Question

Is Delta-FL a safe product?

Asked by Lea
Bergenfield, NJ

The product would be used to finish the basement. What would be a safe and inexpensive flooring to put on top of that? I believe it calls for either plywood or OSB to be put on top and then either carpet or something else. What would you recommend?

Answer

Susan Davis

Answered by Susan Davis

Mountain View, CA

Spectrum Fine Homes, Inc.

January 18, 2011

Whenever you are in doubt about the safety of a product, you can easily look up the MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet) online. Just Google the brand name of the product followed by "MSDS."

I looked up the MSDS for Delta-FL, and this underlayment product has no hazardous components.

  • The only safety issue seems to be that if it burns, the molten plastic will stick to you. In terms of indoor air quality, I wouldn't be concerned. 
  • Probably the most "un-green" thing about Delta-FL is that it's plastic and when it reaches the end of its life it won't biodegrade.

The complete Delta Moisture Protection System supports one of the underlying principles of sustainable design and green building, the "systems approach" -- in this case, to controlling moisture ingress into basements. You might see whether some of the other Delta products used in conjunction with the underlayment might ensure a dry, comfortable and healthy environment for your basement flooring.

Options for flooring over the Delta-FL underlayment

Some options for basement flooring are a laminate floating floor or low voc carpet. Laminate may be the least expensive.

  • I used a very inexpensive laminate from IKEA in a rental cottage I own, and it looks great and is wearing really well. IKEA has an excellent sustainability policy, including making sure that IKEA products have safe levels of formaldehyde and VOCs.
  • If you want carpeting, this would be the perfect place to use FLOR. This is a super-easy to install carpet-tile product with tons of color, texture, and pattern options. FLOR is made by Interface Global, in my opinion the model company for sustainability. Take some time to look through Interface Global's website, and you'll see what I mean!

It sounds like you are on the right track to mitigate moisture intrusion into your basement and make it a comfortable, healthy place for your family to enjoy!

 

For more information:

Read Mary Cordaro's Q&A "I  just finished remodeling my basement. Can you help me choose mold-resistant flooring?"

Also, check Shannon Demma's Q&A "Should we install cork flooring in our moisture-prone basement?"

Tagged In: basement flooring, basement moisture, green carpet, subfloor

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