For many homeowners, sustainability is an important factor during any remodeling project—especially where floors are concerned. If you are concerned with finding flooring that is environmentally friendly, we can help you evaluate your choices! These are five factors to help determine exactly how environmentally friendly your flooring is:
- Durability: One of the most important elements to weigh when it comes to environmentally friendly flooring is durability. Products that offer longer useful lives don’t need to be replaced as frequently—creating less waste and reduced pollution from its manufacturing processes. Durable flooring options also deliver value. Because they last longer, you don’t have to pay for new flooring many times throughout the years. For example, many people also see vinyl plank as an eco-friendly type of flooring because it never needs to be replaced. One floor can last 50 years or more! In addition, wood flooring products are incredibly long-lasting. Solid wood floors can last a lifetime or more. In fact, with proper care, hardwood floors can last hundreds of years—which is why original wood floors can still be found in many older homes across the country.
- Place of Origin: Flooring products come from around the globe. Materials may be sourced on one continent and manufactured on another. So, when shopping for sustainable flooring, you need to consider where products come from. When it comes to hardwood flooring, much of the wood used in the American flooring industry is harvested in the eastern US—ash flooring, for example. This limits the pollution caused by transporting materials from source to manufacturer.
- Your Floor’s Recyclability (and Recycled Content): Choosing flooring products composed of recycled materials helps reduce waste at the end of the item’s lifecycle. For example, some low-VOC carpet can be made from recycled bottles or rubber flooring from old tires. Or, consider installing reclaimed wood flooring. Reclaimed wood flooring is salvaged from old homes, buildings, and barns, and restored before new installation. Reclaimed wood prevents overharvesting, as well as the pollution involved in producing and shipping new floors.
- Your Floor’s Raw Materials—Renewable or Otherwise: Many flooring types are composed largely or partially of renewable natural resources. Even the best engineered wood flooring is partially made of easily renewable plywood. Renewable resources are those that can be replenished. The bamboo forests used to manufacture the best bamboo flooring, the wood used by the best hardwood floor brands, even the clay used to create scratch-resistant flooring tiles—are of these are renewable materials that can be replanted or recreated. Bamboo is a highly renewable resource with an incredibly fast growth rate. Bamboo plants can reach maturity in under five years. Additionally, bamboo plants are not killed or damaged during harvest (which only takes the uppermost stalks).
- Your Floor’s VOC Levels: VOC stands for volatile organic compounds, chemicals produced by all sorts of industrial manufacturing. Look for low-VOC LVP flooring or non-toxic vinyl flooring, non-toxic laminate flooring — or carpets containing low levels of VOCs. Also, look for products that are certified by the NWFA’s Responsible Procurement Program and/or the Forest Stewardship Council. In addition, look for wood flooring with a Greenguard Gold Certification from UL (Underwriters Laboratories), which indicates the product has been tested and verified to emit limited levels of VOCs.
Which Environmentally Friendly Flooring is Right for You?
Selecting environmentally friendly flooring is a personal choice. You need to determine which factors make the biggest environmental impact for you. Hopefully, the factors described above will help you in your search!
Looking to Add New Flooring to Your Home? Contact Premier Flooring today!
As you can see there is a wide variety of flooring options that would work well for your home, if you are environmentally-conscious. If you would like more information about the flooring types we offer at Premier Flooring, please reach out to our team. We can’t wait to help you enhance your home! If you are looking for flooring in Northern Virginia, please contact us to schedule a free consultation.