Choosing the right flooring for your home is all but easy, especially as style isn’t the only factor to take into consideration! Livability, comfort, sustainability, cost, and design all come into play, making it all the more difficult to strike the right balance.
Luckily, today, there is more than one option to choose from to create a greener, healthier, and timeless home.
Let’s start with the stylish flooring alternative made from recycled and sustainable materials below.
Although carpet is often considered to be the gold standard when choosing a comfortable flooring option for homes in colder climates, not all carpeting options are created equal.
Standard carpets are often made of synthetic fibers produced from petroleum, which not only are highly unsustainable and nonrenewable, but also affect indoor air quality by trapping mold, dust, and other harmful particles.
Luckily, new carpeting alternatives made of natural fibers such as jute, linen, wool, hemp, and seagrass are just as resilient and comfortable as their synthetic counterpart, without compromising your home environment’s health.
Nothing adds elegance and texture to your interior like wooden flooring, but hardwoods that have been unsustainably harvested can contribute to deforestation. So, when choosing the right type of wooden flooring for your home, consider opting for reclaimed, salvaged, or sustainably harvested materials that have been certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC).
According to the Environmental Working Group, natural linoleum or luxury vinyl plank flooring are the recommended flooring options to reduce your home’s environmental impact and preserve the livability of your indoor environment.
These flooring options are cost-effective, easy to maintain, and suitable for all rooms, including kitchens and bathrooms. However, when choosing your vinyl plank flooring, make sure to opt for planks that are made of recycled materials or natural components, such as pine resin, wood flour, limestone, and linseed oil. Additionally, look for linoleum sheets that are free of VOC and PVC, and can be installed without glue or adhesives.
With the right maintenance routine and care tips, your vinyl flooring won’t need to be replaced for decades!
Unlike hardwoods, which take years or decades to grow and develop, bamboo plants can grow over 35 inches per day and reach full maturity in 90 days. The growth rate of bamboo plants, alongside the fact that they can be harvested for wood in as little as 3 years, makes them a renewable and sustainable source of flooring materials.
What’s more, bamboo is highly resistant to cracking, resilient, and flexible, making it the perfect material for your next floor.
Cork has been used for decades in a wide range of industries, including the wine production and pharmaceutical sectors. But only recently, designers and architects have begun to consider this material as a suitable option for flooring.
Indeed, cork derives from the bark of the cork oak tree and can be collected in just 14 years without harming the tree, making it one of the most eco-friendly flooring options, according to Green America.
Cork floors also boast a wide range of enviable natural properties, including durability, affordability, acoustic insulation, comfort, and resistance to mildew, fire, termite, and mold.
Terrazzo flooring has been commonly used in interior design since the late 1980s and, today, it is still as popular as ever. Terrazzo tiles are made by repurposing chips of marble, stone, tiles, and other materials offcuts that would otherwise end up in landfills.
These recycled materials are then bonded by a cement paste and shaped to create resistant, marble-like floor tiles. One of the greatest advantages of Terrazzo flooring is that no two tiles are exactly the same!
If you are looking to complete your home’s rustic style in a sustainable way, look no further than natural stone flooring. Materials such as antique bricks, cobblestones, and reclaimed materials from old buildings are more affordable, immediately available, have a low footprint, and won’t impact the environment in the long run. Plus, they create a timeless style for your home!
Made from recycled glass waste and scrap pieces of metal (i.e.: copper, brass, or aluminum), recycled tiles are a great way to save non-biodegradable materials that were destined for landfills. What’s more, recycled tiles can last decades, prevent the resource-intensive production of new flooring materials, and are perfect for all rooms, including kitchens, bathrooms, and entryways.
If you are unsure about the best type of green flooring material for your home, the first step to take is to partner with a specialized interior designer. A specialist will guide you in your choice and assist you throughout the installation and care of your new beautiful, affordable, and recycled flooring!