Over the years, I’ve written a thing or two on the subject of green flooring. But, in today’s guest post from Alyssa Davis, a designer of metal wall art, we get something of an outside perspective to help to frame some of those other posts about bamboo, cork, and other examples of materials that can be considered eco-friendly that you can see on this here humble blog of ours.
I find it intriguing that green flooring has come so far so fast. I love sustainable building products, and none of them have become as mainstream as sustainable flooring choices. With a growing number of homeowners looking for earth-friendly building supplies, it only makes sense that green flooring choices are tops on their wish lists. From beautiful cork and bamboo flooring options to more traditional tile or wooden flooring that has been made using recycled materials or reclaimed or salvaged wood, the market is ripe for the picking.
There are also greener carpeting options that are made using wool or jute and natural linoleum that is manufactured using renewable products. It is refreshing to find that people no longer look upon green flooring as a ‘second class’ or substitute flooring choice.
Cork is a wonderful green choice for home use. It is a sustainable resource that is quite durable while also providing insulating properties to your floor. The look of cork is quite beautiful and unique, adding to the overall visual appeal of your home. There are so many good things to say about cork that I could never mention them all, but it’s affordable, lightweight, resistant to both water and fire damage, and can even help to reduce noise levels in your home. What more could you want from a floor?
I think bamboo is one of the most ideal materials to choose for flooring. It is an easily renewable plant which can be harvested repeatedly, reducing the need to replant. It has many properties that are similar to hardwood, and is even stronger than some varieties of wood. It also has approximately the same cost as a hardwood floor, and is truly beautiful.
Reclaimed Wood Floors
I love the look and durability of hardwood floors, but cutting down hardwood trees is certainly not a desirable option from a “green” standpoint. Fortunately, the practice of reclaiming wood from old buildings, river bottoms, and other locations can produce wood flooring that is both beautiful and full of character. Many people actually prefer the weathered look of reclaimed wood over new wood. By using this recycled wood in your home, you’ll get a quality product without the need to feel guilty about harming the environment. Reclaimed wood generally costs a bit more than new hardwood, but it’s certainly worth it.
If you’re looking for a softer and warmer flooring option, wool carpeting might be the perfect solution. Made from natural materials, wool carpeting is beautiful, durable and biodegradable. Although it’s not a good choice in damp areas because of its highly absorbent nature, it’s a great choice for most other areas of your home. It costs more than synthetic carpeting, but its long life will help it pay for itself in the long run. Be sure to choose wool carpeting that is made with natural backing materials and adhesives for a truly green flooring option.
If you’re surprised that I’m mentioning linoleum as a “green” flooring option, chances are you are confusing linoleum with vinyl flooring. While vinyl flooring is made from petrochemicals, linoleum is often made from all-natural materials such as cork dust, minerals, linseed oil, and tree resins. It is affordable, easy to clean, and water resistant. Plus, when it’s no longer installed in your home, it’s even biodegradable. Before purchasing linoleum for your home, inquire as to how it was made to ensure you purchase a brand that is eco-friendly.