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Avoid Toxic Fumes, Try These Paints & Finishes For A Healthy Project

Avoid Toxic Fumes, Try These Paints & Finishes For A Healthy Project
April 14, 2016 SNH Editorial Team

We’re quickly getting into the finishing stage at The Greenwich House and are leading our healthy house mantra with some innovative products that help us keep toxic fumes out of the house, away from the crew, and most importantly out of the lives of our future home owners.

We made our selections based on their zero-VOC (volatile organic compound) nature.  So what are VOC’s? They are the compounds which are directly related to those heavy fumes you typically smell when you walk into a house that has been freshly painted, had floors refinished, or carpet and flooring glued down. We can all relate to the famous “new house smell”, but we can also relate to the headaches, nausea, and sick feeling they leave many of us with.

As we work to create the ultimate smart, HEALTHY, and green house, the team selected a floor adhesive by Stauf to glue down all the wood floors throughout the home, a special paint from Sherwin-Williams, and wood flooring finish from Rubio Monocoat.  All of these products are zero-VOC and as they were going in we noticed very quickly the difference:  Absolutely no odor. Let’s take a closer look at each.

Stauf SMP-960 One-Step Floor Adhesive

Stauf SMP 960 troweled on floor for installation

The floor installers used this amazing floor adhesive from Stauf to install the gorgeous sustainably sourced wood planks from Hull Forest Products.  The advanced formula of the Stauf SMP-960 One-Step is a unique polymer 4-in-1 adhesive designed specifically for professional wood flooring installation.  It replaces isocyanate-containing urethane adhesives which can etch flooring surfaces. It is ozone and environmentally safe since it has no solvents or other hazardous materials.  In fact, it is certified ‘green’ and qualifies for LEED credits.  The product also meets ASTM standards for sound and impact noise control.  The long work time allows for easy installation and since there is no water or solvent present, it will not cause dimensional changes to the wood flooring.

The adhesive spreads easily and has a non-slump formula which helps insure contact and adhesive transfer. It allows for fast installation even with complicated patterns due to its strong green grab. There is no flash time required, so installation can commence immediately speeding up your project. Stauf SMP-960 offers superior flexibility and is designed to keep the flooring in place, yet allow for normal movement during seasonal changes to the flooring.

Harmony Interior Acrylic Latex Paint from Sherwin-Williams

Harmony Paint by Sherwin-WilliamsPaint is probably the most relatable product for toxic fumes, but with the Harmony line of acrylic latex paint from Sherwin-Williams you’ll be able to paint the day away without any of those noxious fumes.  The zero VOC formula also helps to reduce common indoor odors from your pets, cooking and smoke to help rooms stay fresher, longer.  Harmony paints contain a new technology that helps improve indoor air quality by reducing VOC levels from other potential sources like carpet, cabinets and fabrics.  It also gives your walls a washable, durable finish.

If you are looking to gain some extra green certification for your project, the Harmony paints are GreenGuard® Indoor Air Quality Certified and GreenGuard® Certified for Children and Schools.

A final benefit to this paint is you can use it in areas of the home that are more prone to moisture as well, such as bathrooms and basements.  The paint features an antimicrobial agent which inhibits the growth of mold and mildew on the paint surface and inhibits the growth of bacterial odors.  Overall a great added feature.

Zero-VOC Wood Finish By Rubio Monocoat

Rubio Monocoat Floor FinishThis finishing product is one we’re particularly excited about. It was not easy tracking down a finishing product for our wood floors that has great durability, is zero-VOC and meets our strict requirements for a healthy home. But here we have it in Rubio Monocoat’s hardwood finisher. Their Oil Plus finish does not contain water, is made primarily of natural products and contains zero-VOC’s.  The finish is achieved by a process that molecularly bonds the finish to the first microns of the wood with no film forming. This leads to a much lower consumption rate than with a traditional wood finishing systems.

This molecular bonding also creates a very durable, long lasting protective finish. And because the product bonds to the wood fiber you avoid any chance for overlap marks during application. Once all the free cellulose fibers are bonded, any surplus product will no longer be accepted by the wood. In fact, this process of bonding makes future repairs quick and easy as well. Should you need to repair any scratches, the product will merely take hold to the newly exposed wood fibers and once again create a single bonded coat that is uniform. Once the reaction time is complete, any surplus product can be removed leaving no overlaps or noticeable demarcations. That’s remarkable!

The unique Rubio Monocoat Oil Plus pigmentation technology gives you an intense and deep coloring in one single layer without influencing the natural look and feel of the wood.

We hope you give these products a try and let us know how you found them to work for you in the comments below.