If you're interested in pursuing environmentally friendly design, one of the best choices you can make for your home is to invest in sustainable flooring. Every room in your house has a floor, so these products make up a substantial part of the materials you'll be using. Most tile, carpet, and wood choices are not good for Mother Nature, so by making a conscious effort to find green options, you're greatly reducing the carbon footprint of your home. Let's go over some of the best sustainable flooring options.
If you don't want to be limited to just sustainable woods, one option you have is reclaimed materials. Although, for example, laminate tiles or oak boards may not be the best option for a green-minded consumer, if you can salvage these materials, saving them from the landfill, you're definitely doing a good deed! Reclaimed materials have already been manufactured - so you might as well use them.
You can find reclaimed materials from a number of sources. Many construction companies and home and garden centers now have special ordering available for reclaimed products. You can also go directly to the source and find old buildings that are being torn down or neighbors who are renovating. That's no telling what you'll find. With reclaimed products, you're limited as to what is currently available, and that changes all the time. If you really want certain materials, though, this is the only way to get them and still stay true to going green with your remodel.
Certain companies have gone through the effort to be certified by the Forestry Stewardship Council. FSC-certified wood is harvested in accordance to strict standards. Many different woods can be certified by the FCS, and these include tigerwood, beech, hickory, and American cherry. Getting certified is very expensive, so if there are small timber mills in your area, you may want to read about their harvesting and manufacturing processes. They might be just as environmentally friendly as FCS-certified mills and simply didn't have the money to go through the certification process.
Cork, the material used to make corkboards and wine bottle corks, is now being manufactured into planks and tiles to use for flooring. Cork actually comes from a tree, but is harvested without killing the tree, and it grows back extremely quickly. It is one of the most sustainable products you could use anywhere in your home.
Cork makes a great flooring, though. It is a soft material, like carpeting, but also works well in situations where you might use tile, such as in a bathroom. Unlike carpeting, it is easy to sweep clean and doesn't catch pet dander, dust, and other allergens. Cork is an insulator, so it can help with your home heating costs, and also serves to block noise, which is great if you have close neighbors, are redoing a playroom, want a music room, or share your home with many people.
Like cork, bamboo grows very quickly. It can be harvested about every five years, and once it is cut into strips, it can be made into planks and stained just like other kinds of wood. Bamboo is one of the hardest kinds of woods out there, and is extremely easy to clean. There are tons of different versions available, so you can find bamboo flooring for just about any part of your home.
Strandwoven wood planks are made using species of wood that are not considered desirable - they're often considered â€œtrash.â€ Strandwoven wood also uses scraps that would otherwise be thrown any after the manufacturing of other wood products. With this process, the woods are pressed together using low-VOC glues. They have a unique finish, showing the different colors of woods used. The finished product is greater than the sum of its parts.
Reclaimed flooring isn't the only way to use recycled materials. Some people are doing incredible things with old tires, plastic bottles, and tons of other products that would normally end up in the landfill. You won't find these products just anywhere - but they are well worth the hunt. Recycled materials make unique flooring that actually acts a conversation piece in your home.
Once you've chosen a green material for your flooring, make an equally responsible choice with the paint, stain, or other finish you use as well. One great product you can choose is milk paint, which is mild enough for even a pregnant woman to use, but this isn't your only option. Just read the labels of some of the commercially available products out there - you may be surprised to learn that many companies are making an effort to produce green finishes. Some products emit toxic fumes or aren't made using environmentally friendly manufacturing processes, however. To keep your home remodeling project as green as possible, stick to finishes that match your sustainable floors when it comes to protecting the earth.Posted by: TrustedPros