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Going green is definitely on-trend, from the increase of veganism to choosing renewable energy. As we look at how we can all help the environment, no aspect of our lives is exempt. And looking for green housing options is a trend that’s on the rise. In fact, a survey by HSH found that 68% of home buyers want an environmentally friendly home.
However, sometimes we have to work with what we’ve got. Installing eco-friendly gadgets in the home, such as solar panels, isn’t viable for everyone. Sometimes it’s the small things that make the difference. So, it’s no wonder that eco-friendly flooring is growing in popularity.
Although this is still fairly new, the market is growing. Some eco flooring is still very niche, therefore coming at a price. Though as the trend grows, eco-flooring is likely to become more readily available. It’s not just the environmental benefits that make these options popular either, they have many benefits over traditional flooring options.
Here are some of the top eco-flooring options available:
Giving the effect of a traditional plank, bamboo is much more eco-friendly than hardwood. Firstly, bamboo is not actually a wood, but a grass. So, it grows much more quickly than trees. In fact, bamboo reaches maturity between 3-5 years, growing at a rate of almost ten feet per day.
At the moment, it grows much faster than it can be harvested! Not only that, but being a grass, bamboo requires much less water than trees to grow, making it even more environmentally friendly.
Bamboo has a number of benefits over hardwood, besides its environmental benefits.
Firstly, it expands and contracts less than hardwood does. Also, this type of plank is extremely durable and can easily last you years. It is actually tougher than many hardwood floors. When it finally wears down, or you want a change, this flooring is completely biodegradable and so has no lasting impact.
Available in a variety of wood tones bamboo can complement any décor. Bamboo floors range from natural light tones to darker carbonised browns. With varied grains and this wide range of tones, you can find a bamboo floor to suit any room.
Not just for cork boards and wine stoppers, cork is new to the world of flooring and fast becoming a popular trend. Harvested from the bark of the cork oak tree found in the Mediterranean, the tree is not cut down during harvesting. Once the bark is harvested, the tree takes up to 12 years to regenerate, though it can be as quick as 3 years.
Some brands are taking sustainability even further, adding recycled materials, such as scraps from wine stoppers, to their cork flooring.
Cork flooring is soft underfoot. It provides cushioning and insulation, which also helps it to reduce noise. This flooring is also very durable and, if cared for properly, can last years. It is also easy to maintain, so should easily last years. In fact, this flooring can last between 10-30 years.
This flooring can be found in both planks and tiles and is available in natural and stained shades, so there’s a lot of variety. It’s easy to find a cork flooring to match any décor.
3. Natural Linoleum
Not to be confused with vinyl (which is PVC based), which is often called linoleum as well, natural linoleum was very popular before vinyl was introduced in the 1940s. Now, this flooring is making a comeback.
Natural linoleum is completely biodegradable. Made from a mix of limestone, linseed oil, cork dust, wood fillers and resins, this flooring is available in a variety of patterns and colours. It is available in bright colours for those that want to make a statement. It is also colourfast and durable.
Another plus point is that it has antimicrobial properties. Therefore, it is a great choice for households with allergies.
This flooring is also water-resistant, making it the perfect choice for rooms with a lot of moisture, such as bathrooms.
4. Engineered Hardwood
This type of flooring isn’t a new trend, but it is a good eco-friendly choice. Engineered wood flooring uses a lot less rare wood than solid wood flooring. A layer of the wood is overlaid onto layers of plywood, making it a more sustainable choice.
With this flooring, you get the look and feel of a solid wood floor, without the environmental impact. As this wood has been around for a while and uses plywood as its main material, it is one of the cheaper, and most readily available, environmentally friendly floorings. Easy to maintain, this flooring has been growing in popularity for a few years.
There is a lot of variation in the hues of engineered wood flooring available. From light hues to dark grains, it can easily work in any room.
5. Glass Tiles
Recycled materials make a great choice for eco-friendly flooring, which is where glass tiles come in. Made from wine and beer bottles that have been sent for recycling, this material started becoming popular for kitchen and bathroom walls and is now growing in popularity as a floor.
Glass tiles have a range of extra benefits as well as being good for the environment. Firstly, it isn’t absorptive, so it won’t mould in damp environments, making it an ideal material for bathrooms and kitchens. Also, this flooring won’t stain and is very durable.
When it comes to colours, patterns and finishes, the world is your oyster when it comes to glass tiles. So, it’s easy to find a design in glass tiles to suit any room. There are virtually limitless choices when it comes to glass tiles.
In summary, eco flooring trends are on the rise. Although many options are still niche and a little expensive, as the popularity grows, they will likely become more available and, hopefully, the price will drop. You are not limited to certain colours or tones either, there are plenty of types of eco flooring so you can find them in various hues, colours and finishes.
From natural wood tones to bright colours and patterns, you can easily find the flooring that is environmentally friendly to match any room.
Much of the eco flooring has many of the benefits of traditional flooring. The flooring is often durable and will last for years. You can also find eco flooring that is suitable for bathrooms and won’t be damaged with high water content.
As the demand for eco-friendly options grows, more and more will likely become available. As homeowners are looking into making their homes green, choosing eco flooring when you next decorate is a great option to move towards a green home.