Eco Friendly Floors – A Green Solution Can Delight Anyone
Do you want to go green, help save the planet, and have something nice under your feet when you get off in the morning? Look no further, you’ll get the scoop … What constitutes “green” soil? One is recovered or reused, produced locally, the other is durable, recyclable, and has low or no emissions. Yes, that immediately calculates unapproved wood and non toxic flooring that emits other toxic gases in addition to unapproved, tropical, or old growth vinyl. Usually everything that has been placed comes with harmful binders, from petroleum products or shipped long distance.
- Bamboo – now available and rapidly renewable. Bamboo is very durable and one of the strongest materials. The only downside is that most of it originates from China and that means shipping it a long distance and not being sure about the binding agents used.
- Brick: Brick lasts a long time and can be renovated, reused, and redesigned. It is easy to maintain and is basically inert.
- Tiles: This is a material that can come from recycled content, it can be produced locally or regionally, it is very easy to clean and maintain, it is strong and lasts a long time.
- Cork: Cork is nice, warm and very similar to wooden floors. It is renewable but again most of it comes from Portugal so it has more ‘built in’ energy. It’s easy to install when purchased in trowel form and is also a great material for vertical surfaces. Be careful to use it in humid areas, as if it has a large water leak, it will swell.
- Stone: This is a beautiful material that can be local, and it is classic, very durable, long-lasting, and minimally treated. If you can afford it, great! (You only need some warm and comfortable slippers to wrap because it’s definitely hard.)
- Linoleum – A real linoleum (not a vinyl we sometimes mistakenly call paper goods) made from linseed. It’s softer underfoot, much easier to maintain, and has plenty of styling options. The only downside is that it is only made in Europe so you have to travel.
- Wood: Woods are beautiful, attractive, and can last. If you are using a solid object, you can sand and refinish it indefinitely. Most “engineered” products have one coat after another, which means that the top coat is thinner and may only be deep enough to be repainted once or twice. The wood can come from a local source, just be sure to choose something that is certified and sustainable.
- Concrete – Concrete reduces material use and can be sourced locally. It’s durable, easy to clean, and works well with underfloor heating. It is also fairly easy to maintain and has great design flexibility.