Are you thinking of making a flooring purchase? Are you wondering if you can make that purchase and make it a green one at the same time? Green flooring is defined as 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).
Below are some things to consider when thinking green about flooring:
- Cork is a harvested resource which is better than a renewable resource because only the bark is harvested from the tree.
- Because of the way cork floors are made, they are considered a recycled product.
- Cork trees are not damaged or destroyed when the cork is being harvested.
- You can install cork floors with water based adhesives with low VOC’s (Volatile Organic Compounds)
- Bamboo is a rapidly renewing resource (maturing in three years) that regenerates without the need for replanting.
- To grow, it doesn’t need a lot of fertilization or pesticides
- 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.
- Carpet fibers, dye, VOC emissions and recycled content are all factors that determine is a carpet product is green.
- If you want to ensure that you are purchasing the lowest emitting carpet, adhesive and cushion, look for The Green Label and Green Label Plus from the Carpet and Rug Institute
- It’s a natural product
- Stone is a long lasting product so it doesn’t have to be replaced often
- It’s easy to care and maintain
- Stone can be recycled and reclaimed
- Hardwoos is a natural resource that is also renewable and recyclable
- Suitable for a “healthy home” environment
- Most forests are managed for replanting
- Made from all natural, biodegradable materials that can be recycled
- The natural raw materials used to create Linoleum are abundantly available
- These raw materials are harvested or extracted with relatively little energy consumption.
- Linoleum can be safely added to landfill refuse sites, where natural decomposition takes place.
- Can be installed with water based adhesives that are low VOC or VOC free
- Maintenance products do not include harsh chemicals
- More and more products contain recycled content
- Tile is a long lasting product so it doesn’t have to be replaced often
- Requires little maintenance and cleaners are not harmful
- Can be made from100% recycled bonded cushion from polyurethane foam or 100% recycled content in Rebond Carpet Cushion, a bonded polyurethane product
- Can be made with 97% recycled rubber for carpet underlayment
- Can be made with no CFC’s, latex or chemical additives
- Can be 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
- Can be made from ground tire scrap rubber granules bonded with latex and 92% recycled tire rubber
- Water based adhesives with low VOC’s can be used
- Acceptable adhesives are listed here: http://www.greenhomeguide.com
- Choose low VOC’s (Volatile Organic Compounds)
- Choose adhesives that do not contain formaldehyde
- Choose adhesives that qualify for the Carpet and Rug Institutes Indoor Air Quality green label