Shaw Floors Chosen by House Beautiful: Kitchen of the Year

Shaw Floors has been chosen by House Beautiful magazine for its fourth annual “Kitchen of the Year.”

As the flooring sponsor, the kitchen will feature Shaw’s Grand Canyon, a hardwood style made from 100% post-industrial wood byproducts.

The design reflects Tyler Florence’s vision of the kitchen as “the new American living room,” incorporating his concepts of family, cooking, entertaining, comfort, design and heritage.

This year’s Kitchen of the Year will be held in conjunction with “Tastes of Summer,” an outdoor food festival that features samples from Rockefeller Center’s most popular restaurants.

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About House Beautiful

House Beautiful ( is a leading authority on American home design and decoration, reaching more than seven million readers every month. Founded in 1896, House Beautiful is the oldest continuously published shelter magazine in the United States. Readers can also interact with the brand on the digital front, with House Beautiful mobile ( In addition to its U.S. flagship, House Beautiful publishes two editions around the world. Hearst Magazines is a unit of Hearst Corporation (, one of the nation’s largest diversified communications companies with interests in magazines, newspapers, digital media, business media and television.

About Shaw

Shaw Industries Group, Inc., a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway, Inc., is the world’s largest carpet manufacturer and a leading floor covering provider with more than $5 billion in annual sales and approximately 31,000 associates. Headquartered in Dalton, Ga., the company manufactures and distributes carpeting, rugs, hardwood, laminate and ceramic tile for residential and commercial applications worldwide. A recognized leader in environmental stewardship, Shaw has implemented hundreds of sustainability initiatives and cradle to cradle design solutions, collectively termed the Shaw Green Edge. For more information, visit

Terra Verde: The New Green Flooring

Today many of us are turning to “green alternatives” to help save the environment as we become more aware of our planet’s plight. The interior design industry has answered the call for products that are earth friendly with many product manufacturers doing their part in saving our environment.

If you are a homeowner and thinking of renovating your home, using “green” flooring alternatives would be a good start in contributing to save the environment. Hardwood flooring is a common way to go green. Hardwood flooring is not only elegant and beautiful, but especially durable, standing the test of time.

More and more manufacturers are producing eco friendly hardwood floorings to attract their environment conscious customers and one of them is Terra Verde. Terra Verde is an online pioneer in green and eco-friendly flooring goods. Their name translates to “Green Earth” and with good reason. Their collection has a wide range of planet healthy options from domestically engineered hardwood, exotic hardwood flooring, solid exotic flooring and many more. Hardwood floors are commonly made from red oak, white oak, and cherry oak which give hardwood floors its elegant look.

Terra Verde carries all of the classic wood choices as well as newer sustainable materials such as cork, bamboo and lyptus. These three choices are quickly replenished providing an unending supply of materials from which beautiful floors can be made.

We only have one planet to live in and building green helps us do our share in saving planet earth. So if you are a homeowner who is thinking of renovating, doing your part and using environment-friendly flooring like Terra Verde is a great start.

Celebrity Floors

IS4086RF-00037423-001Celebrities looking for homes and flooring material generally fall into two categories. There are celebrities who focus on a high-style and expensive approach to their homes, and then the new breed of environmentally conscious celebrities such as Brad Pitt.

Style-focused celebrities look for hard-to-source flooring materials that and may need to be shipped from other countries. Equatorial hardwood floors such as Ebony or Brazilian Mahogany are well known high end floors. Natural stone floors such as Italian marble,  granite or limestone may be chosen for rooms prone to moisture. Handmade one-of-a-kind designer tiles are also options celebrities look for when choosing flooring suitable to their star status. Deep pile expensive handmade natural fiber carpeting is another flooring material used by celebrities.

Eco conscious celebrities look at more sustainable options for the flooring in their homes. They source material that is locally available that can be recycled and from a renewable resource. These celebrities look for rubber, cork or bamboo floors that look exotic yet are well known examples of green flooring materials. Sourcing floors locally is another way to help the environment.  The carpeting used by eco conscious celebrities is usually made from polyester that is spun from recycled PET bottles, or nylon carpeting that is continuously recyclable.

Flooring selected by celebrities varies depending on the style, taste and environmentally responsible attitudes of the individual celebrity!

Congrats to CARE's Recycler of the Year!

CARE-honors-Shaw-sikorski-at-meeting-fullThe Carpet America Recovery Effort (CARE) named its Recycler of the Year and Person of the Year at the organization’s eighth Annual Conference held April 26-28 in Santa Fe.

Shaw Industries was recognized by CARE for its continued investment in both people and processes designed to increase the diversion of post-consumer carpet from landfills.

Shaw was previously honored by CARE for its outstanding carpet recycling efforts in 2007, when it received the Recycler of the Year award following its purchase and launch of the Evergreen Nylon Recycling facility.

Shaw’s Evergreen Nylon Recycling program converts Nylon 6 fiber from post-consumer carpet back into the raw material to make new carpet fiber.

Since Shaw opened up the Evergreen plant in 2007, the company has recycled more than 220 million pounds of post-consumer Nylon 6 carpet and more than 36 million pounds of post-consumer carpet filler. In addition to its current reclamation operations, Shaw continues to research opportunities for ways to utilize waste carpet.

For example, in 2009, Shaw began construction of Re2E (Reclaim to Energy), a first-of-its kind, carpet-fueled co- generation facility in Dalton, Ga. The facility will consume 76 million pounds of post-consumer and post-industrial carpet annually and will generate electricity and steam power for one of the company’s carpet mills.”

CARE’s Executive Director, Georgina Sikorski, was named CARE Person of the Year. Since joining CARE in 2009, Sikorski has guided the group through difficult economic conditions, managing during that time to significantly increase both revenues and membership–CARE membership currently stands at 280, up from 50 just a year earlier.

Thanks to Floor Daily for this article!

Shaw Tennessee Hardwood Plant FSC Certified

Shaw Floors said that its hardwood manufacturing facility in South Pittsburg, Tenn. has earned Forest Stewardship Council Chain of Custody certification from Scientific Certification Systems, the leading FSC certifier in the U.S.

FSC provides third-party certification confirming that materials used are harvested from well-managed forest operations.

The plant began operations in 2006 and exclusively manufactures the company’s Epic engineered hardwood flooring brand.  Veneers used in Epic are obtained from North American managed forests deemed sustainable by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and all styles are in compliance with the California Air Resources Board (CARB) requirements.

Shaw manufactures FSC-certified Epic hardwood products by special request only. Lead time and minimum quantities will be regulated, the company said.

Mannington Honored for Its VCT Recycling Program

The Society of Plastics Engineers has recognized Mannington for its VCT recycling efforts.

At the group’s annual Global Plastics Recycling Conference this month, Mannington received an Environmental Stewardship Award for 2010.

“The award was given for an industry first, a recycling effort where large quantities of VCT are being reclaimed and recycled back into flooring products,” said Dave Kitts, Mannington’s VP – Environment.

“Our 25% post-consumer recycled content VCT is unprecedented in the resilient tile sector.”

Under a theme of “Sustainability & Recycling: Raising the Bar in Today’s Economy,” the conference awards recognized Mannington for its innovative VCT n2 VCT program, which has introduced three premium commercial tile product lines with 25% post-consumer content.

The resilient flooring industry has historically been challenged with developing a technically viable take-back program, but Mannington’s innovation, significant investment, and progressive product – which also includes recycled drywall from landfills – has prevented millions of pounds of used VCT from being sent to landfill.

The Premium Tile is third-party certified for 25% post-consumer recycled content, as well as at the Gold level as environmentally preferable, to the NSF-332 standard.

Congrats, Mannington! Keep up the good work!

Wilsonart Gets 3rd Party Certification for Laminate

Through the use of materials from well-managed forests and recycled sources, Wilsonart offers High Pressure Laminate (HPL) products manufactured in the USA that provide a responsible solution for green building projects. Now the company’s key products have been certified by Scientific Certification Systems (SCS), the global leader in third-party evaluation of environmental and sustainability claims.

Wilsonart enlisted SCS for certification services based on the requirements of the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) Chain of Custody standard (certification number SCS-COC-002415). FSC is an independent, non-profit, non-governmental organization whose mission is to support environmentally appropriate, socially beneficial and economically viable management of the world’s forests. Wilsonart is the first HPL manufacturer to earn FSC chain of custody certification, ensuring that products marked with the recognizable FSC “checkmark and tree” ecologo were sourced from responsibly managed forests.

Because the majority of the company’s laminate business lies in the commercial sector, Wilsonart understands the importance of working with customers to achieve their necessary LEED qualification requirements. “This certification can contribute to our customers’ LEED Certified projects under MR Credit 7: Certified Wood and MR 4: Recycled Content,” said Rajesh Ramamurthy, Wilsonart’s Director of Sustainability.

Wilsonart can now provide FSC solutions for its customers who require it. Laminate applications include countertops and case goods (retail fixtures, cabinets, work surfaces, wainscoting, walls, doors, signage and partitions). “FSC certification allows Wilsonart(R) Laminate to compete with other FSC products such as wood/veneer and exotic wood species, along with the enhanced performance characteristics of laminate: durability, design flexibility and longevity,” said Ramamurthy. For more information on Wilsonart’s FSC solutions, contact your local Wilsonart representative.

For over eight years, Wilsonart’s research and development team has been driving increased quality standards into the recycled paper industry, incorporating it into the company’s products without compromising quality or performance.

SCS has acknowledged the company’s efforts by certifying that Wilsonart Laminate is comprised of 20% post-consumer waste paper for its wood fiber content. “This recognition assures our customers that our environmental labels are authentic and have been verified by a third party,” said Ramamurthy.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Municipal Waste Data shows that 33.9% of total waste generated in the U.S. is comprised of paper — a staggering 251 million tons per year.

This independent recognition is the latest indication of the laminate leader’s ongoing sustainability focus. Under the direction of Ramamurthy, appointed last year as Director of Sustainability, Wilsonart has worked closely with all aspects of the company’s business, from maintenance and manufacturing to marketing, to identify and monitor sustainability programs, many of which were already in place, and to develop a plan for continuous improvement in incorporating all aspects in Wilsonart’s products and processes.

In addition, 21 Wilsonart employees from multiple disciplines have earned LEED-CI Accredited Professional status, working closely with the design and architecture communities to integrate the company’s laminate products through highly evolved technical knowledge of United States Green Building Council (USGBC) specification standards.

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Mohawk EverStrand BCF/Filament Fiber Now Available with Post Consumer Content

Mohawk has developed technology which allows the use of post-consumer recycled content in its EverStrand BCF fiber styles. The company has been offering 100% post-consumer recycled in its EverStrand staple polyester fiber.

Effective immediately, all of Mohawk EverStrand BCF and Mohawk EverStrand BCF XtraSoft fibers will include post-consumer recycled content from plastic bottles. Additionally, Mohawk will provide On Demand Certification Letters to document recycled content for all EverStrand carpet styles.

David Duncan, Mohawk’s Vice-President of Marketing, said new EverStrand filament styles are being introduced that will contain the new fiber.

“We’re expanding the EverStrand BCF collection, particularly with new products in our EverStrand BCF XtraSoft fiber,” he said.

EverStrand BCF XtraSoft fiber brings a superior level of aesthetics, performance, and feel to the polyester category.  Introduced last year in Mohawk’s “Sensationally Soft” line, the fiber offers “quality, durability and softness that reaches new heights for polyester,” Duncan said.  It also offers a lifetime stain resistance warranty.

Duncan and Cross noted that Mohawk has a heritage in recycling plastic bottles into carpet, and plans to further develop its EverStrand BCF technology to include more post consumer recycled content in the future.

Mohawk has recycled more than 24 billion soft drink bottles for use in carpet fiber, and continues recycling more than 3 billion bottles each year. One out of every four bottles recycled in North America becomes Mohawk carpet. Mohawk’s EverStrand    fiber is a staple polyester that has long been produced entirely from recycled soft drink bottles.

Because the US Food & Drug Administration requires top quality PET (polyethylene terephthalate) for beverage bottles, the recycled product offers superior performance characteristics over many fibers used in making other brands of carpet yarns.  On average, 30 plastic bottles are recycled to make one square yard of Mohawk EverStrand carpet. To learn more, visit

Blog Action Day 2009: Eco Friendly Flooring Options

Blog Action Day is an annual event held every October 15 that unites the world’s bloggers in posting about the same issue on the same day with the aim of sparking discussion around an issue of global importance. Blog Action Day 2009 will be one of the largest-ever social change events on the web. This year, From the Floors Up is participating by posting about eco friendly flooring options.

There are the basic needs in life; food, water, clothing and shelter. Our homes, our shelters, are more than a mere physical structure. They are the place where we retreat for protection, comfort and spend time with friends and family. The materials used for and in our homes reflect who we are but these materials can come at a large cost to our environment.

Today, manufacturers, architects, designers and builders are stepping up to address their role in providing materials, designs and practices that pave the way for environmentally responsible homes.

What does it mean to be GREEN?

A product’s ‘eco-balance’ is based on an analysis of: its durability and whether its production;

    • Uses primary energy carriers, such as mineral oil and gas;
    • Depletes scarce raw materials;
    • Has fertilization effects;
    • Leads to acidification;
    • Damages the ozone layer;
    • Contributes to global warming;
    • Produces waste products.

Green Flooring Options

Green flooring is any flooring that is sustainable, eco-friendly, contains recycled content, is recyclable, leaves a small carbon footprint or has low VOC’s (Volatile Organic Compound). There are different degrees of green when referring to different types of flooring.


  • Better than a renewable resource because it is a harvested resource (only the bark is harvested from the tree)
  • A recycled product because cork floors are made from the waste cork that makes wine stoppers.
  • A law in the 1930’s called “The 9 Year Law” was passed to keep cork from being harvested any sooner than every 9 years. The tree has to reach 60 cm in circumference before it can be harvested. The first harvest from a cork tree can only occur at age 25.
  • The tree is not destroyed or damaged when harvesting cork.
  • To complete the environmentally sound process, water based finishes and adhesives should be used.


  • Bamboo is a rapidly renewing resource that matures in three years
  • It regenerates without need for replanting
  • It also requires minimal fertilization or pesticides
  • There are now FSC certified bamboo options available so it is important to see what you can confirm about the bamboo you are interested in before purchasing.


  • According to the Carpet and Rug Institute: The carpet industry is minimizing carpet’s impact on the environment through the new “3 Rs” which stand for reduce, reuse and recycle.  When carpet reaches the end of its long life, it is reused to make new carpet or is recycled into a variety of products, ranging from roofing shingles and railroad ties to automotive parts.
  • Factors that determine if carpet is “green”: carpet fibers, toxics content, dye, VOC emissions, and recycled content.
  • The Green Label and Green Label Plus from the Carpet and Rug Institute ensure that customers are purchasing among the lowest emitting carpet, adhesive and cushion products on the market.


There is no clear data on the impact of using stone as a building material on the environment; when the data is collected it will contain information on water and energy consumption, yields from raw materials, recyclability  and other measures that are considered in life cycle assessments, energy used in transportation, processing and selling the material.

Stone has the following features:

  • It’s a natural product
  • It has an enduring life cycle so it doesn’t have to be replaced
  • Ease of care and maintenance
  • Recyclable
  • Quarry and manufacturing use best practices
  • Can be reclaimed


  • Natural Resource
  • Renewable
  • Recyclable
  • Suitable for a “healthy home” environment
  • Forests are managed for replanting


  • Made from all natural materials
  • The natural raw materials used to create Linoleum are available in abundance: linseed oil, rosin, wood flour, cork flour, ecologically responsible pigments and jute.
  • These raw materials are harvested or extracted with relatively little energy consumption. The main energy resource for the process is the sun. The plants and trees that supply linoleum’s raw materials also contribute to the production of oxygen and the subsequent reduction of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, thus reducing the amount of greenhouse gasses present in the atmosphere.
  • Can be recycled
  • The energy obtained from incinerating linoleum is roughly equivalent to or even more than that which is used in production.
  • Linoleum can be safely added to landfill refuse sites, where natural decomposition takes place. Linoleum is fully biodegradable and does not release harmful substances or gases such as chlorine and dioxins.
  • Adhesives are 100% solvent free and meet all low VOC requirements
  • Does not require maintenance from harmful chemicals
  • Linoleum contains virtually no trace of toxic material and is naturally beneficial to air quality.

Ceramic Tile

  • Rarely release emissions
  • Some contain recycled content
  • Long lasting and not replaced frequently
  • Requires little maintenance
  • Value is unclear due to it’s weight causing more fuel during transportation

Carpet Cushion

The Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI) has established the Green Label program to test for VOCs in cushion used under carpet.  This program helps you choose low-emission cushion. You can identify these products by looking for the program’s green and white seal. These products are continuously monitored to ensure that they maintain compliance.

Cushion products are characterized as prime polyurethane, bonded polyurethane, mechanically frothed polyurethane, rubber-hair, rubber–jute, synthetic fiber, resinated or coated synthetic fiber, rubber and rubberized polyurethane.

Cushions are tested for total volatile organic compounds (TVOCs), butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT), formaldehyde and 4-phenylcyclohexine (4-PCH).
Carpet cushion can be:

  • Made from100% recycled bonded cushion from polyurethane foam or 100% recycled content in Rebond Carpet Cushion, a bonded polyurethane product
  • Made with 97% recycled rubber for carpet underlayment
  • Made with no CFC’s, latex or chemical additives
  • Made with 100% recycled tire rubber carpet pad.  Withstands temperatures from 40 to 120 degrees.  Free of toxic materials such as PCB, mercury, and formaldehyde
  • Made from ground tire scrap rubber granules bonded with latex and 92% recycled tire rubber


  • Use adhesives with low VOC’s
  • Choose water based finishes over solvent based
  • Acceptable adhesives are listed here:


Adhesives are just as important to consider when purchasing flooring as the flooring itself. Adhesives with harmful toxins can damage indoor air quality by giving off harmful gasses.

Tips for Adhesives:

  • Choose low VOC’s (Volatile Organic Compounds)
  • Do not contain formaldehyde
  • Qualify for the Carpet and Rug Institutes Indoor Air Quality green label
  • Once installed, floors still give off gas compounds
  • Less durable floors have to be replaced more often
  • High maintenance floors use more harsh chemicals
  • Consider floors that don’t have to be refinished

YOU as a consumer have a role too. Whether you are remolding or building new, choosing green materials for your home will benefit your health, comfort, environment and finances.

Take Action!

To see other blogs that are participating, click here. To see the posts from industry leader CB Whittemore from Flooring the Consumer and The Simple Marketing Blog, click here and here. To see how you can take action, please click here.To visit the official blog of Blog Action Day, click here. To learn about the recycling efforts of Pierce Flooring and Design in Montana, click here.

Have you made the decision to choose green flooring for your home? If so, were you willing to pay more for it to be green? Was certification a factor in your decision? Did you local floor covering retailer have plenty of options for you to choose from? What product or products did you choose?

Cork Flooring- Reader Question

Question: I have been hearing a lot about cork flooring, but am hesitant to put it in my home without knowing more about it. Can you tell me some of the features and benefits of a cork floor? I am considering putting it in my home office and in my childrens playroom. I want a floor that will be good for both areas and that is durable enough to stand up to my kids.

Donna from Franklin, TN

Answer: Thanks for your question! Cork is a wonderful flooring product that I think gets overlooked because everyone thinks of a bulletin board when they think of cork! Did you know that cork floors are actually made from the waste of wine cork stoppers?

Some features and attributes of cork are:

  • It’s GREEN! -It is a harvested resource and a recycled product
  • Extremely durable – it is often used in many commercial applications because of its durability
  • Excellent sound absorption – it is often used in churches for this reason (great for the office and the playroom!)
  • Great insulator – it can actually help reduce heat loss in a room
  • Natural fire inhibitor – because of a substance called suberin, upon combustion cork does not release any toxic gasses
  • Hypo-allergenic- cork floors do not absorb dust and are very useful for people with asthma and respiratory diseases
  • Resilient – cork can return to its original shape even when exposed to heavy weight and pressure
  • Repairable – cork floors can be repaired if damaged. (always consult a professional)

When shopping for cork, there are many different styles and even colors. You will find planks, tiles and mosaics. You also have the choice of different installation types such as glued, glueless and floating.

Maintenance is simple for cork floors, just keep the floors free from dirt by sweeping and vacuuming and use a neutral PH cleaner or one that is recommended by the manufacturer. Walk off mats at every entrance help make the floors easier to keep clean.

If you use cork in your home office be sure to use chair mats under the office chair and protectors for chair feet. In the playroom, be sure to wipe up spills as soon as possible.

If you have more questions, please don’t hesitate to ask. If you would like to view samples from a retailer in your area, the folks at Carpet Den Interiors in Franklin are a great resource.