EPA studies clearly say that the indoor pollutant levels are two to five times higher than the outside. If you are looking to source these pollutants, just look down. Well, installation of a new flooring or carpets can fill your indoor air with hundreds and thousands of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), including the known and alleged carcinogens like benzene and formaldehyde. Also, it can take many years for such harmful substances to disintegrate. Hence there is this increasing need to choose a Green Floor for your home.
Then again, no flooring product has zero impact on our planet, but there are few which undoubtedly are better than the others. Yes, today there are several sustainable flooring options available in the market. These materials can help largely in minimizing indoor pollution and also mitigate health problems caused by the toxins contained in unsustainable floorings and carpets. You can now choose from a rapidly growing line of Green Floorings that are made from recycled and eco-friendly materials. These are durable, stylish, and yes not that expensive as you may think.
Let’s find out, how sustainable Green Floor options provide a responsible and healthy way to enhance your home and health of your family members.
Green Floor – Importance
By now we all know and understand the fact that the world’s natural resources are not endless. Numerous estimations have made it evident that the capacity of our planet to provide all the essential natural resources that we need to expand and survive is dramatically restricted since the inception of the industrial revolution. The same thing over the year has also impacted the flooring industry, in a way that different types of floors were not being produced in a sustainable eco-friendly way, and this in some way has become dangerous for the health of its final users. So, why not choose eco-friendly or green floors instead?
With increasing number of people being well aware of eco-friendly living and its advantages, there has been a significant increase in the demand for sustainable products. This led to the recurrence of forgotten materials in the floor’s market, also on the support of the existing ones, which were not being considered as buyer’s favorites.
Additionally, despite the fact that green floors add to the aesthetics of your house, it’s also a great start when considering to increase the green quotient of your house.
Green Floor – Benefits
- Reduce Indoor Pollutants
Green floors help to reduce indoor pollutant levels. In addition to the health benefits it offers, there are several environmental concerns that they address.
- Processed Without Damaging The Environment
They add beauty to your home without the addition of harmful chemicals, also these floorings are processed without hurting the environment.
- No Need For Harmful Chemicals For Its Installation
Choosing Green Floors means, you won’t have to use any chemical ingredients for its installation and staining as they can be ordered pre-finished.
- Good For Health
Green floorings are very important for people suffering from several illnesses like allergies or asthma. Materials like wood which are natural and hypoallergic do no harm but more good.
- Can Be Reused Or Recycled
Another most important advantage of choosing eco-friendly flooring is the fact that these can be reused for different purposes. Wood flooring, for example, can be used for energy production or even making furniture.
- Cost Effective
While the cost of flooring is directly related to its materials and installation costs, Green floors can be easier on the budget. Also, when you consider the potential health benefits of these options, the overall cost of this flooring becomes a lot more attractive.
What Are Green Floors Made Of?
Green floors are made from renewable materials which come from sustainable forests and have been manufactured with ethical responsibility towards the environment. These floorings demand a lower use of energy concerning timber production, use, and disposal, plus carbon dioxide emissions are all kept at the minor levels.
Different Types Of Green Floors
A few decades ago, making your house eco-friendly was quite expensive, also the final results weren’t visually artistic and beautiful as you wanted it to be. But with advances in green technology, this is no longer an issue. Today, designers are able to offer many eco-friendly materials, and the design world also offers many stunning Green Flooring options to pick and choose from which are aesthetically astounding.
It is one of the most attractive choices among homeowners because it offers a flooring solution that provides the advantages of both luxury and durability. As a completely recyclable and renewable resource, this one is surely one outstanding choice.
Bamboo is a grass which is an extremely renewable resource, it rapidly shoots up and can grow back completely within just 5 short years. Despite being a grass, this resource can be used in flooring to offer a similar traditional wooden look which we see in most of the flooring options available today. Bamboo floorings are durable and easy to maintain and install.
Recycled tires from local neighbourhoods, gyms, and other sources are used to produce rubber floorings. Such floorings are very comfortable to walk on and are water resistant. They are an excellent choice for bathrooms and kitchens and are aesthetically very appealing.
4. Lava Stone
This might sound really interesting. Lava Stone is obtained from the volcanic slopes, and since it is hardened lava, it is continuously renewed. In addition to that, these are one of the most beautiful flooring options but are a little expensive. The best part about using lava stone is that it is both stain and scratch resistant.
Cork is obtained from the bark of the cork oak trees. When used for flooring, full trees are not harvested, but only the bark is scraped off which grows back within 3 years. Implausible, isn’t it? Above and beyond being sustainable, this flooring option looks very beautiful and has few amazing chemical properties which add to its shelf life and also reduces its maintenance costs. It also prevents insects, allergens and is a fire-retardant material.
An environmentally sustainable material that is now available in almost any colour that you could ever imagine. Linoleum flooring is made by combining quite a few eco-friendly materials like tree resins, linseed oil, cork dust, wood flour, and ground limestone. Like cork, this is also fire and water resistant and has a very long shelf life.
7. Glass Tiles
Obtained from disposed glass beverage bottles and now recycled to make beautiful flooring. One of the major advantages of using glass flooring is that it just won’t dampen or swell as its non-absorptive. Glass tile flooring is very easy to maintain and today its available in multiple colours, patterns, and design schemes. Another thing to point out is that these reflect more light, which tends to illumine rooms during the daytime.
Key Questions To Ask Before Shopping For A Green Flooring
Before you think of shopping for a green floor, there are a few questions you need to answer. Well, answering these questions will help you determine appropriate choices. Yes, this is one arduous task, but if you want to do it right, within budget and truly green, there’s no alternative.
- Is The Subfloor Level Or Not?
The subfloor is the surface underneath your new floor. Subfloors are usually either made of plywood or concrete and in few cases even of wooden planks. It may be covered by vinyl, tile, stone or solid wood. In most of the older home’s subfloors aren’t leveled. When it’s not leveled, one needs to figure out how much work needs to be done to level it so that its ready to install the new green floor.
- What Makes Up The Subfloor?
Depending upon your subfloor green floor manufactures will give you several choices on how to apply their flooring. If concrete, the floor can be glued or floated over the top. If it’s a wood subfloor, the new floor can be glued, nailed or floated over it. In some cases, you might not wish to remove the existing floor because of its expense and difficulty, in such cases, the floor can be floated right over the old floor.
- Is The Subfloor Dry Or Damp?
If water is oozing in through cracks in your walls or floors you may need to dig outside your home, avert the downspouts away from the home and/or apply a sealer to the wall or floor. Moisture barriers are almost always needed over concrete. Also, specialty sealers are also available but these demand professional installation.
- Do You Have Radiant Heat?
If yes, you will need a special type of floating floor and underlayment.
- Do You Have Kids And/Or Pets?
Kitchens, bathrooms, bedrooms and living rooms demand different types of flooring, particularly if you have young children or huge dogs. Harder floors in such cases tend to last longer.
- What’s Your Budget?
Along with the total cost of the flooring and delivery, installing green floors also include the cost of installation, floor prep, tools, sealers and contingency for waste plus an extra box for repairs in the future. All these need to be included in your budget.
Many people hear green flooring and assume a high price tag. But, today it’s a worth exploring option, for all the benefits these Green floors deliver. It’s easy and cost-competitive to choose eco-friendly floors when your old floors need upgrading. Remember, all you have to lose are some pollutants.
Curated by editor at Wienerberger India