Flooring is a critical component of any commercial or residential application. It sets the base for all that occurs inside. Select wisely, and you’ll love the space. Make a mistake in your selection, and you’ll have buyer’s remorse and regret from the start.
For many commercial applications, selection starts with a need for durability. But in today’s world, eco-friendly commercial flooring solutions are equally important. You’re growing a sustainable business, and eco-friendly flooring is a part of that.
But what does that mean? What flooring choices are suitable for your commercial location? Glad you asked. We have some ideas for you.
What is eco-friendly flooring?
When people talk about eco-friendly flooring, they typically want sustainable materials, a low environmental impact, and a non-toxic product. Eco-friendly flooring is made from renewable resources, does not contain harmful chemicals, and is biodegradable or recyclable. Of course, this is subjective at best. This is where it pays to get to know and trust the flooring dealer/installer you work with, and dive deeper into the manufacturer you choose.
Eco-friendly flooring can benefit both the environment and the occupants of a building. By choosing eco-friendly flooring, individuals and businesses can reduce their environmental impact, create a healthier indoor environment, and contribute to a more sustainable future.
What makes flooring sustainable?
What makes flooring sustainable? It can be many things.
It starts with the materials used to produce the flooring. Sustainable flooring is made from renewable or recycled materials, such as bamboo, cork, or linoleum. These materials have a low environmental impact, as they are derived from natural or recycled sources.
It includes the manufacturing process. Sustainable flooring uses environmentally responsible manufacturing processes that minimize waste and energy consumption. Manufacturers may use renewable energy sources, like solar or wind power, to reduce their carbon footprint.
Sustainable flooring also cares about longevity. It’s durable and long-lasting, reducing the need for replacement and minimizing waste. Flooring made from high-quality materials and designed to withstand wear and tear can provide many years of use.
Sustainable flooring also cares about end-of-life. It can be disposed of in an environmentally responsible manner when the homeowner decides to replace it. Many eco-friendly flooring options are biodegradable or can be recycled.
And let’s not forget about indoor air quality. Sustainable flooring is non-toxic and does not release harmful chemicals into the air. This is important for maintaining good indoor air quality and creating a healthy living or working environment.
What are eco-friendly flooring options for commercial applications?
If you’re replacing existing commercial flooring, you might have an idea of what to install. Yet commercial flooring materials change rapidly over time, and it might be worth a little investigating to find out which flooring is the best for your unique situation.
Cork flooring is made from the bark of the cork oak tree and is a highly sustainable material. It is durable, easy to maintain, and provides a soft and comfortable surface to walk on. It is also a natural insulator, helping to reduce heating and cooling costs. Cork flooring is ideal for commercial applications as it is resistant to moisture, mold, and mildew, making it suitable for high-traffic areas such as offices, retail spaces, and restaurants.
Bamboo flooring is made from the fast-growing bamboo plant, making it a highly sustainable and renewable material. It is strong, durable, and moisture-resistant, making it ideal for high-traffic areas. It also has a unique, natural look that can add character and style to any commercial space. Bamboo flooring is well-suited for commercial applications such as hotels, conference centers, and retail spaces.
Linoleum flooring is made from natural materials such as linseed oil, cork powder, and wood flour. It is highly durable, long-lasting, and resistant to scratches and stains. It is also easy to clean and maintain, making it ideal for commercial spaces with heavy foot traffic. Linoleum flooring is suitable for commercial applications such as schools, hospitals, and retail spaces.
Terrazzo flooring is made from recycled glass, stone, or other materials mixed with a binding agent and then polished. It is a highly durable and long-lasting material resistant to stains and scratches. Terrazzo flooring is also customizable, as it can be made in a variety of colors and patterns. It is ideal for commercial spaces such as airports, hospitals, and educational facilities.
When nothing but carpet will do, wool is a natural and sustainable flooring option made from renewable materials. It is a highly durable material that is resistant to stains and can withstand heavy use. Wool carpet is also naturally flame-resistant, making it a good choice for commercial applications where fire safety is a concern. It is well-suited for commercial spaces such as offices, hotels, and retail stores.
Ceramic tile is a highly durable, long-lasting flooring option made from natural materials such as clay and sand. It is resistant to stains, scratches, and moisture, making it ideal for high-traffic commercial spaces such as restaurants and hotels. Ceramic tile is also customizable, as it can be made in a variety of colors and patterns.
Prefer something more natural? Natural stone flooring is a highly durable and long-lasting material made from raw materials such as marble, granite, or limestone. It is resistant to stains, scratches, and moisture, making it ideal for high-traffic commercial spaces such as hotels, museums, and retail stores. No two spaces will ever be the same, as stone is a highly individualized product.
What to look for in a flooring manufacturer for eco-friendly options
It’s not just about the product. Spend time evaluating the manufacturer’s practices too. You can tell a lot about a product by discovering how a manufacturer operates the business. Here are some key factors we look at in a flooring manufacturer:
Use of Sustainable Materials
Look for a flooring manufacturer that uses sustainable and renewable materials in its products, such as bamboo, cork, or reclaimed wood. Ensure the manufacturer can provide information about where their materials come from and how they are sourced.
Check if the manufacturer has environmental certifications such as LEED, FSC, or Greenguard. These certifications indicate that the manufacturer has taken steps to reduce their environmental impact and that their products meet specific sustainability criteria.
Low VOC Emissions
VOCs (volatile organic compounds) are a big deal, and reputable manufacturers work to keep them as low as possible in their flooring products. VOCs can have harmful effects on indoor air quality and contribute to air pollution. Low VOC products are better for the environment and for human health.
Consider what happens to the flooring products at the end of their life. Look for a manufacturer that offers end-of-life options such as recycling or repurposing. This will help reduce waste and ensure the materials are reused or recycled.
Has the manufacturer reduced their carbon footprint and improved manufacturing practices? Look for a manufacturer that uses renewable energy sources, has reduced water usage, and has implemented waste reduction measures.
Are you ready to finalize your flooring purchase?
If so, we can help you choose the eco-friendly commercial flooring best suited for your needs. With so many choices available, we can help you narrow down the selection and find the perfect solution.
How can we help you?