Natural Stone Floors and Other Eco-Friendly Flooring Options Area Floors — Portland Flooring,

Natural Stone Floors and Other Eco-Friendly Flooring Options Area Floors - Portland Flooring,

Top Eco-Friendly Flooring Options

It is easier than ever to find flooring solutions that look great and are eco-friendly. In addition to using flooring materials made from recycled objects, you can also use materials that are both natural and sustainable, such as cork floors and natural stone floors. When you are looking to give your floors a facelift with minimal impact on the earth – and your wallet – consider one of the following earth-friendly options.

Cork Floors

Natural cork flooring is a softwood material that has a natural elastic quality so it feels softer and warmer underfoot than hardwood floors. It’s a sustainable material because cork oak bark can be harvested every nine years without harming the tree. Moreover, cork oak trees whose bark is harvested absorb and utilize carbon in the environment five times better than a tree whose bark is left in place.

Benefits of natural cork flooring include:

  • Sound and impact resistance. The micro-cellular structures within cork floors are filled with air, which help absorb sound as well as the impact of foot traffic. This airy structure also helps prevent dents and serves as insulation, which is particularly useful if you have a radiant floor heating system.
  • Versatility. Natural cork flooring is easy to cut, and there are several different cork floor types and finishes to choose from, so it is easy to make borders, designs and mosaics from the material.
  • Low maintenance. Cork floors are simple to maintain, requiring only occasional cleaning and resealing every five to seven years with a low-VOC, water-based polyurethane.
  • Health effects. Cork has natural anti-fungal, anti-microbial and hypoallergenic properties, so you can use it even in your bathroom or kitchen.

There are, however, a couple of things to keep in mind when considering cork flooring. These include:

  • Finishing. Pre-finished cork floors can sometimes look synthetic. In addition, the seams between tiles can develop black lines, and the corners may begin to lift over time. Therefore, it is best to purchase unfinished cork flooring and have the finish applied on site.
  • Fading. Because it is made from natural materials, natural cork flooring will fade over time if exposed to sunlight.

Glass Tile Floors

In addition to making glass out of sand, manufacturers can also make glass tiles out of recycled and reclaimed products. Glass tiles are great for illuminating a room from below or for reflecting natural and synthetic lighting. When considering glass tiles as an eco-friendly flooring option, choose varieties that are specifically floor rated.

Benefits of glass tile flooring include:

  • Strength. Glass tile is strong and can hold up to 420 pounds or more, depending on the type and size of the tile.
  • Reflective properties. Instead of absorbing light, like most types of flooring, glass tile reflects it and helps illuminate a darkroom.
  • Customizable. Glass tiles give you the option to completely customize your flooring. You can use the same color throughout the room, create a pattern with different colors, or hand-cut tiles to create a mosaic.

Before purchasing glass tile flooring, keep the following considerations in mind:

  • Slip factor. No matter how a glass tile is treated or textured, you must always exercise care while walking on wet flooring.
  • Lack of cushioning. Because glass tiles are hard, dropping a fragile item on the floor will most likely cause the item to break.

Natural Stone Floors

Once considered reserved for the privileged and elite, natural stone floors are now easier and more efficient to manufacture from large blocks excavated from a quarry. The most eco-friendly natural floors are those made from sedimentary, igneous or metamorphic rocks that are found and processed locally, as this helps reduce the amount of transportation necessary to get the materials to your home.

Benefits of natural stone floors include:

  • Return on investment. Stone floors help increase the value of your home.
  • Longevity. Unlike other types of flooring, natural stone floors improve with age.
  • Versatility. In addition to using tiles, you can also create a natural stone floor out of pebbles for a unique look.
  • Health effects. Stone is anti-microbial and naturally resistant to mold and mildew.
  • Uniqueness. No two natural stone floors are alike.

Before installing a natural stone floor, it’s a good idea to consider the following:

  • Comfort. Natural stone floors are never perfectly smooth, which some homeowners may find bothersome. Most, however, appreciate the one-of-a-kind feel.
  • Lack of cushioning. Like glass tile, natural stone floors are hard; dropping a fragile item on one will most likely cause the item to break.

You do not have to break the bank when seeking eco-friendly flooring options. Call or visit a local flooring company to learn more about the benefits of sustainable flooring and to find an earth-friendly solution that fits your needs.

Top Eco-Friendly Flooring Options

It is easier than ever to find flooring solutions that look great and are eco-friendly. In addition to using flooring materials made from recycled objects, you can also use materials that are both natural and sustainable, such as cork floors and natural stone floors. When you are looking to give your floors a facelift with minimal impact on the earth – and your wallet – consider one of the following earth-friendly options.

Cork Floors

Natural cork flooring is a softwood material that has a natural elastic quality so it feels softer and warmer underfoot than hardwood floors. It’s a sustainable material because cork oak bark can be harvested every nine years without harming the tree. Moreover, cork oak trees whose bark is harvested absorb and utilize carbon in the environment five times better than a tree whose bark is left in place.

Benefits of natural cork flooring include:

  • Sound and impact resistance. The micro-cellular structures within cork floors are filled with air, which help absorb sound as well as the impact of foot traffic. This airy structure also helps prevent dents and serves as insulation, which is particularly useful if you have a radiant floor heating system.
  • Versatility. Natural cork flooring is easy to cut, and there are several different cork floor types and finishes to choose from, so it is easy to make borders, designs and mosaics from the material.
  • Low maintenance. Cork floors are simple to maintain, requiring only occasional cleaning and resealing every five to seven years with a low-VOC, water-based polyurethane.
  • Health effects. Cork has natural anti-fungal, anti-microbial and hypoallergenic properties, so you can use it even in your bathroom or kitchen.

There are, however, a couple of things to keep in mind when considering cork flooring. These include:

  • Finishing. Pre-finished cork floors can sometimes look synthetic. In addition, the seams between tiles can develop black lines, and the corners may begin to lift over time. Therefore, it is best to purchase unfinished cork flooring and have the finish applied on site.
  • Fading. Because it is made from natural materials, natural cork flooring will fade over time if exposed to sunlight.

Glass Tile Floors

In addition to making glass out of sand, manufacturers can also make glass tiles out of recycled and reclaimed products. Glass tiles are great for illuminating a room from below or for reflecting natural and synthetic lighting. When considering glass tiles as an eco-friendly flooring option, choose varieties that are specifically floor rated.

Benefits of glass tile flooring include:

  • Strength. Glass tile is strong and can hold up to 420 pounds or more, depending on the type and size of the tile.
  • Reflective properties. Instead of absorbing light, like most types of flooring, glass tile reflects it and helps illuminate a darkroom.
  • Customizable. Glass tiles give you the option to completely customize your flooring. You can use the same color throughout the room, create a pattern with different colors, or hand-cut tiles to create a mosaic.

Before purchasing glass tile flooring, keep the following considerations in mind:

  • Slip factor. No matter how a glass tile is treated or textured, you must always exercise care while walking on wet flooring.
  • Lack of cushioning. Because glass tiles are hard, dropping a fragile item on the floor will most likely cause the item to break.

Natural Stone Floors

Once considered reserved for the privileged and elite, natural stone floors are now easier and more efficient to manufacture from large blocks excavated from a quarry. The most eco-friendly natural floors are those made from sedimentary, igneous or metamorphic rocks that are found and processed locally, as this helps reduce the amount of transportation necessary to get the materials to your home.

Benefits of natural stone floors include:

  • Return on investment. Stone floors help increase the value of your home.
  • Longevity. Unlike other types of flooring, natural stone floors improve with age.
  • Versatility. In addition to using tiles, you can also create a natural stone floor out of pebbles for a unique look.
  • Health effects. Stone is anti-microbial and naturally resistant to mold and mildew.
  • Uniqueness. No two natural stone floors are alike.

Before installing a natural stone floor, it’s a good idea to consider the following:

  • Comfort. Natural stone floors are never perfectly smooth, which some homeowners may find bothersome. Most, however, appreciate the one-of-a-kind feel.
  • Lack of cushioning. Like glass tile, natural stone floors are hard; dropping a fragile item on one will most likely cause the item to break.

You do not have to break the bank when seeking eco-friendly flooring options. Call or visit a local flooring company to learn more about the benefits of sustainable flooring and to find an earth-friendly solution that fits your needs.


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