Is eco-friendly flooring a must have for your family's health?
What if I told you that studies have proven indoor pollutant levels are from between 2-5 times higher than they are outside and all because of the kind of flooring you use – would you still consider using the same kind of carpets and flooring?
You see installing these kinds of floorings fills the air with hundreds of volatile organic compounds – known commonly as VOCs, and include carcinogens such as formaldehyde and benzene. It can take years for these substances to disappear from the atmosphere inside the house and as if that was not enough – carpets need to be cleaned and treated with toxic chemicals to repel soil and moisture! Carpets are also notorious for trapping toxic lawn chemicals, allergens and VOCs that are tracked in from outside, by means of shoes and pets.
It is for this reason that going for sustainable, eco-friendly flooring options is a must! Not only would this minimize health problems but one can find extremely stylish choices to pick from that are many a time less expensive than traditional floorings. These floorings are made from recycled and eco-friendly materials making your way to decorate your home, a responsible and healthy one.
Following are some of the eco-friendly options for flooring:
Even though softwood is not the ideal choice of flooring, cork is a good alternative for many reasons. It naturally elastic and hence very comfortable. Moreover, the wood provides thermal and acoustic insulation and the durable feature of the floor ensures that marks are not left from high heels or furniture. Furthermore, the floors are hypo-allergenic and repel dust, fire and insects. As if that was not enough, they are made from the bark of the cork oak tree, which actually grows back every three years. So damage to the environment is minimal, if not completely non-existent.
Tiles and Linoleum
Tiles and Linoleum are a colourful way to light up the room and are preferable for kitchens and bathroom. They are easy to maintain, available in a large variety and for every price range. Moreover Natural linoleum floors are a good eco-friendly flooring solution as they are hypo-allergenic as well as biodegradable!
There is a wide variety of sustainable carpets available nowadays. These are made with natural fibres that have undergone little or no chemical treatment. Another kind is carpets with natural fibre backing that is attached with less-toxic adhesives. Similarly, purchasing natural carpets made of woven wool, jutes, natural sisals and sea grass is another choice. These use minimal levels of natural latex and toxics. Moreover, one should choose carpets that have lightweight padding or padding made of recycled materials. When installing the carpet it is advisable to use water based, low-VOC glues. Another safe alternative is tacking the carpet as this can help eliminate many of the hazardous pollutants that result from using chemical based glues. Lastly, during carpet disposal it is best to send it to a carpet recycle that will reuse the carpet, albeit in a different form.
This is a popular eco-friendly flooring option and is known to last longer than most conventional hardwood floors. This flooring too is naturally resistant to water, mildew and insects and is sustainable due to the fact that bamboo grows back quickly and in large quantities.