Selecting and installing new floors in the home in the 21st Century presents a savvy shopper with an expanding vista of options.
In this era when we’re thinking about using natural resources and even materials that are leftover from other uses in a more efficient way, here are five flooring ideas that will reflect these values in your home.
They will put you in line with a new century when we’re all thinking about making smart decisions about making the most out of the materials we invest in. But, they will also boost your space’s style quotient, too.
Bamboo is an extremely renewable resource that presents a distinctive look in a modern space. Bamboo stalks are fast-growing and unharmed by the harvesting process. This makes them a notably renewable resource. Even though bamboo is a form of grass, it is as hard as some species of wood with amazing tensile strength. It features unique patterning in its natural form.
Some types of bamboo can be stained to look like hardwood counterparts, allowing it to fit into any design scheme.
Recycled fiber area rugs
The making of area rugs are an ancient art. But, in the 21st century, the making of organic and stylish rugs can be sourced by way of post-consumer materials. This includes paper waste products. The fibers are processed and made into sturdy (honest!) materials for the making of area rugs that really make a visual impact, too.
The result is a very, very soft surface that can serve as a contrast to harder surfaces, like the bamboo floors you read about above.
Rubber tile flooring
Speaking of post-consumer materials, modern rubber tile flooring incorporates recycled tires into a practical floor covering. These products are perfect for areas of your space where high energy activity is common. Think fitness areas, and children’s playrooms.
Rubber floors are also a good fit as garage flooring as well, where the rubber meets the, well, rubber.
Recycled glass and recycled water in porcelain tile
Porcelain tile is known to be a reliable, and virtually waterproof material. But, for certain kinds of porcelain tile, crushed glass taken from post-industrial processes is incorporated into the bisque (tile body). But another process that has become a more standard practice has been more efficient use of water when the tile is created.
Simply put, there is far less waste in the process than in the past, with the water recycled from the making of one batch of tile and used to make other batches instead of being washed down the drain.
Doing things by hand in the old-fashioned way is usually a sign that a process is “green”. This is certainly the case with cork flooring as harvested in Portugal. In this region, which is the primary cork-producing center of the world, the bark from the cork oak tree is removed using hand-held tools. The tree itself is not harmed in this process and is left to recover over a period of nine years before it faces harvesting again. And one of the many results is distinctively patterned, stylish flooring.
In addition to all of that of course is how long cork can last. Longevity is another important feature in any floor covering that is environmentally-conscious.
Modern options in flooring
As eras evolve from one to another, options should evolve too. That’s certainly the case with floor coverings that build in modern values of efficiency and environmentally-conscious features. And as you’ll notice, the visual impact certainly isn’t compromised.
What do you think? Are there other environmentally-conscious floor coverings you think should be included here? Tell me all about it in the comments section.