If you've decided to undertake a remodeling project this year, you might be surprised when it comes time to look at flooring options. The traditional carpeting and vinyl options that dominated the market for decades are giving way to a growing number of eco-friendly materials, such as cork floors and bamboo wood flooring. Made from renewable resources with limited chemical treatments, these floors promise to deliver a cleaner, greener home environment. But do they live up to these claims? And are they right for your home?
The last time you popped a bottle of champagne, you probably never imagined that the same cork could also double as a sturdy, eco-friendly flooring material. Cork is highly sound-absorbent and is one of the most easy-to-clean types of floors available, which makes it ideal for the kitchen, playroom, or family room. It's also a naturally renewable resource made from the bark of the cork oak, making it a natural, green flooring choice.
If you choose a cork floor, look for the real thing-steer clear of products with formaldehyde added or cork-vinyl composites, which contain toxic chemicals. And make sure to select a sealer with a low-VOC content, to prevent chemical gases from harming the air quality in your home.
Bamboo Wood Flooring
No longer just a staple of panda bears, bamboo is quickly becoming one of the most popular eco-friendly flooring choices. Although it is the world's largest grass, do not be fooled-bamboo flooring is harder than red oak or maple and will last 30 to 50 years. This durability, along with a clean, elegant look, makes bamboo an excellent choice for any room. Bamboo is a renewable, biodegradable resource and is also among the few flooring types that require minimal modification in manufacture.
When purchasing a bamboo floor, look for an adhesive without formaldehyde, a toxic chemical. And make sure to ask the installer to conduct as much sawing and sanding as possible outside of the home to protect your indoor air quality.
Hit the Floor Running
If you're looking for a durable, environmentally-friendly flooring option that will not harm the air quality in your home, cork floors and bamboo wood flooring are ideal choices. Both are affordable investments that will enhance your home for decades. So what are you waiting for? Show your friends and family your eco-friendly style, and hit the floor running on your next remodeling project!