Exploring Your Green Flooring Options

By Jill

Posted on Friday, June 27, 2014 9:21 PM


In shopping for “green” flooring, there are many factors to consider. A green flooring product may be one that uses recyclable materials. Or it can be flooring made from natural or renewable resources. Green also can describe flooring products that are free of chemicals known to impact overall air quality. If you’re thinking about going green with your next flooring purchase, here’s a brief overview of two of the most eco-friendly, naturally renewable resources available in flooring.

Flock-MoonlightCork

Made from the bark of the cork oak tree, cork is typically harvested every nine to ten years in a process that does not damage the overall health or the average 150-year lifespan of the tree. Cork’s impact on the environment is quite low due to sustainable harvesting practices and almost zero waste created during the manufacturing process. But sustainability aside, cork flooring offers many great advantages in the home. Tiny pockets of sealed air give this flooring a comfortable, soft and spongy feel underfoot. While at the same time, this sponginess makes cork extremely resilient in high-traffic areas. Cork also does a great job at absorbing noise and provides good thermal insulation – a real plus if you’re looking to lower your energy bills. And it’s water-resistant, making it an excellent choice for kitchens and bathrooms. If the word “cork” conjures up images of cork wine bottle stoppers, you may be surprised at the variety of colors, stains, tile sizes, and design possibilities found with today’s cork flooring.

bamboo-gallery-floor-str-06Bamboo

Bamboo has become extremely popular in the eco-friendly flooring market due in part to its incredible durability and rich, beautiful appearance. Bamboo looks like wood. It can be installed and maintained in the same ways as wood. And, products such as strand-woven and unfurled bamboo are often stronger and more resilient than popular maple and oak wood flooring. But while marketed as a wood product, bamboo is actually a grass that grows exponentially faster than wood. Bamboo can be harvested after just four to five years, compared to wood, which can take between 30 and 60 years before trees can be milled. Once cut, bamboo will grow back to mature height in anywhere from three to seven years. This is incredibly quick given that a cut oak tree can take more than 120 years before it is strong enough to be re-harvested. Bamboo is also naturally pest-free, so pesticides are not required in the growth process. One caveat: Like other flooring types, not all bamboo flooring is made the same, so it is important to let the store know what areas you are going to use the flooring in and what you expect from the floor. Flooring failure is often the result of installing the floor that is the wrong floor for a specific application or usage.

The Natural Choice for Your Home

To see samples of some of the many green flooring options available, stop in our Barry Carpet showroom in West Los Angeles. Or give us a call at 310-479-3761, or send an e-mail. We’d be glad to answer your questions and help you find the flooring choice that’s right for your home.

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