LVT presistant odor months after installation

Discussion in 'Vinyl Flooring Q&A' started by Mike2017, Oct 23, 2017.

  1. Mike2017

    Mike2017 New Member

    Hello everyone, a concerned homeowner here and appreciate any help in advance.

    I installed Luxury Vinyl Tiles in the kitchen measuring 12x15. The tiles were very thick industrial grade 1x2. I floated them without glue. Now 6 months later and theyre still giving off a strong plastic smell. I recall reading they had PVC and a layer of fiberglass, theyre about 4mm thick.

    I am concerned for my families health and wondering if anyone knows more of this odor and if there are ways to remedy this issue. I can rip them up with ease but will wait for your feedback.

  2. Daris Mulkin

    Daris Mulkin The One and Only Charter Member I Support TFP Senior Member

    Did you use the recommended glue?


  3. kwfloors

    kwfloors Fuzz on the brain Charter Member I Support TFP Senior Member

    What is the product and where did you get it?
  4. Mike Antonetti

    Mike Antonetti I Support TFP Senior Member

    Odors are difficult to pinpoint. Offgassing? It’s possible. When I took an odor control course there’s no instrument to measure it. Have you contacted where purchased? Or manufacturer? What is their response?
  5. Incognito

    Incognito No more Mr. Nice Guy! I Support TFP Senior Member

    We need more info than 1x2 4MM "thick industrial grade" LVT.


    I've been in construction now nearly 40 years. My sense of smell isn't what it once was. People have a very wide range as far as their sense of smell. How many other people have been in there and recognize the odor as something noticable. This could be an issue of..........tolerance and sensitivity.

    I don't like the smell of vinyl myself. It's plastic.
  6. Mike Antonetti

    Mike Antonetti I Support TFP Senior Member

    How “tight” is the home? Mine leaks like a sieve, therefor air changes out probably once a day. Bathroom exhaust fans alone will change out air by the math 140 cubic ft per minute. The replacement air comes from somewhere! Otherwise the air wouldn’t exhaust or the home would implode.
  7. Mike2017

    Mike2017 New Member

    Thanks everyone for your reply. It was the Raskin Cowhide LVT, I contacted the manufacturer regarding installation and they replied back immediately. I later contacted them for the odor and received no response. Everyone smells it once you walk into the house and now even more that we sealed the house for the winter. There was no glue used.
  8. Chris 45

    Chris 45 Director of P.R. on some deserted island. I Support TFP

    If you have the loose lay LVP, I’d say try removing some and see if things change. Maybe it’s the product itself or maybe you have something funky going on underneath. I wouldn’t be able to stand a plastic smell for very long myself.
  9. Mike2017

    Mike2017 New Member

    I had lots of scrap left over and put those in the garage, sure enough the garage had the same smell just not as potent. I chucked those out and smell was gone. I read you can lay a coat of sealers on top of the LVT. Anyone recommends this?
  10. Mike Antonetti

    Mike Antonetti I Support TFP Senior Member

    I was going to suggest putting some pieces in a ziplock to verify but sounds legit. Funny how communication shuts down when there’s a problem.

    I’d say you want someone to come in and replace your product with something else or have your Lawyer give them a courtesy call.
  11. Mike,

    I did a little bit of poking around and this particular product appears to have the proper environmental certifications so that odor shouldn't be an issue coming from the product. The product is FloorScore certified and the certification is current. In fact it appears to have renewed on October 1, 2017.

    Here's a link to the current FloorScore Certificate:

    They also have a current EPD statement:

    These certifications are 3rd party and are expensive to obtain so just the fact that they've gone to the expense of testing and certification is a good indicator that they are producing with an "environmental sense of conscience". The Floorscore certificate also indicates that the material meets the strictest standards for low emitting floors in use today.

    So, I don't think that the smell is harmful to you, but obviously it's unpleasant. I did find where the product is using recycled content. Sometimes that can carry odor.

    If were me, I'd continue to try and contact the retailer you purchased the product from as well as the manufacturer and try and get the issue resolved.

    I wish you well and hope you can get some satisfaction with your issue.
    • Informative Informative x 2
  12. Mike2017

    Mike2017 New Member

    Thank you for your time and research. I noticed the model I have is no longer listed on their site, and also wonder why the company would not satisfy a concerned consumer by providing them with the above certificates. I will ask them if the above certificates also apply to my model. I once again thank you all. Cheers.
  13. I believe you are correct that the specific sku has been dropped by Raskin, but I believe that it was part of the Elevations - Modern Tile Collection and only the color has been dropped. There are still products in the Elevations - Modern Tile that are still current so I believe that the certificate would cover you because the Elevations collection itself is covered, thereby covering all sku's in it. I would certainly recommend you confirm with the manufacturer to be 100% sure.

    You're welcome we love doing it, and wish you the best!!!
    • Informative Informative x 1
  14. Mike Antonetti

    Mike Antonetti I Support TFP Senior Member

    So I just saw on “real” news that there’s an Electronic Nose that can detect diseases by blowing into machine. Googling there are several other machines to detect vapors and gasses. The class was approximately a year ago I took, information gathered is incorrect so that has to be deciphered.

    I would guess a machine could be made to quantify the chemical compounds in the manufactured vinyl product to determine the amount of offgassing.

    We have a hairdryer my wife bought I swear has overpowering plastic odor, I will throw it out when I find a replacement.

    Portable Electronic Nose | AIRSENSE Analytics

    CFR quote- These certifications are 3rd party and are expensive to obtain so just the fact that they've gone to the expense of testing and certification is a good indicator that they are producing with an "environmental sense of conscience".

    What is cost? The word “expensive” is a personal determination.

    What would the cost of sending a piece in and having that tested? Who paid for the test? Wouldn’t they send in a piece that passes test and then change the formula for production in a foreign country to bring down cost and reap larger profits?
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2017
  15. Tens of thousands of dollars per product line. The testing is based on ISO and ANSI standards in both the testing and manufacturing process. When production facilities are ISO certified there are constant audits and ridiculous amounts of documentation to maintain that certification.

    ISO is no joke. It's an International Standards organization. That's why manufacturers make announcements in the media and celebrate when they become ISO certified.

    For a manufacturer to go through the expense and time - hundreds of thousand of dollars to become ISO certified and it can take years to reach certification - and then risk that to change formulations and risk it being caught in an audit would be crazy. To give you a comparison, it's kind of like a CPA certifying a companies books.

    Floorscore is one of the "officially" recognized testing programs for LEED and the USGBC because of its rigorous and strict program. It's not just a "pay me and here's your rubber stamp logo saying you're approved". Products do fail. SCS and RFCI determine the samples to be used, not the manufacturer. This can involve them actually purchasing product anonymously at retail to insure they are getting "unscreened" product to test. They also typically don't test one sample from one source, they test multiple samples from multiple sources to give them the most accurate information. That's why it's so expensive to have the testing done.

    Could the system be cheated - anything's possible - but it would be extremely difficult and very expensive to cheat and even worse if they were caught because it would blow up into a huge media story much like the LL issues. Not to mention it's committing fraud so there could be criminal penalties involved as well.

    To answer another question about what it would cost to have someone check a product:
    • It's not like a battery blood test where they take a sample and spit out a bunch of results and you pay $100. Each test is done separately and each test is charged for separately.
    • Depending on the specific ASTM or ANSI test it can range from $1000 - $10,000 per test.
    • The testing can take from hours to months depending on the standard you're testing for.
    • Many of the tests, especially those related to dimensional stability, cannot be done on installed material because of the stresses involved in removing the product.
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