Our Non-Toxic Home Building Update!
Our Picks for Affordable Non-Toxic Floors, Non-Toxic Paint, Whole House Water Filter, Whole House Air Purifier
Our non-toxic floor selection was the Cali Vinyl Pro by Cali Bamboo. We would have liked their actual bamboo itself, or Marmoleum for that matter, but given we’ve been operating under severe budgetary limitations this is how we were able to finish the house as inexpensively as possible.
That being said of course we wouldn’t have installed anything that was actually known to be toxic and the floors stay true to that MO. While vinyl does usually off-gas, Cali floors test clean both by third party testing and our own building biologist Andy Pace of The Green Design Center.
We’ll likely upgrade to bamboo down the road when we can afford it but are happy with the way the floors look for now… although we are seeing a quite few scratches on what are supposed to be incredibly durable floors.
Our whole house water filter and softener was from Aquasana. They were one of the few companies we found to make a filter specifically for well water – their Well Water Rhino unit. Aquasana is also a brand recommended by Andy.
We are still getting hard water spots on our sinks and appliances. The water out of the well is extremely hard and this softener is a salt-free model. We may need to end up getting one that uses salt as they are known for being the most effective (although we were hoping to avoid it).
We’ll be testing the hardness of the water out of the tap soon, along with getting it tested for contaminants of all types (we’re drinking out of our portable Berkey filter until we know for sure how good of a job the whole house filter is doing) and will post those results once we do,
We also primed and painted all drywall! Good thing it’s a log home and we had enough money to have someone stain the log portion of the inside because painting always takes way longer than you think it’s going to.
Again on the walls themselves, we would have liked to have gone with magnesium oxide, or perhaps more wood, but that was definitely out of the question between the way higher material cost itself not to mention shipping.
We did make sure to get drywall made from natural gypsum (as opposed to synthetic gypsum made from flue gas desulfurization at power plants) but there are still some chemicals in any drywall to be concerned with.
That’s why we went with AFM Safecoat paint and primer. Safecoat is not only non-toxic but is also designed to seal in any otherwise harmful off gassing from building materials.
And for our whole house air filter we went with the Solas RS4. This is one thing we did not want to mess around with as its will compensate for any imperfections in building materials elsewhere so we didn’t hesitate to get the “Rolls Royce” in this category.
Andy says it tests far and away to produce the cleanest air he’s seen in a whole house filter both from a chemical and pathogen standpoint, and even our local HVAC guy who installed it was blown away when he compared the specs on it versus the brand he had previously recommended (now he recommends the Solas himself!).
We’ll be testing our overall air quality as well and keeping you posted there, but for now the air sure does smell clean!