(ARA) - Floors are the forgotten workhouses in a home. They take a lot of abuse, stand up to wear and tear and withstand a variety of products and cleaning. When it is time to replace or upgrade the floors, stylish and eco-friendly options exist for every room of the house.
"The benefits of environmentally friendly flooring are seen throughout the lifetime of these products. Manufacturing processes have less harmful impact, the flooring releases fewer chemicals into your home and they're durable and beautiful," says Ken Bollella, president of Globus Cork, a manufacturer of cork flooring.
When it comes to greening your floors, consider how you use each room and make sure to use the appropriate materials. There are natural choices to match every style and application.
Reclaimed wood flooring is made from timbers and decking salvaged from old buildings, barns, piers and other interesting places slated for the wrecking ball. Reclaimed wood floors are a conversation piece -- often they come from historically significant places and they're unique and classic. They are a recycled product and, like any hardwood floor, require professional installation. Wood floors are generally not recommended for kitchens or bathrooms where they would be wet or in a high-humidity environment.
Cork is a harvested resource -- meaning the cork tree continues to grow and only the bark is used. Many companies use the waste product from wine corks to make their flooring. Cork is soft, reduces sound vibration, provides thermal insulation and does not mold. It's also water resistant and does not absorb liquid so it works in any room of the house. Cork can be professionally installed but is also available with snap-lock functionality, making installing a cork floor a feasible do-it-yourself option.
Contrary to popular belief, bamboo is not a wood but a grass. A rapidly renewable resource, bamboo provides for a strong and durable floor in traditional to contemporary styles. Bamboo floors are easy to clean and maintain and cost less than hardwood, but professional installation is recommended. Bamboo is also not recommended for areas with excessive moisture.
Recycled and Wool Carpet
Recycled carpet gives new life to old plastic food and drink containers and manufacturers use a low-impact dye to provide color. Wool carpet is made from sheep's wool -- a soft and beautiful renewable resource. Both options are naturally resistant to stains and static electricity. They are durable and available in many styles, patterns and colors to fit in wherever you would traditionally put carpet.
Recycled Glass Tile
Recycled from glass otherwise headed to a landfill, this tile comes in a wide range of colors, shapes and finishes. Great in kitchens and bathrooms, you can choose to install it yourself or have a professional create your new post-consumer glass floor.
"You can make an environmental difference when you're replacing the floors in your home," Bollella says. "Your choice of flooring can positively impact the health of your home, your family and the planet." Courtesy of ARAcontent