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TOPIC: Help with flooring

Help with flooring 4 years 9 months ago #1

Guys, please advise me on the next best flooring. I already tried some floors but they didnt work out for me. Any from my study so far I have the following concerns, please correct me if i'm wrong about them or what i can do to resolve potential concerns:

Porcelain tiles:
It seems this is the best bet for no smells and ease of clean, however the problem comes with grouting. Apparently grout is porous so liquid will abosrb through so you need a sealent. I had problems with standard grout so the grout maybe a problem too. Do you know the best way to get around chemicals from grouting/sealing issues?
I thought about trying to put the tiles so close there would be no need for grout, but i imagine there will be small gaps so use is inevitable and if the grout develops mould or dirt it will be difficult to remove. Top tiles advised me a 3mm grouted gap is best so if ever you need to remove grout. How can I lay porcelain tiles without problems?

Wood
Wood can absorb smells from other items so although people say wood is great, i dont know why. Anything which is porous abosrbs smells is bad right? I mean removing odours from wood is hard so thats why i want to avoid it. I have a wooden wardrobe which stinks of washing detergent and despite cleaning I have been unable to remove the smell. In the end I had to seal the wardrobe down with duct tape. I think wood is not a good choice or am I mistaken somewhere?

Vinyl
Obviosusly crap but I notice in a relatives house they had vinyl tiles which didnt smell at all. However it was a council job so I dont know what and where they got it from. Are there solid vinyl tiles which dont gas anything off you would advise?

concrete
landlord wont allow this.

laminate
a low voc one might be ok however i previously bought some 'second hand/used' laminate(so smell had gone). However after cutting and installing toxic smell was everywhere. oddly i covered room sides and laminate gaps with duct tape but smell still come out. Weird. I really don't know sometimes this illness is so bizarre I think I might have a mental illness.

Aluminium sheets(not rollls)
This might do the trick since I'm using foil paper for everything and it temporarily works. Its about 3 times as dear as plywood, not your ideal look, might make noise etc. I Hope it's an extreme I don't have to do.

Marmoleum, Bamboo, Cork, Rubber etc
Whatever I read about these it seems theres chance I could react because some manufacturer my have added this, that or the other. Emailed rubber sellers but they say it has some smell.

Anyway I think tiles is best but without solving my grout problem it could turn out to be a waste of time. Laminate looks like a good cross between wood and tiles but God knows if theyll leach chemicals after installation. Also I'm worried if the wood inbwteen the laminates could absorb odours. Vinyl tiles as in what my relatives have looks good but I dont know where they got it from, what they installed it with etc. Also it seems to me that vinyl can actually aquire smells after being exposed to strong fumes. It may be invisible residues however I have experienced it and despite washing couldn't remove the smells so I dont think it's ideal for cleaning.

I don't know what to do anyway please advise what you can, if possible give an ordered list. In any case, I think nothing is garanteed and Ill just have to keep trying until we get it right. Thanks
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Help with flooring 4 years 9 months ago #2

  • Jodie
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Hi, yes I would definitely say tiles are the safest, we nearly used them for the living room but they are very cold in the middle of a British winter. I don't understand the advice you've been given on grouting. We had quarry tiles put down in the kitchen 25 yrs ago - the grouting is dark brown cement - plain & simple. This has been a messy kitchen for a family of 5 & that floor hardly ever needs cleaning. The grout certainly was not sealed - there are a few areas slightly darker than the rest but it's hardly noticeable - tiles are mottled brownstone colour so it all kindof blends in anyway. Tell them you need plain old cement - not anything fancy! & if its a dark colour It should not be a problem re occasional staining. This was on a concrete ground floor tho - might be more of an issue if not laying on a ground floor.

Our new wooden floor is laquered - its surface is absolutely solid - almost like tranparent plastic.. I don't see that absorbing smells very easily, tho a wardrobe would not have been treated with that sort of solid finish as it it not going to be walked on .. maybe more porous.

I looked into cork, vinyl etc & came to the conclusion they were too risky. Bamboo may have been an option, seems to be very similar to wood in appearance.

It is worth asking around as much as possible - others may have more ideas .. try groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/GreenCanary/conversations/topics

planetthrive.ning.com/

and MCS Facebook groups

Best,
Jodie
Last Edit: 4 years 9 months ago by Jodie.
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Help with flooring 4 years 9 months ago #3

Jodie wrote:
Tell them you need plain old cement - not anything fancy! & if its a dark colour It should not be a problem re occasional staining. This was on a concrete ground floor tho - might be more of an issue if not laying on a ground floor.

Hi Jodie. By plain old cement do you mean just normal grout you can get from the diy shop?
I'm not too worried about it getting dirty since that can be cleaned off(i hope). However I read that grout is porous and so can absorb iquids i.e. it can absorbs chemicals. Are you saying this is not the case because everywhere i read it says grout is porous and an absorbent floor defeats the whole purpose of the floor change..
Also why would grout be a problem on above ground floors?
Our new wooden floor is laquered - its surface is absolutely solid - almost like tranparent plastic.. I don't see that absorbing smells very easily, tho a wardrobe would not have been treated with that sort of solid finish as it it not going to be walked on .. maybe more porous.

Did you laquer or varnish it? Was there a chemical free/specific laquer/varnish you used? Did you use stain aswell?
Are you saying that the varnish\laquer prevents odour absorbtion? Does the effect disappear in 2 years or so after which you need to do it again?
Regarding the wood smell, how long did it linger around for?
I looked into cork, vinyl etc & came to the conclusion they were too risky. Bamboo may have been an option, seems to be very similar to wood in appearance.

What was you concern with vinyl?
Last Edit: 4 years 9 months ago by Chlorinated.
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Help with flooring 4 years 9 months ago #4

  • Jodie
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Hi Jodie. By plain old cement do you mean just normal grout you can get from the diy shop?

Hi, it was the same stuff they set the tiles to the floor with - I remember the guys doing it, it was some kind of cement, which makes sense I guess if the tiles are being laid to a cement floor. Then they grouted with the same stuff.

However I read that grout is porous and so can absorb iquids i.e. it can absorbs chemicals. Are you saying this is not the case because everywhere i read it says grout is porous and an absorbent floor defeats the whole purpose of the floor change..

The cement that was used in our kitchen, well it's not porous like unlaquered wood for instance - it's quite coarse grain cement. Possibly it's slightly porous but each large tile only has 4mm of cement round it as grout, so not a lot in the general scheme of things. I mean if you drop water on it it doesn't immediately sink thru , it just stays there. If you had flagstones on a floor, they are huge things, you wouldn't need much grouting in the room as whole I guess, unlike if you laid lots of smaller tiles.

Also why would grout be a problem on above ground floors?

I was just wondering how you would fix solid stone floor tiles to an upper floor, given they're probably going on floorboards? Maybe you couldn't use something as rigid as cement to fix them, you'd need something with a little more give, possibly.


Our new wooden floor is laquered - its surface is absolutely solid - almost like tranparent plastic.. I don't see that absorbing smells very easily, tho a wardrobe would not have been treated with that sort of solid finish as it it not going to be walked on .. maybe more porous.

Did you laquer or varnish it?


Have a look at this thread - it's pre-laquered
www.ei-resource.org/support/forums/multi...n-flooring-with-mcs/

Regarding the wood smell, how long did it linger around for?

It was laid 2 months ago, the smell is still faintly there, but we are not using that room atm, so the door/windows never get opened..


What was you concern with vinyl?

It's very chemical-y and usually very smelly for quite a while. We are looking at covering the living room ( the small room which now has the new wooden floor was an experiment for the living room next year) . The living room is where we spend most of our time - that room and the bedroom have got to be right, or I'm in trouble! So while I just might risk vinyl in the loo for instance (after asking around and finding a brand others managed to tolerate), I wouldn't risk it in my main living space. But I haven't researched it in that much depth.
Last Edit: 4 years 9 months ago by Jodie.
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Help with flooring 4 years 8 months ago #5

  • Jodie
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Just found this, in case anyone's interested www.mychemicalfreehouse.net/2015/10/non-...-thinset-mortar.html
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