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Perhaps not many of us connect well-being and health to flooring. However, considering that we typically spend about 20 hours per day indoors would make healthy floors seem like an obvious choice. Then, what is a ‘healthy floor’? To that question, there are at least four dimensions.
First, there is the environmental aspect. A healthy floor is a floor that is certified “low emission” from at least one certification organization. The floor should be healthy for its occupants and the environment, as well as able to be recycled, upcycled, reused or repurposed at the end of its life – it should not be a landfill product. In the past few years, a growing body of scientific evidence has indicated that air within homes and other buildings can be more heavily polluted than the outdoor air, even in the largest and most industrialized cities (Lung.org/United States Environmental Protection Agency EPA). Indoor pollution is strongly affected by emissions from materials such as paint, furniture, plastics, flooring and accumulations of dust. Thus, an easy to clean and maintain floor, made of sustainable, low-emitting materials provides for good conditions for improving indoor air quality, in addition to beautifying the space where you live and work.
The best assurance for environmental quality and health is to have products third-party tested for formaldehyde and VOC emissions that meet the EU E1 standard, the Finnish M1 standard for emissions, the French VOC law, US CDPH 01350 and Floorscore® certification program for LEED projects. Kährs' design- and production teams work closely with its suppliers to ensure they are providing the best, safest and healthiest materials for our flooring. In addition to this, the chemical team analyzes all chemicals used in our flooring to meet standards such as the EU REACH and the Swedish BASTA. Kährs arguably has among the most environmental certifications and transparency of products, and the company’s work in this field will never be done.
Secondly, floors have an impact on ergonomics. A healthy floor can improve ergonomics in several ways, for example by absorbing noise and thus making an acoustic climate less stressful and more comfortable. The third dimension is comfort. A healthy floor should be soft and comfortable to stand and walk on, which is significant not the least for people who spend their whole day standing and walking indoors. Flooring made by a softer material is gentler to your knees and hips and makes you less tired.
The fourth dimension to a healthy floor is the coloring. This is particularly important within the healthcare sector where colors for example might affect the need for pain killers, but also in schools where the right choice of color can have a calming effect on the students and improve their overall performance. In conclusion, the choice of a healthy floor can improve your indoor well-being significantly.
Kährs Group is currently adapting for the future with a strong focus on new product categories, where sustainable requirements are applied throughout the process. We develop products that are healthy, recyclable and perform to the highest standards, while all materials are responsibly sourced. We also work closely with our suppliers to ensure that they provide us with the safest and highest performing materials and coatings. For Kährs, health and safety for all stakeholders is always top priority.