Although it will set you back a few more bucks than investing in a few strategically placed houseplants, a new line of innovative hardwood flooring from Quebec-based Lauzon promises to dramatically improve the quality of air within your home, which potentially can be five to 10 times more polluted than outdoor air.
Treated with a patented titanium dioxide (TiO2) finish that transforms health-compromising airborne particles into benign water and carbon dioxide molecules (no, this won’t result in a wet floor), Lauzon’s Pure Genius flooring is being heralded as a “breakthrough” for the energy-efficient home market, according to Builder Online. While many high-performance homes, including passive houses, offer superior energy savings, their sealed-up, highly insulated nature can also trap ubiquitous and unsavory airborne pollutants such as formaldehyde that have been off-gassed from furniture, paint, and other household products even when air exchangers are present.
According to studies conducted by Lauzon, the air in rooms with Pure Genius-finished flooring is up to 85 percent cleaner than in rooms without it.
And the photocatalytic (light-activated) flooring doesn’t just combat oft-undetectable volatile organic compounds and other toxic contaminants emitted from building products and home furnishings. Pure Genius will also zap the stuff that truly stinks — last night’s salmon dinner, this morning’s urine-based boo-boo courtesy of Buffy the Labradoodle, the pungent remnants of that cigar your uncle Earl insisted on lighting up in the living room — while reducing potential carcinogens and decomposing harmful bacteria, viruses, and molds that can lead to respiratory woes.
So how does Pure Genius flooring stack up against a few houseplants in terms of air-purifying power? Lauzon equates installing Pure Genius to having three trees growing inside of a home: “Third-party, scientific laboratory tests have proven that under normal lighting conditions, 10,000 square feet of flooring with Pure Genius has the equivalent purifying effect of 22 deciduous trees! This translates to about 1 full-grown mature tree for every 454 square feet of flooring. Average house size being 1,377 square feet, it translates into 3 trees.”
Just like trees, Pure Genius-treated flooring needs a bit of care so that it can continue to maintain its air contaminant-conquering capabilities. While totally washable like any other type of hardwood flooring, staining, sanding, and re-finishing will impact this “active” flooring’s TiO2 finish and compromise its air-cleaning abilities. And if you want this “giant natural filter” to work its magic, you shouldn’t cover it up with area rugs and bulky furniture — the more exposed flooring, the cleaner your air will be. According to Lauzon, normal use and wear and tear will only “slightly affect the process.”
The company states that under normal artificial and lighting conditions, it takes in the ballpark of 30 to 60 days for newly installed flooring with Pure Genius technology to “degrade contaminants and establish inside your home an air purification equilibrium resulting in an air purity level that is the same as or better than outdoor air.”
Titanium finish with Pure Genius technology comes standard on Lauzon’s Organik (FSC certified hard maple) and Authentik (red oak) lines and is available as an option in two other collections. The finish is guaranteed to last between 30 and 35 years.
Lots more on Pure Genius over at the Lauzon website including technical stats and a nifty Purity Calculator that helps potential customers getting a better grasp on how this air-scrubbing technology can impact their own homes. Any thoughts?
Via [Builder Online]