Choosing a floor covering, it is necessary to be based on many qualities. Not the last of them is environmental friendliness. This criterion is especially important in cases where there are children or people in the house who are prone to allergies. Of the most popular types of flooring, it is worth making laminate and linoleum. Let's see which of them is more environmentally friendly.
Before comparing a separate characteristic of coatings, namely environmental friendliness, it is necessary to understand what each of these materials is. You need to know what they consist of and by what technology they are made. Let's start from the bottom.
Laminate consists of 4 layers:
- The first - stabilizing layer. It provides protection against damage and deformation, making the board stronger. Consists of paraffin-impregnated plastic or cardboard.
- Second - carrier. This is the main component of the laminate board, it is also the thickest layer. This layer is a dense wood fiber board. Its main functions are thermal and sound insulation, as well as protecting the remaining layers from moisture. It is also called a carrier because it contains a lock, which is responsible for fixing the boards to each other.
- The third is decorative. It consists of paper that displays the desired pattern. Basically, he repeats a natural tree, however, you can see many different options.
- The fourth is protective. It consists of melamine, resin or acrylic. Its task is to protect the coating from scratches and other technical damage. It also gives the laminate a beautiful sheen.
So, we see that the laminate is not a solid wood board, but a dense wood-fiber base, surrounded by several layers. We figured out what constitutes a laminate, now about linoleum.
Characteristics of linoleum
Linoleum is more popular than laminate. It is used not only in private houses and apartments, but also in production, in offices, shopping centers, clinics, schools. Depending on the scope, there are different classes of linoleum. We will consider household appliances, that is, one that is used for private purposes.
Household linoleum also consists of several layers:
- The base is the first layer. It consists of foamed polyvinyl chloride.
- The second is decorative. Also composed of foamed PVC.
- The third is protective. This is a transparent film that protects the surface from abrasion.
Together, these layers are no more than 4mm. We described heterogeneous linoleum when there is a decorative layer on which the drawing is applied. There is also a homogeneous linoleum, where the drawing is applied to the base.
Note! When choosing, consider the homogeneous or heterogeneous type you buy, the number of layers and all characteristics depend on this.
So, linoleum is a foamed polyvinyl chloride that contains a decorative layer and a protective film.
What indicators affect the environmental friendliness of raw materials
The main indicators that affect the environmental friendliness of raw materials are the manufacturing method and composition. We disassembled them in detail. But there are still some indicators that affect this characteristic. These include:
- the ability to cause an allergic reaction;
- complexity and type of disposal.
In everyday understanding, environmental friendliness is determined by the effect on human health. Globally, recycling is of great importance, as it affects the environment as a whole, and, consequently, the human health outside the home.
What is safer, laminate or linoleum
Now, based on the foregoing, we will analyze and conclude what is more harmful and what is safer.
- Composition. None of the materials presented is natural. They are both made using chemical compounds. But the laminate contains wood shavings, which positively affects its environmental performance. In the composition of linoleum, the basis is PVC, which foams due to chemicals.
- Allergenicity. Allergies can cause each of the materials. There are resins in the laminate, and other chemicals in the linoleum. It all depends on the personal intolerance of the components.
- Disposal Due to the fact that the laminate is a wood-chip material, it is easier to dispose of. Linoleum decomposes for a long time, during combustion it releases a lot of harmful substances.
In general, the laminate can be called more environmentally friendly materials, if viewed from a global perspective. But for a user who is in a room with a coating, none of the materials will do harm, while maintaining the balance of the atmosphere in the apartment, and not emitting a large amount of harmful substances.