Environmentally Friendly Flooring Slow Home Studio

Environmentally Friendly Flooring Slow Home Studio

Environmentally Friendly Flooring


Nowadays, I tune out what is usually greenwashing on products. I find that everything being labelled green just results in the word not really meaning anything so I end up having to do my own research (unfortunately this takes up loads of time)!

Your discussion today raised a few questions for me

1) Do you use regular concrete or a special concrete product?

2) Are the cracks youve encountered in concrete superficial? Have they ever been serious enough to affect the hydronic heating system? Also, if theres ever an issue with the heating, Im assuming it means you have to break the floor open?

3) Does terrazzo *tile* count towards LEED much? To be honest, I only ever thought that terrazzo came in tiles, LOL! I had no idea that ubiquitous flooring was terrazzo or that they installed it like concrete!

4) How does cork flooring hold up to water? Would you advise using cork in areas like kitchens or bathrooms? When you talk about expansion problems with cork flooring, does that also apply to cork that is installed with the click system (like hardwood)?

www.logsend.com They focus on salvaging wood lost in the Ottawa River. I dont work for them nor have I seen their products in person, I just think its really cool!

Matthew North

Hi Li-Na to answer your questions, we have used both regular concrete and a special light weight version of concrete called gyp-crete. You can also add color to concrete to darken it or if you use a white ad-mixture it will cure lighter. If regular concrete is ordered it will be the standard mid grey color. The cracks that occur in concrete are superficial and hair line in appearance. They are also normal and to be expected because as concrete dries, it releases moisture and shrinks, resulting in some cracking. The amount of cracking can be minimized by slowing down the rate at which the concrete dries. This is achieved by keeping an even heat and watering the the surface to keep is moist as it cures. And yes, if there is an issue with the hydronic heating, the only way to access it is to break through the concrete. Fortunately this is very rare. We would love to use terazzo, but have not been able to find anyone to do it in Calgary. It would hold the same points for LEED as concrete with the additional half point if recycled content was used for the aggregate. Cork is not recommended in wet areas like bathrooms as it can swell but can an acceptable flooring in the kitchen. And yes, even though cork is clicked together, it still expands and contracts and the joints can open up from season to season.

Not sure if this is urban legend but with respect to concrete or very hard floors, one should familiarize themselves of the potential effects on the body over an extended period of time.

Excellent seminar today gentlemen!

The above rant had nothing to do with flooring but I feel much better! Regarding floors, in light of my above comment, do not feel too bad if you really want carpet.

Mid America Mom

Good evening slow home !

I envy the folks with older homes that can strip away that musty old carpet and find wider wood planks in decent condition.

Concrete is a good product to go with if you think you may change flooring in the future. Matthew tell me if I am wrong but at least hardwood or carpet can be added on top with proper preparation.


Here the sigh coming from me now. Cork sounds great and has a unique look but I really wonder about cleaning and also thinking about it durability.

Environmentally Friendly Flooring Slow Home Studio

Kids who wear black soled shoes and leave marks. Big dogs with their big claws- would I have pot marks? Spills of oils or food ( salmonella ). Muddy boots! Folks who shuffle- would they peel away some of my floor?

I looked at cork for kitchen years back and the flooring dealer was not helpful on giving me a good idea on how well it performed on these points. Anything you can share on them?

Mid America Mom


Everyone commenting on this topic must be SO young! Here in Australia in the 70s cork was the must have flooring in all family areas (kitchen, family room (your great room??), laundries, even bathrooms). It was cheap-ish, friendly, and we all had it.

It was laid as 12inch tiles and then sealed with half a dozen coats of high gloss 2-pack clear finish, which sealed against damp, as well as damage by scratching (dogs, children).

Cork performs pretty much the sames as a wooden floor, except its much quieter and softer underfoot. So, yes there are black marks from sneakers, and dog claw indentations, but they are spot treated, just like a wooden floor, until they wear/gloss level becomes unacceptable, and then they are sanded back and refinished with a couple more coats of clear, to be as good as new.

The only colour back then was a honey or darker brown, although a couple of years ago a product came out with various shades like a sort of lime-washed effect and some darker tones, with names such as Cappuccino, Espresso etc. I think- but don;t know-that this must have been a surface colouration, so one would have to be careful to maintain the protective top layer.

Here in Oz cork has fallen out of fashion, the rage now is floating floors and polished boards. One of the main problems with that, and trend to have so many hard surfaces is the dreadful noise level which has to be contended with (and never seems to be discussed by architects).

Just my 2 cents worth, from a non-expert

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