Green flooring reduces damage to the environment and avoids the toxins that other flooring might expose you to. Building green is increasing in popularity and DIY'ers are among the pioneers in this area.
Here are 6 earth friendly flooring materials. The article Green Floors: Six materials to have underfoot
outlines these flooring materials and offers important facts to consider when choosing a flooring product.
Wood that is not forested properly can harm the environment. Products certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) are the eco-friendly ones. There are a wide variety of local and exotic woods that pass this certification.
The bamboo grass is a renewable resource, and it uses little fertilizer or pesticides. Some believe that bamboo is too soft of a material for flooring, but it has been a popular choice for many years. There is no certification for bamboo the way there is for wood. Therefore, you'll need to research your supplier. Many use formaldehyde to bind the bamboo, so check carefully for low chemical levels.
Cork is made from the bark of the cork tree which is renewable. This is a popular natural choice, particularly if you have allergies. Look for all-natural cork without a PVC backing.
Concrete is increasingly common because it is cheap and offers a lot of flexibility. Concrete stamped kitchen floors are begining to replace stone.
- Carpeting & Rugs
If you want green carpeting, look for natural materials like wool, jute, sisal, sea grass, coir (coconut husks), and recycled (PET) carpeting. Avoid VOCs, carpets which have been treated with chemical stain repellants because they can put out harmful chemicals. Green choices often have natural stain resistors. Remember to pay attention to the backing and padding when evaluating a "green" carpet.
Linoleum is made of natural materials and is biodegradable. There are lots of new styles and linoleum is slowly making its way back into homes.