Looking for carpet and pad that has the lowest VOC. I'm very sensitive to VOCs.


Looking for carpet and pad that has the lowest VOC. I'm very sensitive to VOCs.

Asked by Louise Ledger

It is difficult to talk to a Lowe's or Home Depot carpet salesperson who has not been educated about VOCs or rating of carpets; i.e., LEED, CRI. I have to do my own research. I'm sensitive to VOCs and have to avoid high levels of VOCs. We have tile throughout the house except bedrooms. We want to replace the very old carpet in the bedrooms with new. Would you please recommend a carpet manufacturer that has low VOCs? We've looked at Mohawk and Stainmaster. Is there another carpet/pad you would recommend? We do have a budget: $3-4 (w/pad) per sq ft.

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Molly McCabe, AKBD, CGP, CAPS's picture

Dear Louise,

I am not aware of a wall-to-walllow VOC carpet(with pad) at the $3-4/sqft price point you have stipulated.

You could consider a carpet tile such as those offered by Interface's Flor.

  • The tiles are easy to lay, made of recycled content, can be easily picked up for cleaning stains and have low/no VOC content.
  • The tiles are approximately 19" square, so if you consider the Working Class or Fez lines you are looking at $3.60/sq. ft. before tax and shipping (and installation).
  • Flor's Checkered Past, Finer Things, Mod Macrame, Mild Mannered, or Lacebark lines would run you about $4.40/sq. ft. before tax and shipping (and installation).

If you have a hard time deciding which line/color to choose, Flor will send you three 6" by 6" samples for $5 -- great insurance.

Their website is very easy to navigate (this is where you can go to order the carpet tiles/samples) and you can even design your floor on their website with "Floor Builder" -- a great tool for determining how many tiles you will need plus what tiles of different colors/patterns may look like together.

Interface is just one of many manufacturers who manufacture carpet tiles.

If you have your heart set on wall-to-wall carpeting, I would recommend you go to the Carpet & Rug Institute's website.

  • You can look up their member manufacturers who have earned the Carpet & Rug Institute Green Label certification.
  • Additionally, you can find pad manufacturers that have earned the Carpet & Rug Institute's Indoor Air Quality Green Label for carpet cushion products.

Good luck!