Eco Friendly flooring materials, or what some call, "Green Flooring", has been a focal point of home improvers for quite some time now. When replacing floors, people are considering their options of renewable materials. Since there has been a good deal of growth in this field, the material options have expanded. Use the form on this page to request estimates from the best green / eco-friendly flooring contractors in your area.
If you're building a house or renovating your current home, you should consider green options for your flooring. Green flooring choices are easily replenished, don't harm the environment and can be recycled. Here are three popular green alternatives to tiles and carpeting.
Cork is an exceptional green flooring material. It is gathered by removing the bark from the cork oak tree. This doesn't harm the tree or reduce the number of cork trees in the forest. Cork trees live more than 200 years. Their bark is collected every nine years, so each tree can yield over 20 harvests. The bark is biodegradable and can be recycled easily. Cork is softer than many flooring materials, which makes it family-friendly. Kids who fall on cork are less likely to be badly injured. Cork is durable, easy to keep clean and absorbs loud noises. It resists fire, mold, mildew, termites and water. It is an ideal choice for a kitchen. It's also affordable. It costs as little as $10 per square foot, which includes installation. The only bad thing about cork is that it can't hold heavy objects. Cork is a fine choice if you want a green floor.
Bamboo is a great flooring material. It is rapidly renewable, can be harvested in three years and is as durable as hardwood. Bamboo that is certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) is environmentally sustainable and socially responsible. This is critical because there are plantations that do not raise bamboo in a very environmentally conscious manner. Bamboo only requires light fertilization, low levels of pesticides and no irrigation. It has a high yield per acre. Because it can be sanded and refinished numerous times, bamboo is a thrifty choice. It is finished with water-based products and is installed with low-VOC adhesives. Bamboo originates in China, so it has to be shipped to the United States. The extra fuel used for shipping is the only real drawback to using bamboo.
Reclaimed wood from old buildings and river bottoms is a wonderful eco-friendly option. The antique looking wood is durable and has a unique appearance. Wood from old barns or houses is stronger and less likely to bend than fresh hardwoods because it has been drying for decades. It costs a little more than new hardwood flooring, but it is possibly the greenest of all flooring materials. It is biodegradable, can be finished with water-based products and installed without VOC adhesives. It is hypoallergenic and emits no noxious odors. FSC-certified reclaimed wood has not been logged in a manner that damages the landscape or displaces wildlife. Reclaimed solid wood floors can be sanded and refinished several times. With proper care, a reclaimed hardwood floor can last a century or longer.
These three green flooring materials are the most environmentally responsible options available. Every one is long-lasting, durable, beautiful and reasonably priced. By choosing cork, bamboo or reclaimed hardwood for your floor, you'll be doing your wallet and the world a favor.