When it’s time to choose flooring for your home there are so many options, it can be overwhelming! Carpet, stone, wood, engineered flooring, laminate flooring, tiles and more – the possibilities seem endless.
So how do you begin to pick the right flooring for your home?
One consideration that is so important to make today is whether your choice of flooring is eco-friendly. The impact we as humans are having on the planet with our over consumption and excessive waste is devastating. It’s therefore important to make as much of an eco-friendly choice as possible when it comes to picking flooring for our homes.
In this article we will cover some of the top tips for choosing eco-friendly flooring as well as taking a look at the most eco-friendly flooring options available.
Top tips for being eco-friendly with your flooring choice
- Take your time and choose something that will last. Don’t opt for the latest fads or highly eccentric flooring that you won’t like in a few years time. Instead, choose something timeless that can last a lifetime or decades to come. This will be more cost-effective of course, but it will also prevent you from throwing your flooring into landfill too soon.
- Choose sustainably sourced wood. If you opt for hard wooden floors or wood effect floors then check how the wood is sourced. There are many laminate flooring companies that commit to only using eco-friendly wood from sustainable forests and come with long guarantees. You can usually find this information on their website easily. If not, ask.
- Check for long guarantees. Choose flooring that comes with long guarantees, such as 25 years. You can be assured you’re purchasing a high quality product that will stand the test of time.
- Use natural products. Wood, plant fibres, stone. Think about using natural products rather than synthetic whenever possible.
- Don’t use flooring containing harmful products. Avoid flooring that is made with formaldehyde glues, harmful VOCs and sealants. These are bad for the environment, but also for your indoor air quality.
- Install flooring without glue. EWG recommend using nail down or click-lock flooring that doesn’t require glue to install.
- Can it be recycled? At the end of its lifespan can your flooring choice be recycled or is it naturally biodegradable?
Eco-friendly flooring ideas
There are many eco-friendly flooring options available nowadays. You are spoilt for choice and can pick something to your own taste and home’s design.
Here are some great eco-friendly flooring options for your home:
· Natural fibre carpet
There are many natural fibre carpets on the market made from plant materials such as sisal, jute and seagrass. You can also get coir carpets which are made from coconut husks! All of these materials are natural, biodegradable and rarely use chemicals to grow. Sisal carpets are a popular option as they are hardwearing and neutral in design.
· Reclaimed flooring
You don’t have to shop new when it comes to flooring for your home. In fact it’s more eco-friendly to buy preloved and breathe new life into something that might otherwise end up in landfill. Buying reclaimed also prevents the pollution caused by the manufacturing of new products. You can opt for reclaimed wood or reclaimed tiles. There are many websites that specialise in the selling of reclaimed flooring solutions to trade and the public.
Cork has been rising in popularity as an eco-friendly interior material in recent years. It’s natural antibacterial, a great sound-proofer, fire retardant and is even a natural insect repellent! Cork does not require trees to be cut down, but instead the cork is taken from the bark of a cork oak tree and it will grow back in a few years. This makes it a renewable flooring solution which is also highly unique right now.
Bamboo flooring can look just like wood flooring, but it’s far more sustainable if sourced responsibly. Bamboo grasses grow very quickly, reaching full size in just 3-5 years. They also grow organically, without the need for chemical fertilisers and pesticides. Providing it doesn’t have a synthetic finish, it is biodegradable. It looks great and is a durable flooring option.
· Polished concrete
With the rise in industrial décor being a firm favourite for interiors in recent years, polished concrete is now used to create entire kitchen work surfaces, tables and even flooring. According to The Spruce, concrete flooring is one of the most environmentally friendly building materials available today, made from readily abundant natural materials. You can even install recycled concrete floors.
· Vinyl flooring
Notoriously bad for the environment and toxic, vinyl flooring has a bad rep. But there are actually eco-friendly vinyl flooring options available if you seek them. To prevent toxic vinyl flooring ending up in landfill and eventually leaching chemicals into the environment, there are companies such as Reform Flooring who create vinyl using recycled vinyl and they ensure it is fully recyclable after use, so it never needs to end up in landfill. There is even vinyl flooring being created today with soy bean oil instead of plasticizer.
There are so many options when it comes to sustainable and eco-friendly flooring options today. These are just a few examples and as sustainability is a hot topic, I’m certain even more eco-friendly flooring solutions are being created as we speak.