A new line of hardwood flooring can actually improve the indoor air quality of a home, according to its manufacturer.

Pure Genius flooring from Canada-based Lauzon is activated by natural or artificial light and the movement of air to continuously break down airborne toxins and create a constant supply of fresh indoor air. Studies show that the air in rooms installed with Pure Genius is up to 85 percent cleaner than spaces without the flooring, the firm says.

The flooring is formulated with a patented titanium dioxide technology that decomposes bacteria, viruses, and molds, and reduces potential carcinogens by constantly transforming toxic airborne particles into harmless water and carbon dioxide molecules, according to the company. After 30 days, rooms installed with Pure Genius flooring have been shown to have a formaldehyde level of only 5 parts per billion (ppb), compared with 16 to 32 ppb found in a typical home. The product also helps reduce household odors such as cigarette smoke, pet urine, and lingering cooking smells, the firm says.

The flooring could be a breakthrough for builders of energy-efficient homes because tightly constructed, well-insulated houses can trap pollutants and toxic contaminants such as formadehyde emitted from furniture, building materials, and household products. In fact, indoor air is often five to 10 times more polluted than outdoor air, says Lauzon communications manager Priscilla Bergeron.

"Poor air quality in the home causes build-up of bacteria, viruses, and molds, and may lead to allergies, fatigue, and respiratory problems like asthma," she says.

Highly washable and resistant, the flooring's technology works for as long as the finish lasts. It has a guarantee of 30 to 35 years, depending on the collection, and comes standard on two of the company’s flooring lines and as an option on several others. It is available at specialty flooring retailers across the U.S.