Replacing Old Floors the Eco-Conscious Way

How to choose materials that are safe for your health and the planet

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Flooring is essential in any home; it can help to set the mood for any room and can create a comfortable, as well as safe environment to move around on. The best floors to choose are those which are durable and environmentally friendly. Ideally, you want a floor that is easy to maintain as well. The following flooring options will create a stunning effect in your home whilst be good for the environment and for your health:

Solid Wood Flooring

As the description says, this is pure wood which can either arrive as sanded or not. It is essential to choose wood which is certified as being from a sustainable source. The floor can be sanded by yourself and stained if you prefer; just be sure to use an environmentally friendly product – recycled wood, for example, might be an excellent choice.

Engineered Wood

This floor consists of multiple layers of plywood bonded together to create the core of your floor. It will then have a hardwood top layer to give it the appearance of a hardwood floor at a fraction of the cost. As well as using sustainable hardwood for the top layer these floors are exceptionally environmentally friendly as they use old scraps of plywood and save them from being discarded.

Reclaimed Wood

Any wood which has been previously used can be reclaimed and used again. This type of wood can create some fantastic, character floors.

In particular wood from an old barn is usually much wider than standard flooring and will create a warm, rustic effect. Alternatively, it is possible to find companies which have reclaimed wood which has been sunk for many years. The water reduces the rate at which wood rots and forces the sap from the tree; resulting in stronger and more colorful wood!

Bamboo

This is actually a grass and not a wood! It is extremely fast growing and needs no artificial help to grow. Harvested plants will be ready to harvest again within five years. Bamboo is very strong, natural, water resistant and stain resistant as well as being possible to lay in a variety of colors. It can be an excellent addition in a living area that aims to look fresh and exude a vivid, bright appeal.

Cork

Cork is made from the bark of the Cork Oak Tree, and just like bamboo, it is completely sustainable; the tree does not need to be chopped down to harvest the bark and it replenishes itself within three to five years. Flooring can even include recycled wine corks or old cork boards. Cork provides a warm floor which can be created in a variety of colors and styles.  It is also a natural insect repellent, fire retardant, and stain resistant!

Linoleum

Linoleum is a natural product is often confused with Vinyl; however, linoleum is a completely natural product and can be created in a huge range of different styles and colors. It is extremely durable and generally stains and water resistant making it an excellent choice for kitchens and bathrooms.

Polished Concrete

This substance has been used for years in the production of homes but it is usually covered.

  However, it can actually be polished and stained or even created to look like tiles. It is incredibly durable and needs almost no maintenance, as well as having no detrimental effects on your health.

Slate

This natural stone is found where there used to be oceans; it was the sea bed! It is extremely durable and is available in a choice of colors and styles. Slate is often used in warmer countries due to the lack of maintenance and the coolness of the floor. 

Carpet

These are generally bad for the environment and for your health! However, if you choose a natural product, such as wool and have a natural fiber backing you can have an environmentally friendly and health friendly carpet which is warm underfoot. Wool, seagrass, coir and jute are excellent choices for your living room or bedroom.

Replace your old floor and go eco this season.

Think about the health of your family, but think about the planet too. Raise awareness about the importance of installing green flooring into your home, and more and more of your friends might take your advice.