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Does this vapor barrier underlayment offgas?

2014green | Posted in Green Products and Materials on


Thanks in advance for any help! Putting cork floor in a basement and need a vapor barrier. Of these three choices, does it matter which one I use from an off-gassing standpoint? I am trying to understand if these products off gas toxic chemicals into the home. The cork flooring is pre-treated so we won’t be sealing it once it is down.

This one is “Bonded polyethylene” but I don’t know if that off gases…..?

These two seem less likely to off gas based on description but I don’t know:

Anybody know more? We’ve gone to great lengths to avoid creating a home full of chemicals but I’m stumped here.

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  1. GBA Editor
    Martin Holladay | | #1

    Building materials are generally safe when used as directed. I have never heard of any type of flooring underlayment that is toxic -- and if it were toxic, it would be removed from the market.

    That said, some individuals have sensitivities to certain chemicals. Unfortunately, there is no general rule that allows us to predict whether a member of your family has chemical sensitivities, or how that family member will react to building products.

    If a member of your family is chemically sensitive, you will have to experiment by exposing that family member to a sample of the product in question to gauge their reaction to the product.

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