If you’ve decided to go the environmentally-friendly route when it comes to flooring, then you should know that there are countless options at your fingertips. Green flooring doesn’t only involve renewable or natural materials as there are a lot of factors that determine whether and how environmentally sound a floor is. Some of these factors include:
- Toxicity to the environment
- Transport distance
That said, here’s a look at some of the best flooring variations that don’t get in the way of Mother Nature:
1) Cork Flooring
The material is obtained from either one of two sources most notably the renewable bark of the cork oak tree and recycled cork bottle stops. Cork flooring is impervious to temperature changes and also wads off mites, bugs and mold. A square foot will set you back between $1.5 and $4.
2) Linoleum flooring
Flax plants naturally produce linseed oil and after oxidation the resultant end product is linoleum. This cycle of production occurs every so often and the material is available practically everywhere. Linoleum flooring will give you service of up to four decades and after it has outlived its purpose, its waste can be used as fuel. The energy resulting from this use is almost equivalent to that expended to manufacture a similar amount of the material thereby ensuring a closed-loop life cycle. A square foot is priced between $2 and $5.
3) Bamboo flooring
Boasting a relatively fast cycle of 3 to 5 years, bamboo makes one of the best flooring alterations in terms of renewability. However, its exclusive growth in the Pacific Rim means importation does come at a significant cost to the environment. In fact, the manufacturing process sometimes encompasses the use of harsh chemicals such as formaldehyde so before you settle on a purchase, be sure to ask your seller about the emission levels of the compound. The pricing of bamboo is similar to the preceding option
4) Eco-friendly carpeting
You have to tread cautiously when buying carpets since most are usually manufactured from a nonrenewable source i.e. petroleum. Also, carpets can harbor dust and emit harmful toxins into the living space but you can mitigate this by adding a dash of nontoxic, green carpet finish. Seagrass, wool and jute are usually the go-to materials for carpets as they are all natural. The average cost per square foot of eco-friendly carpeting ranges between $3 and $13.
5) Hardwood flooring
Hardwood flooring is biodegradable in its entirety and can be used for fuel or recycled in other projects once it has grown weary. This naturally occurring and renewable material is also among the best flooring picks but be sure to affirm that the material selected has the thumbs up of the Forest Stewardship Council in terms of good management. $3-$12 is the average cost of each square foot for hardwood flooring.
6) Recycled hardwood
Recycled hardwood basically entails out-of-favor wood that has been used before but revamped to breathe a new lease of life into it. It is a particularly good material for scarce wood varieties and using this material alleviates the need to cut down a living tree. Before taking the decision to buy one though, you need to make sure the wood wasn’t treated with toxic chemicals at any point as is the common practice. The price per square foot of recycled hardwood stands at $5 to $30.
7) Natural Stone Flooring
Naturally occurring and constantly forged by tectonic forces within the earth and priced at $7- $35 per square foot, stone makes one of the best flooring options as it is recyclable and doesn’t affect the environment. Nevertheless, transportation of the weighty material can take a toll on Mother Nature.
8) Recycled Metal Tiles
Metal tiles feature in the pricier end of the market with a cost ranging between $30 and $70 for one square foot but using this flooring is a great way to ensure that a non-biodegradable and finite resource is kept out of the earth’s reach. The design is usually assembled from scrap pieces of brass, copper and/or aluminum.
9) Recycled Glass Tiles
Discarded bottles, broken windows and basically glass wastes are used to make this flooring thereby ensuring non-biodegradable are not thrown out rather put to good use. A single square foot will set you back anywhere between $35 and $100.
And that rounds off our list of the pick of the bunch flooring varieties that are as environmentally sound as they come. Contact us today at Best Flooring and Blinds and let us help you get the floor of your dreams.