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Safe & Beautiful Green Flooring

Safe & Beautiful Green Flooring As with any other aspect of green building, the decision about what type of green flooring to use is an important factor because your floor's function doesn't end when your house is finished. Your floor is something that you're going to see and touch daily, clean regularly and every room in your home has one.

Over the last several years, the selection for safe and beautiful green flooring has increased. Here are some great options for green flooring, not just in terms of its ecological value, but comfort, function and aesthetics:

Natural linoleum is back in the limelight, thanks to its environmentally friendly properties. It is made from renewable, biodegradable resources like linseed oil, wood flour, limestone, clay, cork, pine resin and backed with jute.

Colors range from soft and muted to bright and vibrant and are made from organic dyes, which permeate the material for long-lasting appeal. Exposure to air actually hardens linoleum over time, adding to its durability.

Another rapidly renewable resource and ecologically wise flooring option is cork, which comes from the bark of a tree and can be harvested every nine years. It's soft underfoot, offers good sound insulation, and is naturally water-resistant, which makes it a good choice for kitchens and baths. Cork will dent, so pads need to be placed under heavy objects such as appliances. Available in tiles or planks, the surface must be waxed or coated in polyurethane. Be sure you use low-VOC finishes to assure a truly green floor.

Bamboo flooring is a popular trend because it is stylish, rapidly renewable (it's actually a grass not a wood) and looks great naturally or stained, flat or grained.

Hardwood flooring has long been a popular choice among homeowners because it's beautiful, easy to maintain and doesn't absorb harmful chemicals, dirt or dust mites that can affect indoor air quality. If properly installed, high-quality hardwood floors can last for decades and add value to your home.

Thanks to a long list of sustainable wood products, you don't have to sacrifice style, quality or taste to have an eco-friendly hardwood floor. You can choose from certified, reclaimed, reused, recycled and salvaged wood, which are generally available in cherry, maple, birch, ash, Douglas fir, oak and more. Look for wood that's certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), a nonprofit group that promotes environmentally responsible forestry practices.

Concrete may not be the first thing that comes to mind when choosing a flooring product for your new home, but it's gaining popularity because of its green properties. Concrete is an excellent choice because it uses passive solar heating by absorbing warmth and thus reducing the need for a heating system. Its main ingredient is limestone, which is found in abundance. As for its appeal, it's easy to clean, moisture-resistant, highly durable and can be mixed and matched for a variety of colors and textures.

There are other eco-friendly flooring options available, like recycled glass, natural fiber and recycled rubber to help you build a green home that's healthy for you, your family and the environment.

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12/8/2019 •