Use eco-friendly flooring for a small environmental footprint

Men laying new hardwood flooring

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.

Reused materials

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.

Recycled content

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.

Regional materials

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).

Cost considerations

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.

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