretty yet chip flooring for your building or flooring color or design shall fit in that of home or office decoration, the vast diversity of color and design of vinyl floor would surprise you. Live in Melbourne? Ask us your questions today: 0424555358 

Environmental Impact of vinyl floors

The other side of the coin is the impact of ingredient of the vinyl floors on the environment and human health. The most dangerous substances created during the manufacture of Chlorine in PVC are Dioxins. They are carcinogenic Persistent, Bioaccumulative and Toxic (PBCs) Chemicals. This means that these toxins are able to persist in the environment for a long period of time and absorbed rapidly by living an animal including human, recognized as a potential source of cancer. For example in the 1970’s, a high level of a specific type of cancer is diagnosed among workers in a manufacturing factory of vinyl Chlorine manometers and attributed to the high level of Dioxins and other hazardous chemicals in that environment. Fortunately, nowadays, the safety regulations in the PVC manufacturing industry is increased and PVC is manufactured in a so-called closed loop system in which worker exposure to the toxic substances during the manufacturing process are minimized. As a result, since the improvement of the facilities and processes employed in manufacturing the Vinyl manometer, no case of cancer due to exposure to those substances is reported. Another Dioxins source is incineration of vinyl floorings. For instance, if the vinyl in the floor catches the fire, it generates noxious substances including Dioxins which can cause serious health problems even for a short period of exposure. However, as the manufactures of the vinyl floor argue, Dioxins is produced every time an organic is ignited. Moreover, the main source Dioxin production in the environment are volcanic activities and forest fires. In fact, the contribution of vinyl floors to this process is negligible. As the results of several studies indicate, the level of Dioxins in the environment decreased over the last 4 decades, despite the rapid increase in the production of vinyl flooring.
Some people claim that Chlorine storage used to manufacture PVC is a potential target for terrorist attacks. This gaseous material is highly toxic and volatile as opposed to other timber flooring types. When exploited by terrorists, chlorine storing warehouses can contaminate the environment for miles in a couple of hours. The good news is that most of chlorine storages are well protected by the safety rules and government. Hence, this concern is not so real. Timber Flooring Melbourne: Contact us today 

Phthalates in Vinyl flooring

Phthalates belong to a group of chemical components called plasticizers. They are substances added to plastics, specially PVC or vinyl, in order to soften them and increase their durability and transparency. Phthalates can be found in hundreds of products used in homes, hospitals, or businesses such as wire and cables, building construction, outdoor and medical products. They are most ubiquitous plasticizer in the world and majority of people are exposed to some level of it. According to several studies, a high level of exposure to phthalates can lead to health issues in the human. In animal studies, widespread exposure to them caused genital development problems in the male offspring. Besides, phthalates have been associated with asthma. 
In 2015, a study conducted by revealed that among 65 vinyl tiles tested, 58% contain phthalates. Flooring samples utilized in this study were collected from 5 major home renovation stores. Although not completely approved, it is believed that phthalates from vinyl floorings migrate through air and pollute the indoor air quality causing reproductive and respiratory health problem for human with prolonged exposure to them. It worth mentioning that by the time no study links cancer to the volatile toxic materials in the vinyl flooring. The good news that the manufactures are removing phthalates from the flooring. In fact, some floor manufactures has already eliminated them from their product or promised to do so. You can offset these concerns by making sure that vinyl floor is purchased from a qualified manufacture employing high quality material resources. Of course, a cheap floor is not a good choice in this situation. Proper ventilation of the room is another consideration that shall be taken into account in spaces coated with a vinyl. Employing a good ventilation system reduces the risk VOCs (Volatile organic compounds) emission from indoor source. In the case of vinyl floor, utilizing HAP filters is recommended. These type of filters are especially useful for exhausting toxic VOCs that could be created by adhesives after initial installation of the floor. 


Although vinyl floorings are versatile, flexible, durable and economical, some environmental and health concerns are linked to them. Dioxins, created in the process of vinyl production or incineration of vinyl floor, are toxic and harmful for the both human health and environment. Currently, this problem is solved by using a closed system manufacturing line. Moreover, some vinyl flooring brands add Phthalates to their product to increase flexibility and transparency which is reported as a source of health problems in human for a prolonged exposure. Fortunately, every day more flooring manufactures are removing this substance form their products. Acquiring vinyl floor from qualified producers exploiting high quality material will protect you from side effects of phthalates and other VOCs in the floor. It is also advisable to use an appropriate air filtering system after installation of the vinyl floor.