With rising concerns over climate change, it has become imperative to take a step back and assess our actions. To make conscious decisions for creating a safer and healthier environment that we can safeguard for the future, the first step towards this mammoth cause starts in each one of our homes. After all, as they say, charity begins at home.
Wherever possible, we can opt for a more sustainable and eco-friendly alternative to decorative items, functional utilities, energy-efficient appliances, and even flooring. You will discover plenty of options in flooring that are eco-friendly and easy on the environment yet exceptionally durable. Let’s have a look at some of the best eco-friendly flooring options in the market.
Although several people mistake it for a type of hardwood flooring, bamboo belongs to the grass family. Compared to hardwood flooring, bamboo flooring is more sustainable. Whereas traditional trees may take decades to reach their full growth, it takes only about 3-5 years for a bamboo plant to fully grow.
That said, you can most certainly use bamboo flooring to get the look of hardwood flooring so that you won’t miss out on the aesthetic value that the latter provides.
And you are also preserving nature, a huge plus!
Stone tiles are usually manufactured using natural resources, which is as good as it gets! They are cordial for the environment, as they are mostly natural and durable. Moreover, they also don’t emit toxic chemicals or gases and are easy to maintain barring a few minor limitations.
The key factor to consider here is that the eco-friendliness of these tiles also depends on their origin. For instance, if they are mined outside your country or locality, the shipping adds up to the carbon footprint, all while incurring probably massive costs. Consequently, you should ideally reach out to your nearest tile store and discuss with the tile experts about their range of sustainable tile flooring offered.
Cork flooring can be beneficial to you in multiple ways. They are durable, renewable, good for your achy joints, and also don’t trigger allergies of any kind. Cork is usually made using only trees’ barks (and not the entire tree), meaning that you can keep harvesting the tree’s bark for about 250 years! Surprising, isn’t it? Additionally, cork flooring is also made using recyclable waste like wine bottle corks that are usually discarded, ultimately bringing down a huge amount of waste.
Porcelain and Ceramic Tiles
Perhaps the most popular tile category, porcelain and ceramic tiles are indeed a green choice when it comes to your flooring. As they are manufactured using natural materials, they are recyclable and easily mined as well. Compared to other tiles, they use less energy and fuel to mine, which makes them a green tick.
Designed to look like hardwood, laminate floors are made of three composite layers – a core base layer, an image layer, and a durable plasticated wear layer. Having been around for about 50 years, laminate flooring has gained popularity in recent times. What makes it more sustainable is that the core base layer is made using by-products of wood and glue, the image layer is made of embossed paper, and the plasticated layer is made using a thin sheet of plastic.
Out of all the sustainable options for tile flooring, glass tiles can be considered the most visually appealing. The beauty of these tiles is that even if they are not made from recycled glass, at the end of the day, these tiles can still be recycled. Although they might not be as durable as ceramic or vitrified tiles, they are easy on the surroundings and make for excellent home flooring.
Made of rocks, sand, and clay, concrete flooring is both eco-friendly and scratch-resistant. Its all-natural ingredient list means that it is easier to source the materials than quite a few other flooring options.
Linoleum flooring is making a grand comeback and in a great manner! Luckily for the earth and earth lovers, it is quite sustainable as well. With it comes the variety of designs and colors that it was synonymous with. As it is made of 100% biodegradable materials like pine resin and linseed oil, you will seldom find options better than this.
Many confuse between linoleum, vinyl, and even laminate for that matter. They all differ in the materials being used. Vinyl flooring uses plastic, laminate flooring uses images of hardwood and paper, and linoleum uses biodegradable materials like linseed oil. While it may be difficult to believe that something made out of plastic-like vinyl flooring can be sustainable, the fact is that it lasts for a long time and brings down your carbon footprint drastically. Less wastage, lesser carbon footprint.
You can switch to recycled materials &eco-friendly ways of living your life even in the smallest ways possible, as every small effort counts. However, when something as big as the flooring of your house can take up ample resources from nature and add to it the thousands of other houses in the world, it will definitely make a huge impact! So don’t think twice, go as green as possible for your posterity to enjoy!!
Isha Tandon has worked within the architecture and interior design industry as a flooring consultant expert – specializing in tiles, stones, and terrazzo. She has worked with Orientbell Limited, a leading tile manufacturer in India, as a product development manager in the design team and has recently joined the marketing team as their digital content expert. Her experience comes in handy in understanding the audience as she creates value-driven functional & informational content for the readers. She creates lifestyle pieces that focus on interior design products, trends, and processes. She loves to travel to historic places with rich architecture.