Today, most people are concerned with choosing flooring that is attractive, durable and affordable. But, the demand for eco-friendly flooring ideas is rising, and these needs are not necessarily mutually exclusive. When it comes to sustainable flooring options, there are quite a few. And some look great, are cost effective and even durable. Here are some great options that most flooring contractors can provide and install for you.
- Cork. Cork is a common and easily sourced material. You can even find it at Home Depot. It’s harvested from the bark of the cork oak tree, and the bark grows back over time. This means that the tree doesn’t need to be cut down to produce the flooring material. Cork, like wood, can be stained and finished to match pretty much any interior style. While it lacks the traditional wood grain that you see in wood flooring, in some homes it is a better style fit. It’s fire retardant and even repels pests! And, best of all, cork flooring is affordable.
- Reclaimed Wood. This material is salvaged from old buildings such as homes, barns, or factories. The wood is still structurally sound, but is weathered and full of character. While it can be difficult to find this material and it can be expensive, depending on where you live, it’s a great way to keep natural wood from getting destroyed or decomposing and give it another 30 years of use. It is also relatively simple to install, and most flooring contractors can do it for you.
- Bamboo. Bamboo trees grow 3-5 feet per year, which is extremely rapid growth for a tree. Therefore, it’s a very renewable source. Like wood, it can also be stained and treated just as easily. It’s also affordable and durable too. The best thing about bamboo is that it looks great in traditional, transitional, and contemporary homes alike.
- Concrete. Sometimes no flooring is the best option for eco-friendly flooring ideas. Concrete makes great, durable and affordable flooring. To add your personal style to the floor, you can acid stain the concrete and seal it. The minerals in the concrete oxidize, giving you a one-of-a-kind finish that can’t be duplicated. You can also grind the concrete down past the hardened “cream” and get to the aggregate, which is quite beautiful when polished.
- Linoleum. Yes, linoleum is pretty eco-friendly. If you’ve ever demoed a floor in an old house, you probably have seen linoleum in one of the layers. It was popular in during the first half of the 20th century, then went out of style. But, linoleum is made of eco-friendly materials like limestone and linseed oil. Many people think it’s made of plastic, but remember that plastics weren’t widely used in the 1920’s. Linoleum is really affordable and can be durable if you choose the right type. It’s also easy to install.
Whatever you choose, there are many options that can meet your needs for eco-friendly flooring ideas. There are many more, too. Do your research to find out which flooring works best.
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