Posted on: 3 March 2015
When you are building your new home, there is no longer a need to choose between man-made carpets coated in chemicals and forest-depleting hardwoods. There are now eco-friendly flooring options that are plentiful and beautiful.
1. Wool Carpet: While wool has been used for centuries in rugs, people are now embracing the product for use in wall-to-wall carpeting. Not only is wool a sustainable, renewable material, but it is naturally fire resistant, non-allergenic, and long-lasting. It is more expensive than typical synthetic options, but wool carpeting lasts longer and is less prone to staining than its man-made counterparts.
2. Bamboo: This invasive plant is considered a weed in some parts of the world because it grows so quickly. In fact, the BBC recorded certain varieties growing up to three feet in one day in a recent documentary. This rapid growth makes it the perfect product for an eco-friendly wood flooring option.
3. Recycled Glass: Glass bottles are 100 percent recyclable and can be repeatedly recycled without any change in their quality. In fact, 41 percent of all beer bottles are recycled, and one of the many things they are transformed into is glass floor tiles. These tiles are as strong as they are beautiful.
4. Reclaimed: During the height of the lumber barons' dominance, old growth forests were cut down for wood flooring. While lumber manufacturers still sell hardwoods, the older trees are long gone. Innovative architectural scrappers are now stripping wood out of old buildings prior to demolition, and dredging river bottoms for whole trees preserved in the cold water. The rich patina cannot be reproduced and is highly-prized in today's market.
5. Eucalyptus: This fibrous plant is native to Australia. The fibers can be transformed into an engineered wood product that is both harder and wider than traditional flooring options, and yet is 100 percent renewable. In fact, a eucalyptus grows to full size in less than fourteen years, which allows manufacturers to keep the price at about half that of hardwood flooring.
6. Marmoleum: One of the more versatile green flooring options is marmoleum. It is available in tiles, planks, and a sheet product in a virtually unlimited array of colors and patterns. Made from natural linseed oil, marmoleum is both non-toxic and anti-microbial.
7. Cork: It is a little known fact that cork is from the bark of a cork tree located near Portugal. Every eight to ten years, the bark is peeled off and harvested. The tree continues to grow; this process does not hurt it in any way. The bark is turned into cork bottle stoppers and the scraps are melded together to make the lovely cork flooring that is seen in homes today. The cork industry likes to say that cork flooring is the "most sustainable wood flooring industry in the world."
8. Rubber Tiles: Tires have been recycled into a variety of products, including floor tiles. The rubber tiles are just as durable underfoot as they are out on the road, and they come in a variety of vivid colors suitable for any home.
9. Sisal: Similar to a yucca plant, sisal is native to Mexico. The resilient fibers in its leaves are often use in rope making, but can also be woven into a durable flooring product. Although most often seen as rugs, sisal can also be used as a durable wall-to-wall carpeting.
Whether you choose a recycled product or a plant-based one for the floors in your new home, you will enjoy the beauty for years to come and take pride in the fact that you picked a product that was also eco-conscious.Share