Remember when the first wave of “green living” fans started making their way into headlines? The rest of us thought green living was … a little strange. Eco-friendly was anything but friendly. Who wanted natural materials that had no place in modern decor?
Well, times changed. And if eco-friendly living is one of your top demands in everything you buy for your home, you now have a lot of choices. Green living isn’t only “cool” but has a lot of advantages. What’s more, you can use green materials into almost everything you do.
Like green flooring.
Green flooring is no longer only for environmentally savvy homeowners. Now green flooring is on everyone’s wish list, it includes some of the most in-demand materials in the world, and is being used to create beautiful living arrangements. They’re durable. They’re long-wearing. They’re perfect for every room in your home.
Here are our favorites.
What do you think of when you think of cork? Maybe you picture an old bulletin board you used in school. Or perhaps as a bottle stopper for your favorite wine.
Cork has been used in a variety of ways throughout the years. Only lately as flooring.
Cork is harvested from the bark of fast-growing cork oak trees commonly found throughout the Mediterranean. This is a sustainable process. The cork tree isn’t chopped down. Instead, the bark is harvested, and will grow back every three years. That makes this a renewable resource you can be proud to put on display in your home.
Cork has antimicrobial properties that help reduce allergens inside your home. Cork is also naturally fire retardant, making it the perfect choice for homes throughout Colorado. It’s also easy to maintain, and has natural insect repellents built into it too.
Today’s cork flooring isn’t the same as cork flooring from even a few years ago. You’ll be surprised at the durability. You’ll also be impressed with the colors and patterns. Like wood, cork can be finished with paints and stains to compliment any decor or color scheme. If you maintain it properly, it can easily have 20 to 30 years of life.
Not sure about cork? Why not try a second look at another green flooring option – bamboo. Bamboo looks and feels like wood flooring, but it’s not made from wood at all. Bamboo is a fast-growing grass that shares similar characteristics to the hardwood flooring choices you’ve come to love.
Bamboo is a durable flooring that is easy to maintain. It comes in a wide variety of patterns, colors, styles, and choices. While bamboo itself is a light color, it varies in hue and grain, and takes quite well to customization.
Like cork, bamboo is a sustainable flooring choice. It’s made from natural vegetation, a fast-growing grass that typically matures in about three to five years. Compare that to popular hardwood choices that can take twenty years or more to grow to maturity.
What do you think of when you hear the term: linoleum. If you’re like many, your mind probably drifts to vinyl options that have graced our homes for the past few decades.
In truth, vinyl and linoleum have very little in common. Vinyl is made from synthetic petrochemicals that are anything but sustainable. Linoleum is created from linseed oil, cork dust, tree resin, wood flour, and ground limestone. All natural materials that produce a growing-in-popularity green flooring material.
It offers homeowners a great choice when looking for durable, easy to maintain flooring. It’s flame resistant. It’s also water resistant. If properly maintained, it will hold up to years of wear and tear.
While linoleum fell out of fashion in the 1940s when vinyl was introduced, it’s been making its comeback as homeowners continue to ask for green flooring choices. While linoleum does take a little more work to apply new sealers every so often, the work is worth it when you see the results. This is a great option for rooms where vinyl may have been your preferred choice once upon a time.
Carpet has been a popular choice for decades, especially in low traffic areas like bedrooms. It’s soft, comfortable underfoot, and comes in a wide array of colors, patterns, and styles.
It’s only recently that we’re starting to become aware of more traditional carpet materials and how they impact our health. Over the years, some carpet selections were made with volatile organic compounds (VOC) and toxins that are continually being proven to be harmful to the environment and to our health. That’s why many homeowners are returning to more natural options.
Like wool carpet.
Wool carpet is a natural resource made of wool. It’s spun into thread, woven into fibers, and tightly bound to create beautiful carpets to match any decor.
Wool carpet is one of the original flooring options, you’ll find it all throughout history. If taken care of properly, it can quite easily last for centuries. In some families, wool carpets were passed down through the generations as a family heirloom.
If you still have your heart set on good old fashion hardwood, never fear. There is a green option for you.
Deforestation is a problem. But if you’re aware of it before you shop for hardwood, you can consider your options. When you visit with one of our flooring consultants, ask to see hardwood labeled FSC certified. This designation is given by the Forest Stewardship Council for a manufacturer that promotes the use of responsible management of forests. They ensure that the manufacturer adheres to both high social and environmental standards throughout the process.
Another option is to use reclaimed wood. Reclaimed wood reuses existing hardwood resources that have been used in many ways before. They are often salvaged from other projects; it can be a great way to use and reuse materials from other places in your home.
Are you ready to find the perfect green flooring choice for your home? If going green is on your list of to-do’s this year, work with one of our flooring consultants to find the perfect look for your home.