More and more people are seeking out non-toxic, eco-friendly flooring, made from sustainably harvested, recycled or reclaimed sources at a great price. Today’s eco-friendly flooring options are great flooring choices — period. You don’t have to be looking for green flooring to benefit from these beautiful flooring materials; each one is practical, attractive and impressive:
Cork: Cork is harvested from the cork oak tree. The bark is stripped from the tree without killing the tree and the bark regrows after a few years, which makes cork very sustainable. Cork can be painted, printed, or stained to match any home design. It is also extremely anti-microbial, hence its use in wine bottles. Cork is a very soft material, which is easy on joints. It also promotes sound and thermal insulation. Cork flooring can be used in any room in the house and runs about $2-$12 per square foot, depending on the thickness of the material, the quality of the cork, and the quality of the sealant used.
Bamboo: Bamboo is made from the fibers of the bamboo grass plant. It continues to grow after the stalks are cut, which makes bamboo a sustainable flooring material. Bamboo is more durable than cork and can be easier to maintain. It is slightly more water-resistant than hardwoods. Bamboo flooring costs about $4 per square foot. Typically light gold in color, bamboo flooring also comes in different shades that can work in any home.
Linoleum: When you picture linoleum, you may be thinking of vinyl, but take note: the two materials are very different. Vinyl is a synthetic made from chlorinated petrochemicals that can be harmful to you and the environment. Linoleum is a natural material, made from linseed oil, cork dust, wood flour, and ground limestone. Not only is linoleum anti-microbial, it also has anti-static properties; this makes it a great choice for those with allergies, as the dirt and dust do not collect on the surface and get kicked up when walked upon. Thanks to its sustainability, and a new array of colors and patterns, linoleum flooring is back in favor with designers and homeowners. Linoleum is also very affordable, around $2-$5 per square foot.
Glass Tiles: Glass tiles, which are made from recycled glass, are not only eco-friendly, they are beautiful as well. The downside to glass tiles is the cost; they can be expensive, anywhere from $8-$40 without labor costs. They are also not ideal for areas where water is prevalent as they can become extremely slippery when wet. Textured finishes and grout lines can add traction to glass tile, so if you plan to install a glass tile floor in a bathroom make sure to consult a professional.
Concrete: Polished concrete does not usually come to mind when thinking of green flooring options. Concrete is made from natural materials and poured on site, so nothing is cut down and shipped from afar, which helps the ecological footprint. In most cases, concrete flooring is only an option if a slab already exists under the current flooring. Concrete can be polished and dyed to match any home design style. Concrete will outlast the house and needs minimal upkeep. However, it can be expensive and is, obviously, cold and hard.
Eco-Friendly Carpeting: Some carpets are produced from petroleum, a non-renewable resource. And some carpet can actually harm your heath by harboring dirt and mold. If you’re seeking green flooring, the best carpet will be one made from natural fibers like wool, jute or seagrass. Natural fiber carpets are usually more expensive than synthetic blends, but they are well worth the extra cost if you are committed to eco-friendly flooring.
Are you interested in learning more about sustainable green flooring options? Contact us to review your options. With today’s technology, green flooring does not have to come without style; design-savvy consumers can have it all!