Green Flooring Materials
Green flooring falls into at least one of these categories:
- Sustainable (wood flooring)
- Eco-friendly (bamboo area rugs)
- Contains recycled content (rubber flooring)
- Recyclable (vinyl flooring)
- Leaves a small carbon footprint (wool carpeting)
- Has low VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) (stone)
What’s It Made Of?
Wool, wood, fast growing bamboo, eucalyptus and cork are considered renewable resources because they can be re-grown and sustainably harvested.
Recycled wood flooring is made from salvaged boards from old buildings slated for demolition or trees salvaged from lake bottoms that have been re-milled into a product suitable for your home.
Recycled plastics from water and soda bottles can be added to the five billion pounds of carpet that is replaced annually and made into new carpet with all the attributes of virgin carpet.
Salvaged or Reusable Materials
Old stone floors can be salvaged and reused in a new setting.
Other Green Factors
Save transportation energy costs and reduce CO2 emissions by choosing products made or grown within 500 miles.
VOCs are human-made chemicals that are used and produced in the manufacture of paints, industrial solvents, paint thinners and adhesives, among many other things. VOCs are one of the building blocks of smog. They can be toxic to the nervous system and some are cancer causing.
It’s important to choose water-based adhesives and finishes over solvent-based ones.
Green Home Guide
Use and Maintenance
Choose durable floors that are low-maintenance. Extending the life of your floor means replacing it less often and as a result, creating less waste.
Choose floors that can be cleaned and maintained without the use of harsh chemicals.
Choose floors that don’t have to be refinished or resealed often.
End of Life
Choose floors that can be recycled, reused or will naturally decompose. (Generally speaking, synthetic flooring will not decompose, but can be recycled.)