Eco Friendly Flooring—Understanding your options Unicorn Renovations

Eco Friendly Flooring—Understanding your options Unicorn Renovations

Eco Friendly Flooring—Understanding your options

There are temporary fixes for most of your household blemishes. Pictures will cover chips in the paint or scars on the plaster, pillows hide holes in the upholstery and curtains disguise aging windows. But it is almost impossible to hide worn and dirty carpeting. No matter how hard you scrub, scatter area rugs or artfully rearrange furniture, those huge expanses of threadbare carpeting will still be the focal point of your room, and even your entire house.

Upgrading and updating flooring can be a homeowners greatest challenge, especially for those investigating eco-friendly options. Whether you are DIY or hiring a contractor, you will want to understand your options. In the next few posts, I will be examining the many eco-friendly flooring options available in todays market.

Hardwood has been the flooring of choice, at least in recent years. But it has a huge environmental impact. Fortunately, there are a number of non-hardwood options to choose from.

Bamboo —Timber bamboo is actually a grass that matures within as few as five years. However it makes hard surfaced flooring whose warm tones range from light yellow to amber. Bamboo flooring comes in three types: solid, woven and engineered. The cost of bamboo flooring is equivalent to that of traditional hardwood flooring, ranging from $5 to $10 per square foot.

Coconut palm —The wood from coconut palms is harvested at the end of the plants fruit-bearing life, usually after 5 to 6 years. It is lighter in color, ranging from tan to a honey tone with natural strands that create a linear pattern. Coconut palm flooring is priced similarly to bamboo, averaging $5 to $10 a square foot.

Tile —Ceramic, glass and stone tile are durable and beautiful options to accent your décor and as a practical solution for high traffic areas. For the environmentally conscious, there are a number of guilt-free options available on the market. Today you can get the same colors and textures in tile made entirely of recycled glass, stone, used tiles, and granite dust. The cost ranges from $5 to $25 a square foot.

Eco Friendly Flooring—Understanding your options Unicorn Renovations

Linoleum —This 150-year-old flooring is making a new name for itself among homeowners. Once relegated to the halls of hospitals, schools and businesses, linoleums “green” nature makes it a darling among environmentally sensitive homeowners. Made of linseed oil, pigments and pine rosin, it can be cleaned with plain soap and water, doesnt require waxing and naturally inhibits bacterial growth. It comes in a range of colors and is now available in snap together tiles. The only downside is its distinct linseed oil scent which may be irritating to sensitive noses. At $4 to $6 a square foot, it is also budget friendly.

Cork —If you are a wine drinker, you may have just popped the cork on a portion of your next floor. While bark is harvested from the oak cork tree to make cork flooring, a growing number of flooring products are manufactured from recycled corks provided by the wine industry. Cork is durable, resilient and comes in a warm array of tones. It ranges in price from $7 to $10 a square foot.

While some bamboo, coconut palm and even linoleum is available in floating tiles, most of these wood substitutes need adhesives for installation. Be sure to look for an adhesive that is made of low or non VOC (volatile organic compound) material. Check the manufacturers recommendations. The warranty may be voided unless you follow the manufacturers guidelines. Choose a contractor with experience installing wood substitute flooring.

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