Earth-friendly floors

Earth-friendly floors

Earth-friendly floors

Flooring is an integral part of your decor and affects the overall look and feel of your interiors. Many factors will influence your choice but more and more home owners are looking more into green alternatives. To cater for this growing need, manufacturers are keeping up by developing greener alternatives.

It is important to note that being environmentally friendly is not only about the final product but also the manufacturing process involved. Carpets from Belgotex Floorcoverings. for example, are manufactured according to strict ISO14001 environmental standards. Helen de Villiers, marketing services manager for Belgotex Floorcoverings, says that more consumers are learning that it is not only whether a carpet is made from a natural material but how it’s made that determines its greenness.

“They are learning that some synthetic carpets, particularly thestainproof/colourfast ones are better for the environment than post-dyed ranges because they use dry manufacturing processes that make them water-wise as well as easy to clean,” she explains.

The latest in yarn technology (such as Stainproof SDX or Stainproof Miracle Fibre from Belgotex ) are yarns that use dry manufacturing processes. The natural insulating benefits of these types of carpets also present an attractive way of saving on heating and electricity bills, while the low VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds ) levels and anti-allergenic benefits keep the air you breathe clean and safe.

Wood, laminate, engineered wood and vinyl

If you choose wooden floors. it is vital to make sure the wood comes from asustainable forest. Look for hardwood flooring where the timber has been derived from forests with accredited sustainability certification schemes – ideally with the FSC (Forest Stewardship Council ) logo. “Oggie FSC oak floors are finished withVOC-free WOCA Denmark oils. These finishes do not contain harsh solvents, and all raw materials are sourced from companies that certify that their resources are renewable and have strong recycling policies,” explains Nick Gluckman from Oggie.

ENiTo wooden floors. supplied by Forest Flooring. are made from old coconut palm trees that no longer produce fruits due to old age. Using the old trees reduces waste, and added to this, these floors are completely bio-degradable and emit no toxins.

Chris Holden from Finfloor/Inovar Floo r says thatengineered timbers avoid the misuse and indiscriminate stripping of natural rain forests, due to th e lesser usage of material used. He also adds that “decorative laminates are primarily manufactured using harvested wood and wood waste, making them fully bio-degradable and safe with very low smoke emission values. The sustainability of these products is based on the awareness of the manufacturers having to comply with very tight controls, especially in the European and south east Asia producers, where the environmental controls or infringements are strictly enforced”.

Concrete and floor paint

Concrete products as provided byLafarge Readymix are another good alternative. Anathi Zitumane, of Lafarge Readymix, explains: “The building use contributes to 80% of the building’s green house gas emission through energy consumption used for maintenance, heating, cooling, lighting and so forth. Concrete is durable, offers low maintenance and is recyclable. Incorporating these products into the design of a building could result in improved indoor environment quality. reduced energy consumption as well as addressing important water management issues .”

Floor paint can be used in areas such as kitchens, patios and garages. In addition to its decorative advantages and easy application, a product such as Duram Showfloor floor paint is an ideal option to consider. Say experts from Duram Smart Paint: “This type of paint is also non-toxic. has low-odour properties. is safe to handle, does not have noxious fumes, is low-VOC (volatile organic content) and does not affect the earth’s ozone layer.”

If you are consideringtiles. Sven Swart fromTiletoria suggests the imported options from the Everstone factory – for example theDurastone range of tiles because they are an eco-friendly product when compared to other porcelain tiles in the market.


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