As time goes on, there is a growing awareness of environmental problems, and how the average citizen can do their part. One such effect is more and more homeowners are considering the ‘green’ element when it comes to their remodeling projects. If you count yourself amongst this crowd, you may be interested in exploring more eco-friendly flooring options, and here are a few to consider.
Conventionally made carpeting is not only bad for the environment, it can be bad for your health. It is made with all sorts of harmful chemicals that seep into the air you breathe, and may contribute to a host of health problems, from asthma to headaches. Fortunately, you have several more environmentally friendly options available to you that are just as fashionable as traditional carpeting.
Consider carpets made from materials such as wool, sisal, jute or cotton, and dyed with natural substances . P.E.T. berber carpet is made from recycled plastic bottles—it is highly durable and stain resistant, though may a bit rougher than other natural carpets. When it comes to padding, look for natural materials; some carpets may not even require it. Instead of gluing down the carpet, you might be able to tack it. If you do use glues, look for ones that have low levels of volatile organic compounds (VOCs.)
Bamboo is one of the more popular natural flooring options; it is actually a grass, but 27 percent harder than northern red oak and 13 percent harder than maple. Bamboo is highly sustainable, reaching maturity in only three to five years. It comes in a variety of grains and colors, allowing for a very customized look that best suits the design scheme of your home. Bamboo is highly resistant to water, mildew and bugs as well.
Cork is another great choice for eco-friendly flooring. It is a softer wood, making for a very comfortable walking and sitting experience. Because of its antimicrobial properties, it is a great choice if you are prone to allergies. Its ‘greenness’ stems from the fact the tree doesn’t even need to be cut down to harvest the cork from the bark. Like bamboo, it grows back very quickly—about three years. Like hardwood flooring, the cork can be stained or painted a variety of shades.
When you think of natural and attractive flooring options, concrete may not be the first thing to pop into your mind, but it is growing in popularity. While it is typically used as sub-flooring, you can easily use it as your primary flooring. All you need to do is get it polished and tinted to a hue of your liking. There is a lot you can do with it, from inlaying other materials to painting it different colors for a tiled effect.
Glass tiles, made from recycled materials such as wine and beer bottles, are one of the newer natural flooring options, and are fast becoming one of the most popular. You have your choice of a seemingly limitless array of finishes, patterns and colors, and will certainly be able to find something that fits your décor. They are easy to clean, and are resistant to mold, mildew and stains. Because they reflect light, rather than absorb it, glass tiles may be a particularly good choice for a room that could use a little brightening.
These are just a few natural flooring options available to you. While eco-friendly may conjure images of bland, boring materials, they have come a long way. You can totally create a look that is both beautiful and environmentally friendly.
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