When looking for a new floor, it’s hard to know where to start if you want to be mindful of your environmental footprint. So many popular companies overuse environmental resources such as wood, or even harmful alternative synthetic materials and chemicals. However, damaging materials are not necessary, and contrary to popular belief, eco-friendly flooring doesn’t have to be expensive or dull – so we have teamed up with Luxury Flooring and Furnishings to give you some handy information on making the best choice for the environment and your home!
We start with bamboo. Although many believe this is a type of tree, it is technically part of the grass family. This makes it a sustainable resource, as it completely regrows in three to five years, unlike trees that can take twenty. Since bamboo shares similarities to hardwood, it has the same natural feel and quality, and is hard-wearing thus durable over many years in busy households. Not only this, but it is easy to maintain and install, and will suit any décor in any room due to the different hues it is available in. These different hues additionally give the opportunity for personalisation, so if you want a unique but authentically natural floor, bamboo is the one for you.
Reclaimed Wood Flooring
Although this option involves wood, it uses the wood from trees that were taken down a long time ago. This would otherwise go to waste, so by purchasing reclaimed wood flooring, you would not be contributing to ongoing deforestation, and thus making a much more eco-friendly decision. The best thing about reclaimed wood is that it tells a story – each dent, marking and laceration has a story. It looks beautiful in a cosy rustic home, perfectly fitting in with the rustic trend of 2017. In older or rural homes, the wood is perfectly compatible with the atmosphere of the place. Overall, reclaimed wood is perfect for those who adore the style of hard wood flooring, but simply disagree with widespread deforestation.
Although more difficult to find, further eco-friendly alternatives include cork, rubber, recycled plastic, glass tiles, linoleum (not to be confused with vinyl), and concrete. These have minimum impact on the environment, but can have the disadvantage of being uncomfortable or expensive.
You should also be careful to read if any products you find have been glossed with lacquer. This uses shellac, which comes from insects, and so may not be suitable for those who value ethical animal treatment. Similarly, leather flooring and sheepskin rugs have low impact on the environment, but may not be congruent with some people’s beliefs.