Wood Floors

Eco-Friendly Flooring: Green & Sustainable Floor Ideas

Many traditional floors were made from flooring materials dependent on non-renewable fossil fuels like vinyl, polyester, and nylon carpets. However, this has changed with the environmental sustainability agenda.

Currently, many people are looking to go green, make green building, and thus need for eco-friendly flooring. Eco-friendly doesn’t only come from natural renewable sources but also minimizes its impacts on the environment. They’re also renewable, recyclable, non-VOC, and meet responsible harvesting and manufacturing.

7 Best Eco-friendly Flooring Option

These floorings are cost-friendly and good health-wise for your home. They are made from durable, environmentally friendly, and non-toxic materials. Most of these materials are sustainably harvested, recycled, and reclaimed.

The following are some of the best Eco-friendly flooring considerations;

1. Eco Friendly Bamboo Flooring

Solid engineered bamboo floor either nailed, glued, the strand is woven, hand-scraped. It provides a completely non-toxic or Zero VOC floor that is safe and durable.

Bamboo is one of the best green options for your floor. It’s also good to review Eco-friendly bamboo flooring pros and cons. Understanding the problems of bamboo flooring before installing will make you ready to handle those challenges form the start.

Always observe the right cleaning and maintenance techniques to leave your bamboo floor without streaks. Bamboo is a rapidly renewing resource that matures extremely fast (3 years). The plant regenerates without the need for replanting and requires minimal fertilization and pesticide application.

2. Eco Friendly Wood Flooring

Solid wood flooring provides one of the best floors especially those from sustainably harvested hardwood (oak, walnut, Marple and cherry, etc).  Apply non-toxic finishes and adhesives to maintain its natural nature and non-toxicity.

Alternatively, you may have recycled hardwood from other building applications for your floor. this will help solve wasteful cutting down of living trees. However, avoid using toxic treated wood since they may be unhealthy for your floor.

3. Eco Friendly Wool Rugs

Wool carpets that are naturally sourced carpets are good for your home. Wool carpets are durable and healthy for your flooring needs. wool carpets are one of the safest floorings, they are spending, have no adulterants. They are mostly handwoven and have no dangerous off-gassing. Select one of the best area rugs for your space.

The wool rug also helps in air-purifying in your house. Household items usually emit air pollutants and chemical allergens. Wool carpet comes in handy and assists absorbing them without re-emitting the allergens back to air. Wool carpets are known to purify the air up to about 30 years of their lifetime depending on quality.

4. Eco Friendly Cork Flooring

Cork flooring made from renewable sources, that are not toxic, thermally insulating, and moisture resistant. Cork flooring also has its own benefits, pros, and drawbacks that you need to know before installing for better maintenance.

Cork is harvested from the oak tree bark, thus a renewable resource. It has been used for decades as a bottle top. It can be re-harvested after every three years.

Cork flooring benefits and advantages include anti-microbial properties, hypo-allergens, Insect repellant among many other benefits. Cork flooring can last up to 40years depending on the quality of the planks installed. However, cork has its own disadvantages to be considered before installations.

5. Recycled Rubber Flooring

Rubber flooring is made and designed for adding padding and unique spring feel underfoot. It provides a unique flooring option and style for the kitchen, bathrooms, gyms, playrooms, and garages, etc. Its recyclable resource that is environmentally friendly when handles well. Rubber flooring is a great and versatile choice for many spaces in your house.

Recycled rubber is green, it helps solve the landfill issue. It forms a durable, although it does off-gas VOC, which is harmful to allergic and sensitive individuals. However, the off-gassed odor does dissipate with time. Opening windows and doors will help reduce our build up.

6. Natural Linoleum Flooring

Marmoleum flooring is made from natural linoleum. It made from oxidized linseed oil, non-toxic durable material that is easy to maintain. Linoleum flooring is available in different colors. You may get linoleum that looks like hardwood or any of the designs and styles that you like. However, always get to know the pros and cons of linoleum to ensure you are ready to take care of it as well as maintain it’s shine and luster.

7. Natural Stone Flooring Ideas

Stone flooring- you may opt to use natural stone for your flooring needs. Stone is a naturally occurring product through earth tectonic activities. It can be recycled to other uses although it’s heavy and may require transportation. The natural stone flooring commonly includes; travertine, slate, sandstone, limestone, marble, and granite each with different properties. Natural stone like travertine is used to make travertine tiles.

Modern Concrete Floor

8. Recycled Flooring

  1. Recycled metal flooring– scrap metals especially aluminum, brass, and copper can be remolded to metal tiles for your flooring needs. This may help solve landfills problems from these non-biodegradable materials.
  2. Recycled glass– discarded bottles can be recycled to glass tiles for flooring. This would help reduce the amount of non-biodegradable materials in the pit or landfills in your neighborhood.

What is Eco-Friendly Flooring?

Green building is the latest agenda due to negative environmental impacts arising from construction materials. Its aim is to have a building that is healthier and non-toxic to the environment. It worth noting different types of flooring have a different degree of green.

But, what is Eco-Friendly flooring? Green flooring is any flooring product that is eco-friendly, sustainable, recyclable, or has recycled content, low-VOC, and leaves a small carbon footprint.

In order to get Sustainable floor, look for the following features:

  • Ability to be reclaimed or renewed.
  • Responsible manufacturing.
  • Transportation distance.
  • Toxicity to the environment.
  • Maintenance costs and life cycle.
Green Flooring Options

Is Laminate Flooring Eco-friendly?

This is a question that might be on your mind. Laminate is approximate 99% made from wood products and more comfortable to walk on due to its thickness and warmth. If you are having trouble deciding, it’s understandable. Laminate flooring is durable, budget-friendly as well as look remarkably just like natural wood or stone.

Laminate Floor

Laminate flooring is toxic due to the formaldehyde adhesive used to bond veneers together. If you want to achieve a green flooring status, laminate doesn’t qualify for the status. Some manufacturers nowadays are known to use recycled materials but still the surface remains plastic layer and melamine resins which of no means is green. On an advantageous point, laminate is slightly better than vinyl.

Is Vinyl a Greener Option for my Floor?

Vinyl flooring isn’t a bad option as it used to be some years back. Some manufacturers nowadays achieve LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) credit EQ 4.3 for low emitting materials. But the main component still remains synthetic. synthetic materials are hard to decompose and make vinyl off-gas and produce toxic chemicals when burned. Vinyl is recyclable with some other advantages and drawbacks worth considering.

Is Tile Flooring Toxic?

Porcelain and ceramic tiles are more sought for flooring needs due to durability. They are also resistant to impact, scratching, staining, water absorption. It also very easy to wash, take care, and maintain.

Tiles made form recyclable materials are also considered part of Eco-friendly flooring.

Is Green Flooring Good for Resale Value?

Green flooring is good for your home as well as for anyone looking for a house to buy. The Green floor is the best option for you, although expensive, so it won’t be the most effective choice for any home.

Eco-friendly flooring which includes natural stone, hardwood, is good for your house resale value. Well-engineered solid flooring from these materials provides the most reliable and durable floors. Proper and timely maintenance of these flooring plays an important role in maintaining the high home value. Natural stone is best for boosting your home resale value. It’s gorgeousness and long-lasting.

Reference

Usgbc: What is LEED?  

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2 Comments

  1. My daughter in law is 6 weeks pregnant and we just purchased laminate made by Mohawk, The Granbury Oak , Rev Wood Select that is supposed to be installed in 3 days. It has the FloorScore certification and is rated for low VOC’s. Do you think it is safe to install at this point or should we wait awhile?

    1. It would be okay to install it, However, I would advise you to read the recommended steps before installation and ensure you have good ventilation. For a few days after installation, it will still off-gas but at low levels which may have no effects on your daughter in law and other family members. We recommend opening windows during and a few days after installation(or every time the weather allows).

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