Use eco-friendly flooring for a small environmental footprint
When choosing eco-friendly flooring, the ultimate goal is to leave as little impact on the Earth as possible. Check out these ways to go green with your flooring.
Use salvaged, refurbished or reused materials in order to reduce the need for virgin materials. For example, refinish an existing wood floor rather than replace it.
These products contain waste material that can no longer be used for its intended purpose, such as tile made from recycled bottle glass or worn carpet that is recycled and manufactured into new carpet.
If a product is made locally, it cuts down transportation costs and emissions. An example would be choosing a limestone floor that was taken from a nearby quarry rather than one in France.
Rapidly renewable materials
Use rapidly renewable materials and products. Consider bamboo (harvested every 3-7 years), wool, linoleum and cork (bark is harvested every 9 years).
The cost of eco-friendly materials varies widely. To determine a budget, your best bet is to visit your local home-improvement center and see for yourself how a material performs, what it looks like, how it feels and what it would cost to install and maintain.
green floor options
• Reuse materials such as salvaged hardwood
• Materials such as worn carpet can be recycled into new flooring
• Use regional suppliers to reduce emissions
• Support renewable resources such as bamboo
know your numbers
According to studies conducted by the Environmental Protection Agency, the levels of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) inside homes are typically 2-5 times higher than outside. Certain activities such as stripping paint, varnishing large surfaces or painting with oil coatings can temporarily increase VOC levels to 1,000 times the level outside. In order to meet EPA standards, a low-VOC stain may not exceed 300 grams of VOCs per liter.