Green Your Floors: The Future of Flooring, Today
Renovating? Remodeling? Redecorating? Rather than roll out the green carpet, consider the latest in green flooring options, such as this natural linoleum from Forbo.
The floors of yesterday -- laminate, industrial carpet, hefty hardwoods -- leave a heavy footprint on the environment, not to mention your health. Newly installed conventional hardwood floors, for example, require harvesting from forests. Common carpets are often derived from petroleum, then glued together with urea formaldehyde, a harsh chemical and suspected carcinogen.
But the future in floors can be green. Whether it's with bamboo, natural linoleum, reclaimed wood, or recycled carpeting, there are many ways to keep your feet, and the planet, happy.
Beautiful Bamboo Flooring
Bamboo is not a tree. In fact, it is a giant grass that grows at a rapidly renewable rate. Teragren's Signature Naturals Bamboo Flooring, shown here in Flat Grain Caramelized, is sustainably harvested at maturity (5.5 to 6 years) and then manufactured according to stringent U.S. and European environmental standards.
Teragren's floors boast a beautiful glare and streamlined sophistication, making them the perfect alternative to newly harvested hardwood floors. Available at teragren.com.
Linoleum's Green Comeback
Who knew this '50s staple was also eco? (Check out those great colors from Forbo!)
A combination of linseed oil, rosins, wood and cork flour, linoleum is constructed from all-natural ingredients that require relatively little energy to harvest. Best of all, linoleum is void of toxins and largely biodegradable, which means you don't have to feel guilty if you want to make a change. For a wide range of linoleum options, check out themarmoleumstore.com.
Linoleum with NATURCote
Armstrong's Linoleum with NATURCote
To kick linoleum to the highest eco level, consider Armstrong's Linoleum with NATURCote. The flooring is made of all-natural materials including linseed oil, powdered wood, cork, ground limestone, resins, drying agents and pigments -- all of which are affixed to a backing of jute fiber.
Armstrong's Linoleum with NATURCote also boasts organic ingredients that naturally protect your flooring from both chemicals and everyday wear and tear, reducing the long-term environmental impact of maintenance, cleaning and renovation. Visit armstrong.com for more information.
Eco FLOR Carpet
Martha Stewart FLOR Carpet
Martha Stewart knows a thing or two about sustainability. Not only does the domestic diva advocate CFLs and shopping BYOB (bring your own bag), but now Martha is teaming up with environmentally responsible flooring company FLOR to release a special collection of green carpet tiles.
The carpet is made of 15.9 percent recycled and bio-based content. Better, it's modular, so you won't waste time, money and materials on installation. Now that's a GOOD thing. For more of Martha Stewart's beautiful FLOR designs visit flor.com.
Reclaimed Wood Flooring
Reclaimed Wood Flooring
'Reclaimed' refers to building materials that are taken from demolished or expired buildings, then put into service in new projects. Using reclaimed materials in your renovation is both an environmental and aesthetic plus. Often old-growth and antiqued, reclaimed wood is rich with accents of unique imperfections.
Carlisle Wide Plank Floors offers stunning options made from reclaimed wood. The company's signature FSC-certified, 100% post-consumer Reclaimed Antique Heart Pine with Carlisle Tung Oil Finish is especially popular and available at wideplankflooring.com.
Discover Cork Flooring
Cork is nontoxic, nonallergenic and does not attract pests such as termites. Best of all, cork is completely sustainable and easily recyclable because it comes directly form the outer bark of the cork oak tree. Therefore, it negates the need to cut down trees, allowing them to continue releasing oxygen.
Cork's versatility and buoyancy make it an excellent flooring choice. Pictured here, a cork floor installation by ecofriendlyflooring.com.
Sustainable and Forest Certified Wood Flooring
Sustainable Wood Flooring
Thriving forests are essential to preserving our environment. Sustainable flooring ensures wood is harvested from forests that are rapidly renewable, rather than depleting.
Carlisle Wide Plank Floors' sustainable Quartersawn White Oak with Whitewashed Fence stain and Carlisle Tung Oil Finish is shown here and available at wideplankflooring.com
Here's a statistic: Americans throw away 40 million disposable plastic bottles a day. Here's another statistic: One in every four recycled bottles becomes luxurious and soft carpet.
Mohawk's everSTRAND carpet fiber is made from PET (polyethylene terephthalate). Extruded directly from recycled plastic bottles, the PET is cleaned, repurposed and woven into a wide range of colored carpets. To learn more about Mohawk's everSTRAND line visit mohawkflooring.com.
Mountain Lumber Reclaimed Oak
Reclaimed Wood from Mountain Lumber
For more than three decades, the Virginia-based Mountain Lumber Company has been scouring the globe for gorgeous wood left abandoned in factories, mills, barns, churches, breweries and more. Expert craftsmen then work the salvaged beams into one-of-a-kind floor boards that shine with beauty and durability.
The company's reclaimed Granary Oak flooring (pictured) is an eye-catching mix of red and white oak, with textured and planed surfaces, unusual grain patterns, saw-tooth etchings and other distinguishing character marks. It makes for a gorgeous rustic chic.