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More and more of us are trying to go green in our homes and make use of all kinds of products that are a little more eco-friendly than the ones we might have used in the past. This tends to include everything from cleaning products and soft furnishings to bigger ticket items like flooring. ‘Green’ features are also increasingly popular with homebuyers who like the idea of a more environmentally friendly home but don’t necessarily want to have to put a lot of work in to get one.
Many of the common types of flooring used in homes are not terrible for the environment but they are not that great either. Carpeting for instance is often made from synthetic fibers that are not very green at all and certain types of hardwood (but not all) are not very eco-friendly either.
There are some flooring types that are considerably greener than others. Not only that though, they are also very attractive and can give your home a whole new look that you (and everyone who visits) will love. Here is a little information about some of the best green flooring options available right now if you are considering upgrading and updating your home’s flooring and they may all even add considerable perceived value to the home when and if it comes time to sell.
Bamboo flooring is a very popular green flooring choice and has been for a number of years now. Bamboo has the look of hardwood, but because it is actually a grass and not a wood, it is a much more sustainable choice. In fact bamboo can grow at a rate of up to 24 inches a day so replenishing the supply after a bamboo field has been harvested is a very quick process whereas trees can take 50-120 years to mature to the point that they can be cut for lumber.
Bamboo flooring is also very durable, comes in a number of different color shades and has natural anti bacterial properties that make it a great choice for kitchen and bathroom flooring especially. Woven bamboo, which generally has a multicolored appearance is a very striking choice for a living room or a bedroom.
You can even consider using bamboo in the bathroom as it stands up far better than traditional wood to moisture and humidity and can create a look that is very modern and very striking.
The material used to create cork flooring does come from a tree, but harvesting it does not kill or destroy the tree itself. Cork is made from the bark of a cork tree and this can be shaved away without harming the tree itself.
As a flooring material, cork is durable but it also retains some natural ‘give’ which makes it easier and more comfortable to walk and stand on. It can be found in a number of different shades and if you have a tendency to suffer from leg or back pain installing cork flooring in the kitchen can be a real help as it will let you stand up for a while and cook without causing the kind of pain that more traditional, very solid flooring options might.
Cork flooring also has some very impressive sound absorption properties. Although its use in homes is only just becoming more common it has been used in hospitals and libraries for decades for just this very reason!
Reclaimed Hardwood Flooring
Reclaimed hardwood flooring gives a second life to wooden materials that would otherwise be wasted. Reclaimed wood used for flooring purposes comes from old furniture and old buildings and is considered ‘green’ because it is a great form of sensible recycling.
Apart from the fact that it is a green choice, reclaimed hardwood flooring also offers the advantage that the wood is usually already quite well aged, so if you are looking for a rather rustic, lived in look reclaimed hardwood can be an excellent choice.
Reclaimed hardwood is not inexpensive though, as the process used to make it is not an easy one. If you want to consider reclaimed hardwood as a flooring option take the time to shop several different suppliers to make sure that you are getting the best possible price.