In a world where we constantly being reminded to keep our carbon footprint down, have you thought about sustainable, environmentally friendly options when it comes to your interiors? Flooring in particular is a diverse sector with plenty of scope for eco-friendly alternatives. Here are four flooring options that are as ethical as they are stylish.
Although you may be used to seeing it on walls, cork is a relatively new concept in flooring. As reported in TreeHugger, cork is a highly renewable option, as the bark (commonly found in the Mediterranean) actually grows back a few years after being harvested. Cork naturally removes allergens from the home, is sound- and fire-resistant and easy to clean. It also acts as a repellent for insects and is easy to maintain. And if you are worried about the aesthetics, then cork can be painted and stained to suit a variety of interiors – some products even mimic cork in the appearance of hardwood panelling.
Glass tiling is a great way to make use of recycled glass bottles, and its anti-damp, non-absorptive properties make it a popular emerging choice for bathrooms and kitchens. It comes in a range of colours and designs, and unlike ceramic flooring it is reflective, meaning that it can give a touch of light to darker rooms.
Linoleum (or lino) is a well-known and once popular product in the flooring sector. But these days many people confuse it with vinyl – a synthetic product that can contain harmful substances. Lino is far from this and is made from natural products such as linseed oil, tree resins, wood flour and limestone. Similar to laminate flooring, such as that from ukflooringdirect.co.uk, it is extremely easy to maintain and also comes in an array of styles. Now that it is becoming popular again, experts are working on creating stain-resistant lino to increase its already generous shelf life.
Most people favour the warmth and comfort of carpet in at least some rooms in their home, but many carpets are made using organic compounds that can contain toxins. Wool is a natural substance that can be spun, woven and dyed to create a luxurious and long-lasting carpet. In some cases, wool carpets have been known to last centuries.