Top 5 Green Flooring Options for Waterloo Region Homes
Increasingly, homeowners - and homebuyers - are looking to add eco-friendly elements to their homes. Not only is this better for the planet, but, often for the resale value of the home as well.
From painting with zero-VOC paint to installing solar panels, there are a lot of good options available, especially when undertaking a larger home remodeling or renovation project. One commonly considered update is eco-friendly flooring, as new flooring is something that is often a part of any room remodel.
Flooring that is considered "green" or "eco-friendly" is more than just flooring composed of organic, recycled, or renewable resources. The long-term effects of the flooring material on the environment as a whole are also taken into account. The following elements can help decide if flooring is sustainable:
Its capacity for recycling and renewal
Whether it was manufactured responsibly
How far it must be transported to be installed
How much care it will require in the long run
How long it will last.
What flooring options meet at least most of these criteria, and yet will still look as good as you'd like in return for what can be a significant investment? Which green flooring options add the most perceived value to a Waterloo Region home at sale time? These issues are what we are going to take a closer look at here.
Top 5 Green Flooring Options for Waterloo Region Homes
Bamboo flooring is one of the most well-known sustainable flooring solutions. The bamboo plant, a grass that grows again every three to five years, is where bamboo originates. The harvest cycle of a tree, which can take up to 20 years, is far slower than this one.
Bamboo flooring is simple to install and maintain and shares many characteristics with hardwood flooring. It can be purchased in a wide variety of hues, and is strong and durable. One thing to keep in mind is that bamboo is mostly grown in the Pacific, so the farther it travels, the more pollution it might generate.
$1.50 to $11 is the average price per square foot for bamboo flooring, and the life expectancy, when it is cared for properly, is similar to that of a comparably priced hardwood.
Cork is frequently thought of in relation to wine bottles or perhaps as a wall covering, but it's also a fantastic sustainable flooring alternative. The bark of the cork oak tree is used to make cork flooring. These trees are typically cut down, then three years later they regrow.
Since cork floors have a lifespan of 10 to 30 years, they are a relatively durable option, and the cost averages between $3 and $12 per square foot.
Cork flooring also provides good insulation, has some anti-microbial qualities, can work as an insect repellent against bugs and mites, is fire-resistant, and pretty easy to maintain. Many people choose to install them in the kitchen, as cork also has a natural 'give' that can ease back and leg pain caused by standing for longer periods of time.
Reclaimed Hardwood Flooring
Of all the flooring options that will make a homebuyer's ears prick up excitedly when it's mentioned, as real estate agents, we can confirm that hardwood still reigns supreme. However, if you are considering adding new hardwood flooring to your home, to be as green as possible, reclaimed hardwood flooring is the way to go.
Reclaimed wood is made from reused or recycled wood found in older buildings or leftover from projects. This is an eco-friendly option as it prevents new wood from being harvested. It can also be a way to get hardwood flooring that looks completely unique, and has more 'character' than standard, uniform, hardwood planks.
You may not think that concrete flooring is suitable for anywhere other than warehouses and factories, but the fact is that modern concrete flooring, which is very eco-friendly as it is simply comprised of cement, air, water, sand, and gravel, is becoming a very popular home flooring choice, especially in kitchens and bathrooms.
Modern techniques for concrete finishing have moved concrete floors from ho-hum to luxurious. Adding dyes as the wet concrete is being mixed produces concrete in a huge range of earthy colors.
Surface treatments such as acid stains, concrete stains and paint made for concrete floors can turn plain concrete into beautiful, one-of-a-kind finishes. Also, concrete can be stamped with rubber stencils to give it texture. Combined with the right dyes or coloring agents, finished concrete can be made to mimic ceramic tile, natural stone, brick, even dirt!
Eco Friendly Carpet
Traditional carpet is not a sustainable flooring option for several reasons. It’s often made from petroleum, which is a non-renewable resource. Additionally, carpet is often produced with toxins and volatile organic compounds (VOCs). VOCs are chemicals often found in carpets, carpet cushions and, these chemicals easily evaporate into the air and can lead to poor indoor air quality.
However, if your heart is set on carpet, there are more sustainable carpet options to consider.
Wool: Wool carpet is made from natural resources, turned into thread, and woven into carpet. Many wool carpets can last hundreds of years, making them very sustainable. Thy are also perhaps some of the most luxurious feeling carpets you can choose, and the way wool takes dye means that colours in wool carpeting often remain vibrant for decades.
Average price per square foot: $5-$26
Jute: Jute carpet is a great choice if you’re trying to be eco-friendly. Jute is renewable, biodegradable, and carbon-dioxide neutral. Furthermore, Jute is an especially abundant fiber.
It’s a rain-fed crop that requires little fertilizer and pesticides, much less than comparable fibers such as cotton. Jute carpeting usually has a very modern, contemporary appearance and is most often used in home decor in the form of a near room sized rug, rather than a wall-to-wall option, however, in a high traffic space like an eat-in kitchen, an easy to clean jute carpet can be an excellent, green choice!
Average price per square foot: $4-$8
P.E.T. Berber: Polyethylene terephthalate (P.E.T.) Berber is a carpet made of recycled plastic bottles, which is another renewable option to consider. It’s a durable carpet option that is relatively spill resistant and comes in a variety of colors and options.
One con of P.E.T. Berber is that it’s prone to snagging and can unravel if not repaired, so may not be a great option for high traffic areas.
Average price per square foot: $6-$10