Everybody is conscious about how the planet is slowly but surely deteriorating. That is why there is a growing green movement that pushes for using sustainable materials as much as possible. This is certainly the case with materials needed for home improvement. There are plenty of flooring options today. Most floors are made from stone, tile or wood. Some of these materials are sustainable while others are not. If you are searching for environmentally friendly flooring materials, there are several choices out there.
Characteristics of Eco-Friendly Floors
Eco-friendly floors are made from non-toxic materials that are recycled or can be recycled in the future. They also come from sustainable areas that do not harm the planet’s natural resources. Nevertheless, just because they are “green” does not mean they are of low quality and are not comparable to traditional flooring options. This is hardly the case because not only are these materials very sturdy, they also come in different styles, colors and designs. Moreover, you do not have to worry about breathing in chemical fumes from your new floors because some eco-friendly floors are not treated with chemicals.
Wood is a popular choice among sustainable flooring materials. Instead of choosing new hardwood that come from virgin trees, opt for salvaged or reclaimed hardwood instead. The distressed look of this type of hardwood can add character and flair to your floors.
When you shop for hardwood floors, you can also ask for certification that says the wood came from sustainable forests. It is also recommended that you buy local wood rather than having them imported because it will be less expensive that way. To keep your wood floors looking new, refinish the wood with a non-toxic varnish from time to time.
When you think of cork, you either picture a cork board or a champagne bottle. Little did you know that cork is not only an excellent flooring option, it is also a sustainable one as there are no trees cut when it is harvested from cork trees. If wood floors are beyond your budget, you can try cork instead as they both look alike. It also has characteristics that make it invaluable: it can provide cushioning, insulation and is easy to install in different areas in the house.
Bamboo’s popularity as a flooring option has been growing in the recent years. This species of grass is said to be 13% harder than maple and 27% harder than red oak so it is durable and lasts for a long time. It is a sustainable flooring option because unlike trees, bamboo grows quickly. Suppliers are now working to get certifications for their bamboo flooring products to ensure their quality and safety. Furthermore, it has a unique and distinct look that can enhance the aesthetics of any room.
Flooring Made from Recycled Materials
Another sustainable flooring option you can use are the ones made from recycled materials such as glass and tiles. These materials usually come from construction sites that were meant to be discarded in landfills. They are excellent flooring options for bathrooms and kitchens. Recycled glass and tile are easy to clean and extremely durable.
Contributed by Ericka, who writes for We Do Cardboard Boxes, a UK internet based company which provides high quality and affordable cardboard packaging boxes