With the world moving towards becoming more sustainable and being more aware of the threats of global warming, our flooring choices are no exception. While looks and practicality are usually the top of our lists, it’s actually easier than you might think to go for an eco-friendly option when it comes to buying a new floor.
So, let’s have a look at the ways you can improve your carbon footprint through your home improvement choices.
How can flooring be sustainable?
One of the main considerations when it comes to flooring being sustainable is whether it’s from a sustainable source or not and the manufacturing and shipping process involved.
Flooring which can be recycled after use instead of being dumped in a landfill is what you should be looking out for.
What are the best choices for sustainable flooring?
Wood flooring has been used in homes for centuries and it’s only recently that its popularity has increased significantly. It adds warmth, character and luxury to your home along with many practical benefits too. It is also very durable and easy to keep clean – ideal if someone in your household has allergies as it doesn’t harbour dirt and debris!
Firstly, trees are renewable, but go for ones that are plantation grown if you can rather than ones that are from a natural forest. At the end of its life, wood can be recycled rather than dumped on landfill and even put to other uses such as being made into furniture or tools
If you want to go one step further, then recycled wood is also available but be aware of which one you choose, as sometimes they are treated with toxic chemicals which can be harmful to the environment.
Although we’ve seen carpet’s popularity decrease in recent years with most homes only having it in the bedroom, it can still be a good choice for those who are aware of their carbon footprint.
You do need to pay attention to the material that the carpet is made from however. Renewable and natural materials are best with cotton and jute being eco-friendly and vegan carpet options. It’s also possible to get recycled carpets which prevent used materials from going to landfill.
Installation method is the main thing to remember with carpet rather than the actual material. The glues used can be toxic to the environment, therefore opt for tacking it down or gluing it with a water-based adhesive that has low VOCs, as this will make a big impact.
Alternatively, it might be easier to find a large rug in eco-friendly materials and lay this over a hard floor.
This is a relatively new material to the flooring world, with many stylish homes now having snazzy cork flooring. It’s a natural renewable material – the perfect start when it comes to environmental concerns.
It has anti-microbial properties making it ideal for those with allergies as well as being fire retardant. It can also be finished in a variety of ways like wood and has a gorgeous neutral appeal too, working well with many different furnishing themes.
I know what you’re thinking – how can ugly, tough concreate look good on our floors? With this being said, I wouldn’t recommend laying down bare concrete, but if it’s polished and tinted then it can look really glamorous particularly paired with industrial themed décor.
It goes without saying that concrete is also very durable and easy to keep clean. Surf the internet for some concrete floor pictures and you’ll see exactly how amazing this flooring can look in real homes!
With so many sustainable flooring options available, it makes it easy for us to make an environmentally friendly decision. It’s important that we all do our bit to protect the environment and making a good flooring choice is a great place to start.