You could fill a book with the benefits of ceramic tile—from its timeless aesthetic value to its ecological sustainability. The greatest benefit of ceramic tile is that it is made of naturally occurring materials and therefore has a healthy advantage over other flooring options.
The Tile Council of North America (TCNA) compiled a bulletin that outlines the health benefits of ceramic tile and it’s a substantial list. Case in point, hospitals may choose ceramic tile for some of these health-dependent reasons.
Ceramic tile is:
- Volatile organic compound (VOC)-free
- Polyvinyl chloride (PVC)-free
- Safe for occupants
Let’s break down some of that jargon.
Formaldehyde is a chemical found in many common construction materials. At high levels, it is associated with different respiratory disorders and according to the Center for Disease Control, is particularly dangerous to the elderly and children. Because of the health threats high levels of formaldehyde present, the use of formaldehyde must be in compliance with the emission standards under the Formaldehyde Emission Standards for Composite Woods Products Rule. Because ceramic tile inherently has zero formaldehyde, it is not subject to these concerns.
Ceramic tile is completely free from the formaldehyde found in other flooring materials.
Volatile organic compounds are an ingredient in many different nonceramic building materials and installation products and can contribute to a wide variety of health problems, including “Sick Building Syndrome.” Adverse health effects that are of concern from long-term exposure to excessive amounts of VOCs include:
- Damage to the central nervous system, liver, and kidneys
- Headaches, nausea, and loss of coordination
- Nose, throat, and eye irritation
Ceramic tile is one of the few flooring materials that is free of VOCs.
Ceramic tile is also free from Polyvinyl chloride (PVC), a resin used in vinyl flooring and installation materials that is regularly a subject of concern among health experts and builders. There are no plastic health concerns with ceramic tile.
Ceramic tile and its installation materials are completely free of polyvinyl chloride.
Anyone with allergies or asthma appreciates the relief of allergen-free environments but simply staying indoors has the potential to expose you to poor indoor air quality.
Indoor air quality is often a contributing factor in many respiratory problems, in addition to contributing to the spread of airborne pathogens. The surface of ceramic tiles directly improves indoor air quality because it cannot be penetrated by allergens such as pollen, dust, or dirt. Instead, allergens settle on the surface of tile, where they can be wiped away with simply water and a sponge or mop (no harsh cleaning chemicals required). Ceramic tile’s nonporous surface is also naturally resistant to bacteria and options are available with antimicrobial properties that can suppress and even destroy harmful microorganisms, such as mold, fungi, bacteria, and viruses.
Ceramic tile contains no allergens and is extremely easy to maintain.
5. Safe for Occupants
Ceramic tile stands out amongst flooring options because of the variety of slip-resistant options. Tile is also nonflammable, meaning that it will not burn, produce smoke, or give off toxic fumes such as other flooring materials do when exposed to flame, which make it a good choice for those concerned with home air quality. Because of this, ceramic tile meets the flame spread and smoke development requirements of Section 803 of the International Building Code (IBC) and can be used for interior ceiling and wall applications when other flooring options cannot. This makes it great for yoga studios and sterile environments.
Ceramic tile is one of the safest flooring choices available.
Laying Down the Facts
It is well known that ceramic tile is one of the most aesthetically versatile construction materials, offering infinite combinations of colors, textures, sizes, and shapes. Ceramic tile is also one of the healthiest flooring choices available—it is the easiest to clean and is free of harmful toxins, all without compromising on artistic flexibility.