When it comes to home renovations, new floors are one of the easiest ways to transform the look of any living space.
Updated flooring will add beauty, warmth and texture to your home. It may also increase the value of it without breaking the bank.
Before getting started, it’s worth exploring some of the ‘greener options’ available on the market today. Nowadays, products and services claiming ‘green status’ are common. That’s why it’s important for consumers to know and understand the facts. Materials can impact the natural environment by contributing to pollution when produced and shipped. Also, products that release chemicals, dust or fibers can have a harmful effect on the atmosphere inside the home.
One can expect to pay more for ‘green’ products that reduce harmful effects on the environment. Yet, a durable and non-toxic floor will ensure a safe indoor air quality, which makes it worth it in the long-run.
Here are just 3 popular Eco-Friendly Flooring options on the market that are worth considering for your home.
1. Cork FlooringTable of Contents [show]
Used since the late 19th century, cork is one of the most unique and innovative flooring solutions on the market today. This natural material is super resilient and eco-friendly as it comes from the Cork Tree (Quercus Suber), which is the only tree able to regenerate after harvest. Cork trees live for up to two centuries and get harvested about once a decade. Strict regulations ensure the cork oaks are unaffected by the harvesting process.
Between harvests, the trees contribute to environmental health by producing oxygen and supporting biodiversity. This natural material comes in a variety of different styles of flooring with many different patterns and colours to complement practically any room setting. It is also prized for its anti-microbial properties to reduce allergens in your home. Even though cork flooring is formed into various sizes and shapes for distribution, it continues to retain its unique and beneficial properties.
And for those who suffer from back or joint pain, the unique structure of cork makes this flooring a natural cushion that alleviates any strain and discomfort.
2. Bamboo FlooringBamboo is a sustainable and durable option that looks and feels much like hardwood, despite the fact it is a member of the grass family. It is easy to install and maintain, is a natural anti-bacterial, water resistant and is available in a variety of hues. This fast-growing grass requires no pesticides or fertilizers to thrive and can be harvested for “wood” every 5 years. Another important factor that makes this a great green choice is that bamboo produces 35% more oxygen than an identically sized grove of trees.
3. Natural Stone FlooringWith natural stone, what you see is what you get. Renowned for ornate, refined beauty natural stone flooring is a symbol of affluence and sophistication. This desirable natural flooring product adds natural beauty to one’s home, without the use of heat, toxins or chemicals. It also has a lower impact on both the interior air quality in a location and the greater environment
Final ThoughtsThese 3 renewable flooring options have less ecological impact on the Earth, but will also give your home a fresh new look. Before making a decision on which route to go, another important factor to consider where the product comes from. It may not seem like an important point to pause over, but the source of your flooring can have big implications on its quality.
Since government regulations in overseas countries differ from those in North America, standards for safe and quality flooring are not the same. If you buy flooring from overseas, you cannot guarantee whether it was treated with chemicals. You also won’t know if it is free of harmful contaminants. Tests done by the Hardwood Plywood and Veneer Association found high levels of formaldehyde in flooring made in China.
Also, make sure that any wood product you purchase for your home is up to ‘green standards’ by looking for the Forest Stewardship Council certification label.
The FSC trademarks (FSC ‘check-tree’ logo, the ‘FSC’ initials and the name ‘Forest Stewardship Council’) provide a guarantee that the products you buy come from responsible sources. However, don’t stop at just the FSC logo. Consider where your product was produced. It’s been well-publicized that products, especially flooring products from China may have chemicals like formaldehyde. Much of this is due to the lack of regulation and standards in China as well as the evidence of corruption in the quality control process.
Your new eco-friendly floor will add style to your home and you’ll take comfort in knowing you’re treading a bit more lightly on the planet at the same time.