Saturday, May 2, 2009

Eco friendly flooring information, what are the options?

So you're wondering what are the options for Eco Flooring and how are the available products dissimilar? There are quite a few proven floorcovering options for Eco Friendly conscious consumers. Some of these you may be aware of, some of them you may not. There is a ton of data and flooring information available on Green and Eco friendly floors. The basic types are classified as hard surface and soft surface.

The most commonly discussed Green flooring options are hard surface. Bamboo has recently gained a lot of popularity because of it's high sustainability factor. Bamboo grows rapidly and can be processed into an attractive wood looking floorcovering. One thing to remember is that cheaply priced Bamboo floors tend to have fairly high significant levels of chemicals, including formaldehyde, so off-gasing can be an issue after installation and over time. If considering Bamboo, go with at least a mid-range quality product and stay away from the cheap stuff (if it's $.99/ft you probably don't want it). A good question to ask when buying Bamboo is where is it processed. If it is processed in the US, it's worth considering. The Asian processed product is one you also want to eliminate from consideration (high chemical content).

Another, quickly growing hard surface Green floor trend is Cork. Cork is harvested from the outer part of the tree, so the tree itself is not killed in the process and more Cork can be taken from the same tree years later. This makes Cork a great Eco floor as it is very sustainable. Cork is highly durable, provides a great insulation factor for temperature and noise and is even hypo allergenic in most forms. It also can give a very unique look to a room. Cork can sometimes be installed over an existing floor as well. Cork is very versatile and a super all around choice. One caution, some Cork products can fade in sunlight so be sure to consider where you are putting the floor.

Some experts consider true, solid, hardwood floors as an Eco option. The downfall is that trees are harvested for the final product. However, the Green thought is that the floor that comes as an end result is a floor that will last in most cases the life of the home, without need for replacing with other flooring. This eliminates product going to the landfill. When the hardwood floor is no longer needed, it is very landfill friendly as it is a natural product and not synthetic.

There are multiple soft surface textile choices for purchasing Green/Eco friendly floors. One is a popular carpet style called P.E.T Carpet (Polyethylene terephthalate). P.E.T yarn is constructed from 100% recycled plastic soda bottles. Typically, these bottles cannot be used for recycling into use for their original use, so a large amount annually of this waste is used back into the process for crating carpet yarn. PET carpet does has an excellent wear life and is resistant to most forms of stains as a side benefit.

A recent breakthrough in Green friendly carpet is a yarn created from a fiber from DuPont™ called Sorona®. This fiber is partially processed and manufactured from Corn Syrup which is an extremely sustainable product and also biodegradable. This product is currently available from Mohawk Smartstrand Carpet.

There are many choices available in flooring for an Eco friendly floor. Once you decide if you want a hard surface or soft surface, you can then decide which of the options best fit your budget. Be sure to call Beckler's Carpet for more Eco flooring information at 1-800-232-5537.

As a side note, one of my published articles is about to crack the top ten for the flooring category, it is a great read on the secret to saving money on carpet flooring projects!

Beckler's has been flooring America since 1949! 1-800-232-5537. We ship anywhere and offer FREE samples!

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