Green building practices are great for the environment, and they can even improve the indoor air quality of your home. Embraced by builders across the country, you can also incorporate green products into your home renovation projects. If it’s time for new flooring in your home, consider going green to reduce the off-gassing of dangerous toxins and do your part to help Mother Nature. Here are the top ten eco-friendly choices for flooring in your home.
#1. Carpeting – You know that some hard flooring options are green, but you may be surprised to discover that carpet can also be a wonderful green choice. Look for carpeting made with natural fibers and no chemical treatments. Choose those with natural-fiber backings that are attached with special adhesives that are less toxic. When it comes to padding, look for options made from recycled cotton padding.
#2. Cork – Naturally elastic, cork is made the bark of cork oak trees. Renewable every three years, it’s one of the most green options available. Durable and comfortable, these floor coverings won’t attract dust and actually work as a natural insect repellant.
#3. The Forest Stewardship Council – Choose hardwood floors made with lumber harvested from FSC-certified forests. You can be confident that the forests are managed for long-term regeneration. The FSC also has tight quality control measures in place to protect air and water quality during harvesting.
#4. Bamboo – This fast growing reed is 13 percent harder than traditional maple and an impressive 27 percent harder than beautiful northern red oak. Durable and attractive, the floors are naturally resistant to insects, water and mildew.
#5. Recycled Glass – Look for floor tiles made from beautiful recycled glass. Ideal for any bathroom, they can also be the perfect finishing touch for a modern kitchen. When considering different glass tiles, find out what percentage of each tile is made from recycled glass. Try to purchase from companies that use more recycled glass in their pieces.
#6. Reclaimed Wood – The ultimate form of recycling, reclaimed wood flooring once graced a home, church or even warehouse. Pulled out before demotion or renovation projects, it can be installed in your home. Reclaimed wood floors come complete with nicks, dents and scratches. They have a story to tell, and your friends will always be in awe of your impressive living room that once graced a downtown bar or a country workshop.
#7. Natural Linoleum – Made from materials like wood flour and linseed oil, natural linoleum requires very little maintenance and will survive up to three decades. Biodegradable and nontoxic, it also won’t harm the environment when the time comes to replace it.
#8. Polished Concrete Floors – Poured in place and finished to a high polish, concrete floors aren’t just for the patio anymore. Sealed with a quality epoxy coatings, your polished concrete floor will shine like tile and last for decades.
#9. Marble Chips – With green building materials, items that would normally be sent to the landfill are put to good use. Epoxy flooring made with marble-chips and quartz are attractive, durable and great for the environment.
#10. Leather – You love leather clothes and look forward to reclining in your leather couch, but you probably didn’t know that you can also enjoy a leather floor. Made from recycled leathers, the floors are surprisingly durable and easy to maintain.
#11. Rubber – After the rubber meets the road, it usually winds up in a landfill. With recycled rubber floor tiles, you can keep the rubber out of the garbage and enjoy a fresh look in your house. Slip-resistant and perfect for any area that gets damp or wet, rubber floor tiles are the right choice for your laundry room.
When you are ready for new flooring in your home, consider some of these wonderful green options. Friendly to the environment, they will also give your home a unique look that you are sure to appreciate. Whether you choose smooth concrete finished to a high polish or exotic cork, you will be delighted with the look and feel of green flooring.