Transforming your home with eco-friendly flooring options doesn’t have to sacrifice style. From linoleum to bamboo and reclaimed wood, there are many choices that will reduce your environmental footprint while maintaining the look you desire.
Many of these choices also release fewer volatile organic compounds into the air, which is ideal for those with allergies or breathing issues. Keep reading to learn more about the top eco-friendly flooring options for your home.
Recycled Metal Tiles
Whether you’re remodeling all of the floors in your home or just one room, eco-friendly options are available. The best approach is to decide on the material and style you love first and then find a planet-friendly version of that option.
Recycled metal tiles are a great example of this. They are made from scrap pieces of aluminum, brass, and copper that would otherwise have ended up in landfills. They are available in a variety of colors and can be installed like traditional tile flooring.
Cork is another popular flooring option that’s both eco-friendly and comfortable to walk on. It’s harvested without harming the tree, and is also fire-resistant and anti-microbial. Bamboo and reclaimed wood are other sustainable options that can add a unique design element to any space.
Natural stone is Mother Nature’s original green building material. It does not need to be fused together with petroleum-based resins and is 100 percent recyclable. It’s also non-polluting, lasts a long time and is easily cleaned with PH-neutral dish detergent. Stone flooring is one of the best eco-friendly options for your home.
Using recycled metal tiles is another smart choice for your eco-friendly remodeling project. Made from scrap pieces of aluminum or brass, these tiles prevent these materials from going to landfills and add a modern, chic design element.
If you’re a hardwood floor lover, look for floors that are FSC certified to ensure they were harvested ethically and sustainably. Hardwood floors require fewer raw materials to make, have a lower carbon footprint and emit fewer toxic chemicals than other flooring.
Cork is a natural insulator that keeps your home cooler in summer and warmer in winter, saving energy. It’s also mold, mildew, and pest resistant, as well as termite and fire retardant.
It’s made from the bark of the cork oak tree and can be harvested without harming the tree. The process can be repeated every nine years, which helps to avoid deforestation and protect the environment.
After harvesting, the remaining cork is shredded and turned into flooring tiles or planks. Even the granules can be reused to make products like shoes, cladding panels, and fishing buoys. This makes it a truly sustainable material. Nothing is wasted in the production process. Cork is a 100% reusable, recyclable and renewable resource. It’s also a biodegradable material that requires less maintenance than hardwood floors.
When it comes to eco-friendly flooring options, there are a lot of factors to consider: how renewable/sustainable the material is, what kind of environmental impact its manufacturing has, how far it has to travel to get to your home, and whether it offgases (releases gases that contribute to indoor air pollution) once installed. But, one of the most important is how durable/long-lasting it will be.
When it comes to hardwood, you can get a more sustainable option by choosing reclaimed wood instead of new product. Reclaimed hardwood is made from recycled or reused wood, which prevents deforestation and allows you to get a beautiful hardwood floor. Plus, it’s a great way to give old floors a new life! You can also go with engineered wood, which uses a solid hardwood veneer attached to a plywood core. This saves on sawdust and uses less slow-growing hardwood trees!
Linoleum might conjure up images of school hallways, but this floor is making a comeback and offers many eco-friendly benefits. It’s free of phthalates, PVCs and plasticizers, plus it’s water-resistant and fire retardant.
If you decide on a hardwood floor, choose wood harvested from forests certified by the Forest Stewardship Council. This ensures that trees are replanted and that deforestation isn’t occurring.
Recycled rubber flooring is another option that’s both earth-friendly and stylish. It’s made from recycled materials and reduces the amount of waste that ends up in landfills. It’s also durable and easy to clean. Just be sure to purchase products that are low in VOCs, as these can cause health issues. Some floors are also self-healing, which cuts down on maintenance costs.