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Environmentally-Friendly Flooring Options

Look for No-VOC Carpet, Hardwood, Sustainable Bamboo and Cork Flooring

© 2010 by Jessica Ackerman; All rights reserved; content may not be copied, rewritten, or republished without Webmaster’s written permission.

A Hardwood Floor in the Sunlight; Photo by Hotblack

A hardwood floor in the sunlight; photo by Hotblack

When it comes time to remodel the rooms in your home or office, there are a variety of flooring options to consider. However, the new trends in environmentally friendly designs, coupled with a growing desire to preserve our resources for future generations, some suggest that you choose environmentally-friendly flooring options.

You, on the other hand, are more interested in style and affordability. Today you can have the best of both worlds with beautiful environmentally friendly flooring options that are affordable and stylish.

Look for No-VOC Carpeting

There is a general misconception that carpet is out if you want something that is friendly to the environment. This is not true, and many retailers offer carpets made from materials that are eco-friendly, such as those woven from natural fibers. For example, responsibly harvested seagrass carpets are becoming popular for bathrooms.

Look for those that offer all-natural adhesives and low or no-chemical additives, and you have satisfied the requirements for being earth-friendly without giving up the carpet idea. Look for low-VOC or no-VOC carpeting for minimal to no off-gassing. Off-gassing (also known as out-gassing) refers to the release of airborne particulates or chemicals—dubbed volatile organic compounds (VOCs)—from common household products. Some people are very sensitive to this as it can cause irritation to the eyes and respiratory tract that may also affect the central nervous system. These issues can't be overcome with a simple liver detox.

Many brand names and retailers offer environmentally friendly carpet designs, from Contempo™ to Liberty™ carpets, and many others. You can check your local home improvement store or carpet warehouse for more ideas. They can also help with eco-friendly installation tips (do not use glue) and maintenance options.

Traditional Hardwood Floors

This is one of the trendiest design ideas today, as thousands of homeowners replace carpet with hardwoods each year. Hardwood floors are more durable and easier to maintain, and often cost less than carpeting as well. However, you have to be very choosy when it comes to building materials for hardwood floors if you want something that is friendly to the environment without sacrificing beauty.

To know if hardwood is eco-friendly, look for options that are made from sustainable forests. You can check with the manufacturer for this type of information, or check with flooring stores for eco-friendly options. There are a variety of wood finishes, styles, and colors to choose from.

Sustainable and Recycled Options

Finally, we have more choices than ever for flooring that is safe for the environment but still beautiful and affordable. Cork flooring and bamboo are two of the most popular options, and homeowners are quickly learning the value of these durable and beautiful flooring alternatives.

Recycled glass, stained or patterned concrete, and similar materials are also trendy these days, and make an excellent addition to any room in the house if you want style. However, keep in mind that sometimes these styles are a little more expensive at the outset. They are longer lasting though, meaning that in the long run you get more value for your dollar when you choose environmentally friendly flooring options.

Another perk to environmentally-friendly flooring options is that they are better for people who suffer from a variety of allergies. They resist mold and mildew better, and are more water-resistant as well. This gives a longer life to your flooring, and you will be able to avoid replacement for a much longer period of time. Maintenance is just as easy as with other flooring options, most needing no special equipment or instructions in order to look great, other than mop, sweep, and/or vacuum.

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About the author:

Jessica Ackerman, author and staff designer at, specializes in affordable large wall crosses and indoor outdoor wall clocks.

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Photo of Kelly R. SmithKelly R. Smith was a commercial carpenter for 20 years before returning to night school at the University of Houston where he earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science. After working at NASA for a few years, he went on to develop software for the transportation and financial and energy trading industries. He has been writing, in one capacity or another, since he could hold a pencil. As a freelance writer now, he specializes in producing articles and blog content for a variety of clients. His personal blog is at I Can Fix Up My Home Blog where he muses on many different topics.

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