Sustainable Floor Choices
Some may think sustainable flooring can’t be stylish, affordable, or functional, but that is not the case today.
There are several new developments in sustainable flooring choices that can be aesthetically pleasing to any organization while still being eco-friendly. The flooring industry has made strides to produce sustainable commercial flooring options that tie into any company’s decor or needs.
Whether you’re looking for hard flooring or carpet for your space, here are some of the top trends in sustainable flooring:
Luxury Vinyl Tile: Luxury vinyl tile is a great option for those interested in the look of a wood floor while being conscientious of a traditional hard wood floor’s impact on the environment. It has grown in popularity over the past few years, and more flooring professionals are selling it. Fabricated to be a solid piece of vinyl but comprised of multiple layers, usually from 1 mm-3 mm, it is extremely durable, requires relatively low maintenance, and there’s no finish applied to it initially, making it a good choice for those looking for a wood floor look.
Linoleum: This is an environmentally-friendly option that is made of wood flour, resins, pigments, and linseed oil (a renewable source), which causes the linoleum to harden over time. If not maintained properly, there are issues that can arise. High alkaline cleaners will react with the linseed oil and can damage the flooring. If you consider this flooring option, be sure to discuss a floor maintenance program with your installer.
Ceramic Tile: Considered one of the most sustainable flooring options, ceramic tile is comprised of clay, stone, and other components and is finished in a variety of colors and options. Ceramic tile floors can last for years if properly installed and serviced. The biggest concern with ceramic tile is the grout, which fills the gaps between the tiles. Grout can change color over time. It’s important to keep the grout clean and to reseal it every 1-2 years.
Recycled-Content Carpet Tiles: This type of carpet tile is incredibly sustainable. The nylon used in the face of the carpet can contain anywhere from 10% to 80% recycled content; the backing can also be up to 80% recycled content. These tiles come in different shapes and sizes and create less waste than traditional large carpet rolls. They can be easily installed by a professional and there are hundreds of styles and patterns to choose from to achieve the desired design. In the event a tile becomes damaged, it can easily be removed and replaced.
Bamboo and Cork: Bamboo and cork, both sustainably grown in forests, make viable green options for your commercial flooring needs. They each come in a variety of finishes and styles, making them both equally attractive for your workplace’s needs. Both of the options are good alternatives to hardwood and can provide a similar look. Both bamboo and cork both need their own maintenance programs, respectively.
Concrete: Coined as probably the “greenest” option in flooring, concrete is making a comeback. It has grown in popularity over the years and remains one of the most sustainable options because of its relatively low maintenance. It has a similar look to terrazzo when finished properly, as there are different types of stains and finishes that can be applied to the slabs.
While there are a lot of trends in sustainable flooring, you want to make sure you pick the one that will best meet your organization’s needs. To help you in that process, it’s best to seek out a professional who can make sure your organization gets what they need while also meeting sustainability goals.