5 Reasons Flooring Imported From Overseas Could Do You Harm

5 Reasons Flooring Imported From Overseas Could Do You Harm

The estimated reading time for this post is 5 minutes

While consumers are busy making decisions on the material, colour and installation of their flooring, they may be forgetting another important consideration: where the product comes from.

It may not seem like an important point to pause over, but the source of your flooring ? whether it is from a local or overseas manufacturer ? can have significant implications on its quality and environmental impact.

Because overseas countries have differing regulations and standards, you might not realize exactly what it is you are paying for.

So, before making your final flooring selection, consider these five reasons importing from overseas could do you harm:

1. Healthy Choice

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Because government regulations in some overseas countries differ from those of North America and European countries, standards for safe and quality flooring are not the same.

Those purchasing overseas flooring cannot be guaranteed the product has not been chemically treated or that it is free of contaminants that can be harmful to one?s health.

In fact, tests done by the Hardwood Plywood and Veneer Association found high levels of formaldehyde in flooring that was made in China and sold in North America. The chemical is a known cancer-causing agent, and is used as glue when manufacturing laminate and engineered wood floors. It is important to note that not all laminate or engineered wood floors have formaldehyde ? hence the importance of doing your research as to which manufacturers do use it.

Greenpeace ? which found hazardous chemicals in dust samples it collected in overseas households ? urges consumers to avoid anything made with PVC (polyvinylchloride) plastic, which can release harmful chemicals and can be found in flooring.

Some of the unsafe manufacturing practises used in overseas countries allow a larger amount of goods to be produced at a lower cost, making them more desirable ? or attainable ? to some consumers.

Just as with the food we ingest, it?s important to know where our household products come from and how they were made. Choosing to purchase flooring from reputable sources in countries with strict regulations will help ensure a healthier home and body. While the alternative may be less expensive or maybe even more convenient in the short term, the potential health effects could have long-term impacts that you should be at the very least cognizant of.

2. Quality Assurance

Another problem that arises from discrepancies in standards is poor product quality. With overseas producers using different ? and sometimes unregulated ? manufacturing practises, flooring goods may be cheaply made and fall apart easily. There is nothing more disappointing than purchasing an item, only to later have it not perform due to inferior raw materials being used, faulty design and production.

Additionally, if labelling standards are unregulated or unmonitored, consumers may receive something other than what they?ve paid for. Whether it be a cheap imitation of the product they selected ? or a different material altogether ? consumers may not learn the truth until the opened package is in their hands.

By choosing to go with name brands, ie. Armstrong, Kronotex, Mannington, Beaulieu, Mohawk, Shaw, Tarkett, and Kraus, consumers can often peruse their inventory and see and feel the material with their own hands and eyes. They can ask questions of the professional in the flesh, and it is more likely that person can easily be reached by phone or email if questions or concerns arise.

The relationship that inevitably forms from a personal encounter is one that is difficult to replace, as is the comfort one feels knowing they have made a quality purchase.

3. Purchase Protection

As with any large investment, consumers like to know they have some insurance to fall back on if that investment is defective. A reputable company will go above and beyond to accommodate their customers, and may offer a warranty with their products.

The same cannot always be said for overseas manufacturers, who tend to value the quantity of customer relations over the quality. Some companies are difficult to get through to and communicate with due to their sheer distance, which can pose an issue if there are problems with an order. Warranties are not always commonplace, either. If one is included with your purchase, ensure to read the fine print so you are familiar with its limitations and aren?t disappointed if it doesn?t cover your needs. We?ll cover warranties a bit more extensively in a future blog post.

4. Support Community

While it may be cheaper to import flooring from overseas, it is more beneficial to the local economy to support area businesses.

Local companies don?t have the resources to compete with overseas factories, but they certainly play an important role in the community, offering a quality experience for customers that their foreign counterparts just can?t compete with.

Local businesses also tend to give back to their surrounding areas ? whether it is through sponsorships, fundraisers, volunteering or other contributions ? making an investment in their company an investment in the community.

By choosing to shop local, consumers can lessen the demand for ? and, in turn, the supply of ? overseas products and all their harmful associations.

5. Environmental Footprint

Consumers have a chance to lessen their negative impact on the environment by choosing to purchase local flooring over similar overseas products

The amount of fuel ? and resulting pollution ? created by imported goods could be lessened by simply opting to buy flooring closer to home.

Not only will consumers have flooring they are happy with, but they can feel good knowing they left a far smaller footprint than they would have with the overseas alternative.


You?ve already likely put a lot of thought into all the esthetic considerations of your new flooring ? why not take a moment to also think about where you buy it from?

While you want your flooring to look good, you also deserve a quality product that is safe for your family. Although choosing to stay local may seem like a minor move, its benefits to the community and environment are priceless.

It will be a good decision you?re reminded of every time you step on your new floors.