When is comes to flooring, new products crafted from renewable resources are making their mark, but some old standbys are green friendly as well. Such is the case with traditional hardwood floors. They may not get your LEED points, but they are great for the environment and many items better for your home, family, wallet, and the world. Im not going to get into the politics or the GREENWASHING issue, but I will say that saving the environment is a big issue when choosing a floor covering. Flooring constructed from Cork and Bamboo is popular due to its green appeal. There is even carpeting made from corn or recycled plastic bottles. Everybodys looking into these products because they are considered green, but many of these items last only about five years.
The new strand woven Bamboo last longer than traditional bamboo, and typically lasts ten years before upkeep is needed. Ten years sounds acceptable until compared with traditional hardwood floors that endure for a century or longer. When you use traditional hardwood flooring, your putting down a floor that lasts a hundred years or more, and the same is true with porcelain tile, proving there are a couple of different ways to skin the green cat. A good hardwood floor will be down forever. I prefer it to products that dont wear as well. Hardwood floors help the environment by calling for fewer cleaning products. White vinegar, water, and a mop are the only items needed to adequately care for a high end prefinished wood floor. You dont buy the industrial strength cleaners, nothing with Soap or Wax in the name, and nothing with strong chemicals. You save money on cleaning products, which in turn helps the environment considering all the cleaners, containers, and pads youre not throwing into the trash.
A shot of Windex cuts the worst pet stain and removes the odor. Keeping chemicals out of your home and saving on cleaners and pads you throw away is a great help to YOUR environment, and it helps the worlds environment as well. Biodegradable and non toxic cleaner like Mohawks floor cleaner are a great way to keep the worst messes clean off your flooring without resorting to soaps, chemicals, and harmful products. One of the most misclassified items in tile. Ceramic tiles and natural stones, lets face it. This is as green as you can get. No plants were harmed during the process.
A natural stone floor or high end ceramic will be on your floor long after were gone. And they are one of the easiest items to clean up in the history of flooring. Scholars claim Rome lasted as long as it did because of the roads. Roads paved with natural stone tile. They are built to last. So you may not get any tax credit for putting tile in your home, but you can probably save money on it and get a great floor rather use some of the traditional GREEN approved items. Dont forget, that greening the environment starts at home. The environment your family lives and breaths in, the environment that effects your wallet and bottom line.
Comments by Jason Stanley