Green Living: 3 Affordable Eco-Friendly Flooring Options

When looking for flooring solutions that are environmentally friendly as well as attractive, you don’t have to limit yourself to recycled materials. There plenty of great options that are sustainable and organic. The following are three flooring materials that are affordable as well as eco-friendly.

1. Natural Stone Floors

Natural stone floors are some of the most beautiful and sustainable on the market, and they’ve become more affordable than in the past. Look for metamorphic, igneous or sedimentary rock that has been excavated and processed locally.

Homeowners love the uniqueness of natural stone floors, which can be customized to suit any style. Not only do natural stone floors increase a home’s curb appeal, but they boost its value, as well. They can also last much longer than most other types of flooring, as natural stone floors only get better as they get older. To top it off, stone is anti-microbial, which means it’s inherently resistant to mildew and mold.

Before buying natural stone floors, however, keep in mind that they’re hard, irregular and lack cushioning, which means fragile items that are dropped will more than likely break.

2. Cork Floors

The elastic quality of natural cork flooring creates a soft, warm feeling underfoot, which many homeowners find a nice contrast to hardwood floors. Created from cork oak bark, which can be sustainably harvested without harming the tree, cork floors offer a number of benefits.

Cork floors require minimal maintenance; aside from the occasional cleaning, they need only be resealed every 5-7 years with a low-VOC, water-based polyurethane. Not only does natural cork flooring come in a variety of finishes and designs, but it’s resistant to sound and impact, which makes it a highly versatile flooring material. Its natural anti-fungal, anti-microbial and hypoallergenic properties make it perfect for areas such as your kitchen or bathroom.

When considering installing natural cork flooring, keep in mind that it’s best to buy unfinished cork flooring and have the finish applied on site; pre-finished cork floors can look synthetic, and over time the corners may lift up. Finally, homeowners should be aware that natural cork flooring can fade over time due to sunlight exposure.

3. Glass Tile Floors

Tile flooring made from recycled glass and other materials is becoming an increasingly popular eco-friendly option. Because they have a reflective surface, glass tiles can help illuminate a dim room from beneath your feet.
Depending on the size of the tile and the type of glass, glass tile can withstand 420 pounds or more of weight, which makes it an incredibly sturdy material. Homeowners can use recycled glass tiles to create any appearance, from a uniform color to patterns or mosaics.

On the downside, glass tiles can become slippery when wet, no matter how they are treated or textured, so caution is required. Like natural stone floors, they’re also hard and unforgiving when fragile items are dropped.
With so many affordable and eco-friendly flooring options to choose from, a homeowner can easily find a sustainable material to suit any aesthetic or lifestyle.

Are you a homeowner looking for ways to make your home more green? Consider some eco-friendly flooring options, such as natural stone flooring or cork floors. Area Floors is a flooring boutique located in Portland, and you can find more information about flooring options that will meet your needs at their website:

Article By Anita Ferguson

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