Thursday, May 22, 2014

Goodbye My House, Part 6

Living in a vinyl world

006Yes, it is true, there are many advantages to vinyl flooring. I dropped a glass in the kitchen this morning, and it bounced, instead of breaking.

Something  went  wrong with the shower last week, and a pool of water sat on the floor all day long. No harm done.

I’m sure that its indestructible nature, coupled with price, has much to do with the fact that vinyl sales in our country are at an all-time high.  Most telling are the marketing dollars being spent by Forbo – a world leader in natural linoleum – on its new, unnatural vinyl. It seems that everyone wants a piece of this action, except for me.

If I ever have a house again, I will take what I have learned about avoiding broken glasses to heart, but I would opt for cork flooring over vinyl. These days, cork comes in ceramic and wood looks so there are plenty of choices.

Wicanders Art Comfort, Digitally Enhanced Cork

Wicanders Art Comfort, Digitally Enhanced Cork

Yes, if there is a flood, this floor most likely will be damaged, which will result in an insurance claim. Should, on the other hand, I have to live in a vinyl world, I would like to be able to choose a pattern that does not look dirty all the time, no matter how much it’s cleaned, like the one I live with now.

And I would look for a brand that is not made with phthalates – a plasticizer that has been linked to endocrine disruption – and has a FloorScore or GREENGUARD Indoor Air Quality Certification, ensuring low VOC emissions.

Unfortunately, while vinyl is becoming more people-friendly, there are few readily accessible vinyl recycling programs and other issues that keep this product from being planet-friendly.

But for a lot of us, it just costs too much to live in a natural world.©

– Nancy Kibbee is editor at


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