Your home’s flooring is one of the most important decisions you will make, and it’s one that you won’t change often. Many homeowners search for eco flooring ideas in a bid to be more sustainable and conscious of the environment.
Adding environmentally-friendly options to your home structure can increase its value over time. These eco-friendly additions also create a healthier environment for people in your home.
The best way to start making your home more sustainable is with flooring, and we will explore six eco-friendly flooring options in this post.
Thankfully, sustainable indoor and outdoor flooring ideas are increasing and come in various colours and patterns. So, you will have some exciting options to choose from.
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Factors to consider when choosing eco-friendly flooring
Since there are many sustainable flooring options on the market, you must consider certain factors before deciding.
- Materials used during manufacturing: you want only natural and recyclable materials rid of toxic adhesives and finishes
- Cost: several sustainable flooring materials are more expensive than the rest. Consider your budget and pick what works for you.
- Challenges: many eco-friendly flooring options come with some unique challenges. Do your research and learn more about the option you choose.
- Your lifestyle: choose the flooring that works best with your lifestyle. Do you want to spend a lot of time cleaning? Do you want energy-efficient flooring? Is there a lot of foot traffic in your home? Do you have toddlers or pets? Do you have allergies?
Once you consider these factors, you will have narrowed down your list to options that would work perfectly for you and your home.
Six Eco-friendly flooring options
Bamboo is one of the go-to choices for people looking for eco-friendly flooring options for their homes. This is mainly due to the accessibility and fast-growing (3 to 5 years) nature of the plant.
Even though bamboo is grass, it is harder than many oak flooring options. It also offers many of the benefits associated with hardwood flooring, ranging from durability, traditional appearance, texture, etc., and many others. It is also one of the many cheap outdoor flooring options.
Bamboo is lightweight and easy to install, and you can find it in different colours to match the rest of your home decor. The only drawback with bamboo is that the plant is mostly sourced from sub-tropical regions. Depending on where you live, transportation and distribution can lead to high pollution levels.
2. Second-hand carpet
If you want a recycled flooring option, then a second-hand carpet is your best option. This option works best if you are more open to softer and more dynamic flooring options as opposed to wood.
In the past, many carpets were made with harmful organic compounds that negatively impacted our health and the environment. Today, there are several non-toxic flooring carpet options like wool, cotton, and sisal you can choose from.
In a bid to reduce carpet waste, many companies now actively work on recycling these carpets and making them available as eco-friendly flooring options. This act alone diverts over 1000tonnes of waste carpet from our landfills.
One fun fact about this flooring option is that many families pass down their carpets and rugs from generation to generation like heirlooms, making it even more sustainable.
3. Reclaimed Hardwood
If you want traditional hardwood flooring, even though it is not always considered sustainable due to deforestation, you can opt for reclaimed hardwood.
Reclaimed hardwood is an ideal eco-friendly option because it comes from trees chopped down several years ago.
Reclaimed hardwood looks amazing in homes with an older structure or decor. It is quite textured and brings traditional decor together nicely.
This wood is completely renewable and biodegradable.
It can be used for fuel and recycled for other purposes at the end of its life.
If you don’t want to use reclaimed hardwood, you can go the extra mile to ensure the hardwood you purchase is gotten from forests certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) as well-managed.
4. Glass Tiles
Glass is one of the many non-biodegradable waste products constantly piling up in our landfills. One of the smart ways Glass is recycled is to turn it into beautiful floor and wall tiles. Glass has similar sustainable benefits to other flooring materials.
It does not mould when exposed to moisture, which is why it also works on bathroom walls. Glass tiles are also very easy to maintain and do not stain.
Glass tiles come in different colours and patterns. It also has varying finishes and can be customized to match your overall decor.
If you love to have a lot of natural light in your home, then glass tiles are perfect for you. They do not absorb light like ceramic tiles. Instead, they reflect all the light that comes in, adding more brightness to your home.
Many people tend to confuse linoleum with Vinyl, even though both materials have nothing in common. Linoleum is made from natural materials like tree resins, linseed oil, ground limestone, wood flour, pigment, and cork dust. A great option when you’re looking for eco-friendly flooring ideas.
On the other hand, Vinyl is 100% synthetic, made from toxic chlorinated petrochemicals.
Linoleum has been in the market for decades. It became less demanded when Vinyl came on the scene in the 1940s. However, with a focus on sustainability, linoleum has become one of the most demanded eco-friendly sustainable flooring materials.
It is water-resistant and will not mould, is fire retardant, and is fully biodegradable. Also, if you’re not a fan of cleaning chemicals, linoleum is perfect for you because it can be swept and will not stain, thanks to the added sealant.
Its re-emergence in architecture came with a lot of vibrant colours. Linoleum has a long shelf life and will withstand much wear and tear.
Cork is a naturally renewable material obtained from the oak tree’s bark (cork). This material grows back after it is harvested, so it is fully sustainable, as the tree is not felled to harvest the material.
It repels mould, bugs, mites, and other allergens. This makes it great for preserving and improving your home’s air quality.
Cork also provides complete insulation against heat and cold. It adds a beautiful vintage appeal to your home due to its textured nature.
What’s more? Many cork floorings are made from recycled wine bottle corks. This creates an unending loop of recycled material that is great for the environment.
Like these eco-friendly flooring ideas?
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