Thursday, April 4, 2013

Back to the drawing board

In my last post I talked about the problems I was having in regards to chemical sensitivity and flooring. I found a foil vapour barrier in USA which my friend James in NYC bought and sent to me. It worked really well, it blocked the yucky smell coming from the floor boards. 

I had planned on putting down a very low VOC bamboo flooring that I had found, but when I got a box of it I discovered that it was intolerable, even after letting it outgas for a few weeks it didn’t seem any different at all. Then I found a cork flooring which sounded great and the sample I was given was pretty good, hardly any smell and I didn’t react to it. I bought a few boxes and had it laid in the spare bedroom upstairs as a test. That was close to 4 weeks ago and I can’t go anywhere near it, I can’t even leave the door to that room open because the smell comes all the way downstairs and makes me sick. In time it would probably outgas and be great, but I just don’t have the time. I am living and sleeping in my lounge room downstairs which is ok when it is just me here but I am wanting to start a new treatment and it is certain to make me sicker which means I may need someone to be here to care for me. That wont be possible unless I can actually get into my bedroom upstairs so I can have quite and not have someone else in my space. So I really need to find a solution and get something on the floors ASAP. I’d be happy to just leave the bare wood except it is not sealed and it smells awful so it must be covered.

Tiles would be the logical solution right? I thought so, and I am still hoping so but you still need an adhesive and grouting both of which contain VOC’s. Ugh! It just seems impossible to find a solution.

My plan now is to investigate and do some testing with tiles. PLEASE let this be the answer, I am at the end of my rope with this and I am driving my poor parents and friend Michael nuts with all this drama. They are the ones who are having to do all the running around and keeping my spirits afloat. Boy, where would I be without them!!


  1. so very sorry lee lee. i was hopeful for the bamboo to work for you. i'm sure we have non-toxic grout and adhesive for tile. k did a project recently for an extremely - most extreme client ever - chemically sensitive lady which was a totally tiled new bathroom. email or inbox me to remind me to ask him what those products are. good luck, my heart goes out to you. xx

  2. Oh honey. I'm so sorry. All this research must be good for something. Maybe we can make a fact sheet to help people in the same predicament - it's been so much work for you.

    I am keeping all fingers and toes crossed.

    Love you xxxx

  3. a complete pain in the grouting ! :(

    I dont suppose you did investigate the lino option did you ?

    Sounds like Elise's friend may have a solution ? x

  4. Hi.

    I just moved into new home and had to design everything to be MCS friendly. No VOC paint, high efficiency air filters and for floors I went with laminate floors that look like wood. Mirabella, specifically. They look beautiful and there's no off gassing what-so-ever. I brought a length of it home and had it next to my bed for quite some time and couldn't smell a thing even pressing my nose to it. I'm so happy I went with this brand, as every room in my house has this flooring. It's formica, like a counter, so very sturdy too. Any damage, they give you extra and you can just snap that piece out and pop another one it, but it's pretty impervious so far though.