The types and varieties of eco friendly flooring products are continually expanding.
Here at The-Eco-Market.com the goal is to summarize the most common and popular eco friendly flooring products currently available in the market today. We also want to help you as to what to look for when a flooring product claims to be environmentally friendly
Most Popular Eco Friendly Flooring Options
Bamboo is actually a fast growing grass that requires no pesticides or fertilizers to flourish.
Bamboo plants take 3 to 6 years to mature (compared to 30+ years for hardwoods) and because the plant continually regenerates, bamboo is considered a renewable and sustainable resource.
There are varying qualities of bamboo flooring on the market, but bamboo flooring can be as hard or harder than many hardwood floors.
Bamboo flooring can be re-finished and is well suited for in-floor radiant heating.
Bamboo flooring typically comes in natural (similar to Beech wood), carbonized (similar to oak) and stained finishes.
Linoleum flooring is often mistaken for vinyl flooring.
Linoleum flooring is an all natural flooring product made of renewable resources including linseed oil, rosin, cork dust, limestone, wood flour and mineral pigments that are pressed into a jute backing.
True (environmentally friendly) linoleum flooring will not contain polyvinyl chloride (PVC).
Linoleum is extremely durable and has a life expectancy of decades.
In addition to high durability, it is water resistant making it a popular choice for kitchens, bathrooms, laundry rooms and mud rooms.
One weakness with linoleum flooring is it must be protected against moisture from the subflooring. Linoleum, particularly in bathrooms, must be properly sealed to prevent moisture from getting to the subflooring (for example, put silicon caulking around the bathtub edges).
Linoleum flooring is naturally anti-microbial and is a low maintenance flooring that is easy to clean.
Linoleum flooring is available in sheets, tiles, and click-in floating panels.
Cork flooring comes from the bark of the cork oak tree (quercus suber).
The bark is peeled away from the tree every 9 to 12 years.
The harvesting of the bark (cork) does not harm the tree and a new layer of cork grows back making it a renewable resource.
Cork flooring is considered highly versatile and can be installed pretty much anywhere in the house.
In areas where the flooring may get wet, it is important to ensure proper caulking and sealing (in bathrooms for example).
It has both noise and heat insulating properties (great for cold basement floors), is highly durable and provides fabulous shock absorbing properties. Cork is also anti-allergenic.
Cork flooring typically comes in tiles, but the size and shape of tiles can vary significantly, allowing for almost any look with the finished floor.
Cork flooring is also available in a floating floor plank system (tongue and groove).
Cork flooring comes in a wide variety of colours, and manufacturers are often able to customize colours.
Reclaimed Hardwood Flooring
The concept of reclaimed hardwood flooring is very simple.
Instead of taking wood from an old growth forest to create the hardwood flooring,the wood is harvested from old barns, century homes, warehouses, factories, etc.
This reclaimed wood is sorted, de-nailed and kiln dried before it is planed and tongue-and-grooved to create new hardwood flooring.
One of the benefits of reclaimed hardwood flooring is the uniqueness of the finished floor.
As each reclaimed piece of wood has its own story to tell and its own look and feel. The finished floor avoids a cookie cutter look and offers the home owner a one of a kind floor.