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Eco-friendly Flooring Materials

November 15th, 2010 · 1 Comment

Looking for a great way to update the floors in your home and make the planet a greener place? Kill two birds with one stone and install an eco-friendly flooring material in your home.

There is a wide variety of materials that can be used for flooring. Choosing a material that fits your needs is key to being happy with your choice. If you are looking for a flooring surface that is easy on the planet, there are a few options available to you that may be just what you are looking for.

Recycled flooring is becoming more and more popular with environmentally conscious consumers. A newer product that has been gaining popularity is carpet that is made from recycled plastic bottles. According to toolbasee.org, over five billion pounds of carpet is replaced each year in the U.S. alone. Consumers now have the option of replacing that carpet with carpet made from post-consumer recycled waste. The carpet has a very similar look and feel as standard carpet, which is made from nylon, polyester and a material called olefin.

Another beautiful and eco-friendly product that you can use in your home is bamboo. Growing bamboo is extremely easy, requires very little maintenance, is renewable and uses very little if any pesticides. Bamboo makes for a great flooring material as it is durable and gives the same look and feel of conventional wood floors. According to an article posted on the DIY website, some producers use formaldehyde to bind the material together, so checking the company standards and practices is a good idea before making a purchase.

While concrete requires a lot of energy to produce, its longevity and easy-to-maintain qualities make it a fairly eco-friendly material for floors. Concrete is becoming more and more popular for homes. There is a wide variety of paints, stains and coloration techniques that can be applied to a surface that makes the concrete resemble other natural surfaces. Another plus of the material is that it does not release any VOCs. It is also a sturdy surface that does not trap mold and cause health and allergy issues.

Rammed earth is a flooring technique that has been around for ages and is gaining more recent attention because of its eco-friendly qualities. Rammed earth is given its name from the process by which it is made. By mixing dirt, water and a stabilizing agent, the material is formed. It is then laid out and literally rammed until it has hardened. Although rammed earth floors are not as sturdy as concrete, it is a fairly durable product that is easy to clean, maintain and repair. Due to the low energy required to produce the material and the longevity of the finished product, rammed earth floors are considered to be one of the most eco-friendly floors on the market.

Whether you want carpet or a hard-surfaced material for your home floors, choosing an eco-friendly alternative is becoming easier and much more popular among consumers. Before you make a purchase, consider making a list of what your needs are and comparing it to a list of what each flooring material produces. Finding the right material for your home will make your purchase much more pleasant. And if you are able to add an eco-friendly material to your home, the planet will be a healthier, happier place.

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