Go green from floor(ing) to ceiling

By Amanda Bedgood

November 2012

iStock_000018706444SmallOne of the largest ways in the home to go green may be right under your feet. The flooring that fills homes can be chocked full of volatile organic compounds and made from products that are anything but sustainable. But an increasing number of eco-friendly flooring options are available for a choice that isn’t just kind to the earth. It’s absolutely kind on the eyes.

“Just because it’s eco-friendly or green doesn’t mean they don’t come with heightened visual appeal or the luxury people are used to in non-sustainable goods,” says Buddy Hollier of Hollier’s Flooring.

According to Hollier, there is a diverse offering of flooring for the green set. From cork and bamboo to carpets of wool and sisal, options are available no matter the interior.

Cork is a sustainable option with a long life and particularly kind to those with allergies. Cork can be made to look like a stone or tile product and also diminishes noise in a room. The same tree can be harvested again and again because cork is harvested from the trunk, preserving the tree from being cut down in its entirety.

Cork resists mold and mildew and is naturally water proof.

Another naturally moisture-resistant product, bamboo, is one of the more attractive flooring options.

It’s a striking visual,” Hollier says of one particular bamboo flooring he carries.

Bamboo replenishes itself naturally and is resistant to insects and moisture. It requires little fertilizer or pesticide to flourish, and compared to traditional hardwoods that take decades (or longer) to mature, bamboo grows in three to five years.  

Other options to consider are recycled glass and ceramic tiles and even linoleum. Look for Marmoleum, which is made from renewable products and doesn’t emit volatile organic compounds.

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