So, you are going to buy new flooring for your home, and you also want to factor in the eco-friendliness of the product. You know that forests are vital to our environment; filtering the air we breathe, providing a home to birds and mammals, not to mention the beauty and serenity they provide every one of us.
You want to protect this natural resource for future generations to enjoy, and one way of doing that is to purchase flooring that is eco-Friendly, also referred to as Green Flooring.
Fortunately, you are not alone in wanting to choose eco-Friendly flooring. These days you can choose reclaimed hardwood, bamboo, cork, concrete, and carpeting, all produced using sustainably responsible and eco-friendly methods. Let’s take a look at these options below.
Not just for Wine bottles and walls.
Cork is considered green flooring because the tree itself does not have to be cut down; the bark on the tree is the cork, and it can be harvested numerous times. The bark grows back on the same tree every three years.
Cork has anti-microbial properties that reduce allergens in the air. It is also a natural fire retardant and provides excellent acoustic and thermal insulation. Cork floors don’t attract dust and also act as a natural insect repellant.
It’s a grass!
Did you know that bamboo is actually a grass? It grows to maturity in three to five years, far less than the twenty years a tree can take; this is why it is considered an eco-friendly flooring option. It also spreads naturally, continually creating new bamboo. It is harder than maple and northern red oak and is naturally resistant to water and mildew.
It is durable, and one of the more exotic and beautiful flooring options out there. The grains found in bamboo are unlimited; a lot of buyers stain it with a clear color, to let the natural beauty shine through. It can be solid or engineered hardwood, hand-scraped, and stained, just like other hardwoods.
Wool, Natural Fibers, and Berber
Ahhh, walking on a soft carpet in bare feet – one of the most comfortable experiences in your home. If you want to replace your carpet with carpet, there are plenty of eco-friendly options. Carpets made of wool are a natural resource, and extremely durable and long-lasting. It is weaved and found in unlimited sizes and designs, and can be dyed using vegetable dye or no dye at all. You can also find wool that has not been treated with chemicals (no moth-proofing, stain-proofing), so it is less toxic. Wool area rugs are frequently passed down as family heirlooms from generation to generation.
There are other natural materials used to make the carpet that is also low toxicity; sisal, jute, and cotton make gorgeous carpets, and they are naturally sustainable fibers.
Another sustainable carpet is Polyester Berber. It is made of recycled plastic bottles! It is sold in a variety of colors and patterns, is extremely durable, and it is also very economical.
Choose eco-friendly flooring with less toxic backings and adhesives. Many backings contain plastics made from petroleum; a consumptive energy resource that is non-renewable. Also, there is padding made from recycled materials; you will need to ask for this specifically.
When you install your carpets, choose an eco-friendly method of installation. Some glues have been linked to respiratory problems and other health issues. You may be able to tack down your floor, or choose from other installation options.
Very chic, and eco-friendly.
Concrete is the new black. Or orange. Whatever; it is hot hot hot and the newest trend in sustainable flooring. It is considered sustainable because it new needs to be replaced. It can be polished, tinted, stamped, or tiled, to almost any design and color you can imagine. It is long-lasting and requires very little, if any, maintenance, making it a breeze to take care of.
A sustainable floor using marble scraps mixed with concrete – Terrazzo, has been around for thousands of years and is still one of the most beautiful sustainable flooring options.
Beautiful and Popular
If you have your heart set on traditional hardwood flooring, there are two types of hardwood to consider. Reclaimed hardwood is from old barns, factories, old structures no longer used, or surplus lumber cut but not used for other purposes. The other option is to purchase hardwood labeled FSC certified.
This is a designation by the Forest Stewardship Council; they promote the responsible management of forests throughout the world. Some of the standards for hardwood certified by the FSC: trees that are cut down must be re-planted, and the biodiversity, air and water quality of the forest(s) must be preserved.
Reclaimed hardwood and FSC certified Reclaimed hardwood flooring options are now plentiful, and have the same staining, length, widths, and installation options as typically produced hardwood flooring, and are just as beautiful.
Plus, you are protecting our forests for generations to come; a very noble thing to do. To see a large selection of eco-friendly flooring, or green flooring options, visit the flooring specialists at Just Around The Corner; they are more than happy to guide you through making your eco-friendly flooring decision.