What are the eco-friendly flooring options for homes?
With environmental awareness influencing a number of political and social issues throughout Australia, many homeowners are looking for ways to reduce their carbon footprint and give back to the environment. One of the ways Australians have begun doing this is by choosing eco-friendly housing materials like eco-friendly floors.
Today, we’ll look at what types of eco-friendly flooring options are available, what their cost is, and the pros and cons of each.
Arguably the most eco-friendly floor covering, recycled hardwood has a minimal impact on the environment. This is because the timber used for these floors is sourced from existing structures (such as wharfs and train ties) before being recrafted into hardwood planks.
Thanks to this sustainable manufacturing process, new trees are never chopped down. Instead, old materials that would have been burned or thrown into a landfill are put to good use. Overall, it’s a win-win for the environment and consumers.
FSC Certified Timber
The FSC is an organization dedicated to protecting forest ecosystems around the world.
Today, the program oversees forests in over 80 countries, many of which produce hardwood for timber planks.
Homeowners who want to install a brand-new hardwood floor without compromising their dedication to suitability often look for FSC certified hardwood planks. These planks have been sourced from carefully regulated regions and are branded with a small FSC logo on the packaging.
Bamboo only takes about five years to grow, it produces more raw materials per square inch than other types of plants harvested for flooring material. Because it grows much faster than other types of natural materials, it is believed to be a more environmentally responsible product compared to hardwood. For the most eco-friendly bamboo, look for products that have been approved by the FSC.
A lesser-known (but equally effective) eco-friendly flooring option is cork. While hardwood trees must be chopped down completely to harvest their resources, cork is produced only from the bark of the cork tree. Because the tree never has to be cut down, cork is an incredibly sustainable resource. Furthermore, cork trees can be harvested every ten years – a small number compared to the waiting time of hardwood trees to come to full maturity, which can take anywhere from 15-24 years.
Each of the four floor types mentioned above are universally accepted as the most eco-friendly flooring options for residential use.
While searching for your next floor, check for the FSC stamp of approval to confirm the product you’re considering was regulated by the FSC. Thankfully, each of these options come in a variety of color tones, including blonde, tan, and chocolate.
If you have any questions about the best type of floor covering for your home or rental property, contact our flooring experts at 1300 962 837 to request a recommendation.