We’ve all heard it in the news. There is a clarion call nowadays to be eco-friendly, or green. Regardless of your thoughts on the global warming situation, being responsible about the environment is something everyone can get behind. If you are renovating your home or buying a new one, environmentally friendly flooring solutions are available to you.
Going “green” with your flooring is a great way to conserve and responsibly manage the earth’s resources. It can also help you live healthier by reducing or eliminating pesky allergens like dust, mold, and mildew. So the question is “What type of flooring is out there?” I’m glad you asked.
Linoleum and Marmoleum.
Let’s start with that ole standby, linoleum. Linoleum is not made from vinyl, as some would have you believe. It was actually originally made from flaxseed oil. A more recent development is Marmoleum. It is made from linseed oil, wood flour, jute, and pine resin. It is very biodegradable and produced with a minimal environmental impact. Couple it with a low VOC (Volatile Organic Compound) adhesive and get even more benefit.
If the idea of hardwood flooring makes you smile (of course it does), but the thought of all of those trees meeting an early death to give you a pretty living room makes you cringe, then I have something special for you. Remember this term: “Reclaimed hardwood floors”. That means that the planks for the flooring are made from old torn down buildings like schoolhouses, churches, and barns. They are considered superior to today’s wood planks in many cases because they are taken from earlier generation trees that were allowed to mature to the fullest before being cut-down. They are durable, and available in virtually any finish traditional hardwoods are found in. They cost about the same too. So you can have a beautiful hardwood floor in your home, minus the guilt.
Cork is an imaginative choice for your eco-friendly flooring. It has a distinct look and some unique benefits as well. You can stand on cork floors for much longer periods of time on cork without hurting your feet, which makes it a great option for the kitchen. It also is soft enough that your can drop breakable objects on it without the worry that they will shatter into a million pieces, which is handy if you have children. It’s environmentally friendly because it is harvested from the bark of the tree, which can be done without harming the tree itself. If you are looking for something fun and responsible, cork is the way to go.
Did you know that in addition to being what is on the dinner table at the panda house, bamboo could be used to make a very cool looking and very eco-responsible floor? Bamboo is a grass that can be grown to full maturity in just a few years. Bamboo is similar to hardwoods in durability, but has a distinctive look that is really starting to catch fire. Those who consider themselves unique can take this flooring route and know that they are doing the environment a huge favor.
Some Tile Alternatives
Maybe you really like the look of tile flooring, and wonder if any options exist for you. I am happy to tell you about tile made from recycled glass. It comes in a variety of colors and sizes, and only imagination will limit the possibilities. If you are looking for durability and aren’t afraid to pay a little more for it, you should go with stone flooring. It is beautiful, environmentally sound, and will last a lifetime.
As you can see, there are a host of alternatives for your flooring needs if you want to stay “green” and not spend to much green at the same time. Whether you choose the distinct looks of cork, or bamboo, the new generation of reclaimed hardwoods, the affordability of marmoleum, or one of the other options listed, you can rest assured that your won’t have to sacrifice the environment to have the beautiful floor you desire. It’s the best of both worlds, don’t you think?
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