If you’re one of those 11% or 18%, you’ll know neither ailment is comfortable, but they can be manageable. One of the ways you can do this is to take care of the environment around you – including your flooring. Here’s what you need to know.
Nasties In The Floors
With so much wear and tear, it’s no wonder our floors are prone to so many allergy-causing nasties. One of the most common is dust mites, which is one of the leading allergen sources in Australia. Although the dust mites themselves are generally harmless, their droppings are not – and if you are regularly exposed to these, you’ll find your sinuses are not a fan.
Dust itself is also a problem, and if you’re sneezing while cleaning your home, that’s why. Another challenge for allergy sufferers is mould and bacteria, which you’ll usually find in damp and dark spaces, such as under your bathroom tiles or timber flooring that isn’t sealed properly. If you have a pet inside, their fur and dander could be causing your sinuses to block, or it may be the pollen from your garden flowers.
Whatever the cause of your allergy, having the right flooring can make a huge difference in your symptoms.
Whether you opt for ceramic, porcelain or hybrid tiles, they have a hard surface which means they can’t be penetrated by dust mites, pet hair or pollen. They’re also water resistant, so they can keep mould and mildew away. With tiles, you just need to be careful around the edges, and if the textures or grout are deep as allergens can still get caught here. To prevent allergens from building up or mould from growing, you should get your tiles resealed every one or two years.
Although it’s commonly stated that carpet is bad for allergy sufferers, there’s no scientific proof of this. In contrast, in 2005, a study was completed by the German Allergy and Asthma Society and found that wall to wall carpet in a home actually reduced the amount of dust in the air by around 50% compared to hard floors. And in fact, provided you use a natural carpet, it can actually be better for you. Wool carpet, in particular, is resistant to mould and mildew, two of the main causes of allergy symptoms in the home. And if properly maintained, your carpet will trap dust particles, which stops you from breathing them in.
Wood flooring has long been the flooring of choice to keep a home allergy free. Timber or any other type of hardwood flooring is best as it doesn’t trap dirt or dust, and you can keep it clean through regular mopping and sweeping. With wood floors, you just need to keep an eye on any moisture that might get into the floorboards as this could result in mould growth.
Hybrid flooring combines the best of laminate and vinyl to provide floors that are strong and durable, while at the same time being soft and appealing. You can get these in hybrid timber or hybrid tile designs, giving your floors the look of hardwood or stone, without the effort needed to maintain it. Being so easy to clean, this type of floor is ideal for allergy sufferers.
As with most things in life, when it comes to allergy-friendly flooring, natural is best. Shop around, ask for advice, and do your research to find the right option for your home.