As society’s concern for health grows, more and more of us are examining the standards of the past and raising the bar when it comes to the products and building practices we use in our homes.

Far-sighted consumers realize that health embraces more than just a neat appearance: a product should not be considered “healthy” if it’s not safe for us and the environment.

Healthy Home

One thing’s first: Ceramic tiles don’t carry many of the hazardous elements that may be present in other types of building products, a significant fact at a time when our concern for health is stronger than ever.

For example, ceramic tiles are free of:

  • PVC: PVC is a resin present in many vinyl flooring types. PVC contains phthalates and organotins, both regularly a subject of concern among health experts. 
  • Formaldehyde: Certain levels of formaldehyde can irritate medical conditions such as asthma and other respiratory disorders. 
  • VOCs: VOCs are harmful gases that cause various health concerns and can be emitted by many nonceramic flooring types.
  • Toxins released by fire: Ceramic tile doesn’t emit any toxic fumes when exposed to fire.

In addition, properly installed and maintained ceramic tiles are inhospitable to both allergens and bacterial growth. Environmental allergens (such as dirt, dust and pollen) are unable to infiltrate the non-porous surface of ceramic tiles. The same surface naturally resists the growth of bacteria, mold, mildew and other fungi.

These facts combined mean that ceramic tile can help you create a healthy home.

And since ceramic tiles work for just about any surface in your home, from the floor to the ceiling and from the bathroom to the edge of the pool, you just need to look for a material that covers all the bases (literally).

Healthy Cleaning

The health benefits of ceramic tile also extend to the convenience of maintaining a hygienic environment with easy and effective cleaning.

Wiping, mopping with water and drying is all it takes to clean most of the debris on properly installed and maintained ceramic tile. This minimizes the need for strong cleaners and the chemicals they may contain. If occasionally you need to use stronger cleaners, you can be assured that the ceramic tiles will not fade or tarnish from use.

Ceramic tiles also are::

  • Antimicrobial: Certain ceramic tile options can suppress and even destroy harmful microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, mold, and fungi.
  • Stain-resistant: Ceramic tile is highly resistant to stains, making for low-maintenance care.
  • Scratch-resistant: Scratches, scrapes, dents, and cuts aren’t a match for ceramic tile’s incredibly durable surface. While the aesthetic and functional benefits of scratch resistance are obvious, it also promotes hygiene, since dirt can accumulate in small crevices.

Healthy Planet

As well as being easy to clean, ceramic tile is one of the most environmentally friendly surfacing materials on the market.

Ceramic tile is long-lasting enough to endure for generations, giving it the lowest life-cycle cost of all flooring. Furthermore, it is made from natural materials, which means that it is usually suitable for clean backfill at the end of its life cycle. Additionally, it is energy efficient, has pre- and post-consumer recycling options and is recoverable.

The UL-certified Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) for ceramic tile manufactured in North America demonstrates that ceramic tile manufactured in North America has the lowest carbon footprint – including the lowest global warming potential and lowest depletion of fossil fuel resources – of any flooring type, when compared to other flooring with generic EPDs evaluated under the same product category standards.

Author: Cynthia Faber Smith