Did you know there are several eco-friendly materials that can be used as flooring other than wood? In fact, wood is not even an eco-friendly, sustainable material, no matter how beautiful a custom hardwood floor is. But, having pretty floors is not worth the deforestation problems that the world is facing. The biggest issue is that trees are being cut down for materials faster than they can grow. The biggest help is to use materials that are sustainable such as bamboo and renewable fibers. Here are a few eco-friendly floors that are slowly making their way onto the market.
- Bamboo: Is ideal if you love the look of a hardwood floor. It closely mimics hardwood floors. One of the biggest benefits is the fact that bamboo is harder than maple and oak, making it extremely durable and resilient. It also comes from mature bamboo plants that are six to seven years old. Plus, it can be stained or painted similarly to hardwood floors.
- Cork: Another great option is cork. Fun fact, it’s actually from the bark of cork oak evergreen trees in the Mediterranean. The trunk of the evergreen tree is not affected, and the bark will rejuvenate itself with regrowth every 10-12 years. This means you can get numerous bark shavings over the 150 years of the tree’s life, instead of getting limited material out of one trunk. It can come in traditional planks or tiles for customization. Cork also provides insulation and cushioning to the floor, and helps reduce noise.
- Natural Linoleum: The linoleum that you find in homes, in current times, is PVC-based products. Natural linoleum is made from limestone, cork dust, linseed oil, other wood fibers, and resin. These materials are biodegradable. It’s durable, comes in a variety of colors and patterns, as well as being a great flooring to prevent allergens from building up.
- Renewable Fibers: Looking for a sustainable carpet? Look closer at renewable fibers! Carpets that are made from recycled materials along with seagrass, wool, and other natural fibers give you soft, cushiony flooring while helping out the environment.