Floors and stairs

The following tips and healthy alternatives apply to floors and stairs.

Healthy alternatives

Bamboo and cork: These materials are ecological, sustainable, healthy and renewable. However, the long distances they have to travel (Europe, Asia) make them polluting materials (if you live in Canada).

Concrete: it's non-toxic material that helps retain heat. However, the manufacture of concrete is not environmentally friendly.

Hemp: Without adding other components, hemp is a healthy product, which can be recycled and recycled. It has a low carbon footprint because it is easily grown in North America and Europe. In addition, it is a bio-sourced raw material that grows rapidly (cf. éco habitation).

Linoleum and marmolium: Linoleum linoleum linings are made from jute cloth that has been waterproofed with linseed oil and wood powder. It is a natural, anti-allergenic and antibacterial solution (cf. eco habitation). 

Recycled flooring: It is an ecological, sustainable and healthy solution. However, their price is higher. 

Also think about recycled tiles (40% minimum). cf éco habitation. 

Slate and stone: It is a sustainable, local and healthy solution.  

Solid wood: It contains little or no VOCs and is an environmentally sustainable choice. Opt for FSC certified wood and choose a hardwood such as oak, cherry, maple...

Tile and Ceramic: By using low or zero VOC adhesives, tile is a durable and healthy solution for your home. However, they often come from Italy or China and therefore have a high carbon footprint.


Some FSC engineered flooring and scrap wood may contain backings composed of glues containing carcinogens such as formaldehyde.

Carpets (fixed to the floor) are often made from petroleum products or non-biodegradable synthetic fibres and contain chemicals such as glues, dyes, flame retardants, etc.

Laminate floors (laminate, floating) are composed of wood fibres that are not very durable and are held together by glue, which may contain carcinogenic formaldehyde.

Also avoid toxic vinyl (PVC), which is present in many floor coverings.

Finally, avoid the use of tropical wood. Although it is not toxic as such, its use contributes to deforestation. Prefer the use of recycled, recovered wood that you can stain with local non-toxic species.

To maintain your floors, use VOC-free oils. The eco habitation site recommends the non-toxic Monocoat oil.


Ingredients to avoid

  • Agents antitâches: toxiques
  • Colle (libérant du formaldéhyde)
  • COV (Composés Organiques Volatiles) comme le formaldéhyde
  • Formaldéhyde: cancérogène, iritant pour les yeux et les voies respiratoires, sensibilisant respiratoire
  • Produits ignifuges
  • Produits pétroliers
  • Teintures