Carb Requirements for Wood Flooring

Only engineered wood flooring that is constructed like plywood (i.e. made up of multiple layers of veneer) OR whose format incorporates composite wood products such as hardwood plywood or Heavy Density Fiberboard (HDF) must meet CARB regulations. Generally, when they are used at all to make flooring, composite wood products constitute the underlying platform to which the visible wood wear layer is affixed.

Flooring products that are subject to CARB regulations include:

  • Engineered wood or bamboo flooring that has a multilayer hardwood plywood platform (e.g. Baltic Birch)
  • Engineered wood, cork or laminate flooring that has a High Density Fiberboard (HDF) platform
  • Multi-ply wood flooring that is made up of multiple layers of veneer and thus resembles plywood in its construction

Flooring products that are NOT subject to CARB regulations include:

  • Solid wood flooring
  • Solid “traditional” bamboo flooring (made entirely of laminated pieces of bamboo)
  • Solid “Strand” bamboo flooring (made of bamboo fibers mixed with phenol-formaldehyde resins)
  • Solid densified poplar flooring
  • Solid cork tiles
  • Engineered wood and bamboo flooring that has a solid lumber core (commonly known as 3-ply)

For engineered wood flooring products that are not subject to CARB, Galleher is careful to only source and sell products that meet that meet CARB 2 formaldehyde emissions standards.

Companies that make wood flooring containing composite wood products are required to label their flooring or their boxes of flooring as having been made with certified compliant composite wood products, to keep records to verify that they have purchased compliant products, and to inform distributors and retailers that their flooring is compliant.

Most wood flooring manufacturers are not themselves required to be certified under CARB. They are required to make their flooring using certified composite wood products when these products are used at all. The resulting flooring product is considered to be CARB compliant and labeled as such, but only the substrate is actually “certified.”