Eco-Flooring OptionsGreenBuildTV

Eco-Flooring OptionsGreenBuildTV

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Eco-Flooring Options

Whether it’s time to renovate or you’re tackling a new building project, get creative with your choices for new flooring;  think green – think eco-friendly. Forget the old standard carpet or the dependable standard wood floor. Consider green options and you’ll find a new world of flooring products.

CARPET

Be aware that the cozy, warm carpet you love to walk on might be harboring dust, bacteria and a whole world of allergens and pollutants that can negatively affect your health and air quality. Most carpets involve synthetic materials and processes that involve the use of toxic chemicals. And it’s not just the carpet you have to worry about – chemicals are found in the padding as well as the adhesive glue used to lay your carpet.

However – there are certain green options you can turn to:

  • Natural fibers like seagrass, sisals, hemp grass and jutes require no chemical treatment and are renewable, sustainable and biodegradable.  Hemp and seagrass are naturally stain resistant as well – perfect for under the dining room table!  Sisal Rugs Direct even offers a 60% wool and 40% sisal blend, offering the durability of sisal with the soft feel of wool.
  • Low-VOC carpets from GreenFloors are not only a healthier carpeting choice, but are made from 100% post-consumer recycled food and beverage containers.  NOTE: one square yard of this carpeting keeps approximately 40 plastic containers out of the landfill. Added benefits you just have to love; naturally stain resistant, lasting static control, and richer, brighter colors.
  • For flooring with lots of options, Flor offers carpet tile made from varying degrees of renewable and recycled content – some up to 100% – and all tiles are low-VOC, and meet the green label certification. Added benefits:  the tiles can be picked up individually – cleaned and put back! Should they need replacement, they can be returned and are guaranteed to be recycled as well. And with so many design options, Flor offers various design tools to help you create a one of a kind carpet layout.

WOOD

If you just have to have good old-fashioned hardwood flooring, be sure your flooring comes from forests certified by the Forest Stewardship Council, guaranteed to be sustainably cared for forests. EcoTimber has a full assortment of FSC-certified wood including all the basics as well as exotic woods that might test your carbon footprint, and a GBTV favorite – reclaimed wood. Their Bluegrass Reclaimed Plank flooring is particularly interesting, reclaimed from horse fencing and a mix of red and white oak cross rails repurposed into beautiful, unique flooring.

SUSTAINABLE ALTERNATIVES

Eco-Flooring OptionsGreenBuildTV

Beyond just sustainably managed forests comes the concept of materials that are recycled and/or renewably grown. Examples include:

Cork, produced by harvesting the bark of the cork oak tree, is a quick growing resource, taking just three to nine years to grow back.  It is a sustainable product with great health attributes; naturally resists germs, dust and mildew.  In flooring, cork provides thermal and acoustic insulation, can be installed without the use of toxic glues or adhesives, and is soft underfoot. Cork flooring is also a very durable option, provides excellent insulation and is naturally fire resistant.  USFloors offers a variety of cork flooring options and their natural cork floors are made with environmentally-friendly, water based adhesives/binders and finishes.

  • Bamboo Flooring

    While there are many varieties of bamboo, Moso Natural Bamboo is the top choice for flooring applications. Like cork, bamboo is harvested without harming the plant. Similar to grass, you cut away the top portion and the root system remains undamaged. The bamboo grows back strong, reaching maturity every 5 ½ to 6 years. This is a completely renewable, recyclable and biodegradable resource.  Bamboo is easy to maintain, easily refinished when necessary and has a distinct, elegant appeal.

  • Not all bamboo flooring is hard and durable so look for strand woven to be the hardest available.  Cali Bamboo’s Fossilized HD Wide Plank Bamboo Flooring is actually processed to be the hardest wood in the world, is low-VOC and offers multiple colors and styles from which to choose.

    Teragren is an environmentally friendly company that produces various bamboo products including flooring. All of their flooring contributes to LEED certification and have earned FloorScore® certification; the highest air quality standard in the world.

    There are so many choices in tile; stone, slate, recycled glass. One place to go to explore all these options is Eco Friendly Flooring. Recycled glass tiles are particularly interesting as they divert glass from landfills into functional materials. Other recycled materials may include metal tiles – used as accent pieces or even for the entire floor or recycled clay and cement based tile – all 100% recycled material and made in U.S.

    What are some of the flooring options you’re choosing?

    Contributor. Wen-D is the editor and contributor to a number of green blogs and websites including GreenBuildTV, GreeningTheInn and EcoVisionSLC.


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