Sustainable flooring products are produced from sustainable materials and/or by a sustainable process that reduces demands on ecosystems during a product’s life cycle. Sustainable flooring creates safer and healthier buildings and guarantees a future for traditional producers of renewable resources that many communities depend on. Several initiatives have led the charge to bring awareness of sustainable flooring as well as and healthy buildings (LEED, NSF/ANSI, Green Label Plus, Living Building Challenge, the Well Building Challenge and others.) Sustainable materials include: cork, bamboo, reclaimed hardwood, linoleum, wool, sisal, palm, strand woven bamboo, and customized sustainable products.
Made from a fast-growing renewable “timber,” It is anti-bacterial, water-resistant and extremely durable. Bamboo flooring is available with tongue-and-groove technology familiar in hardwood/laminate alternatives. Sustainable.
Linoleum is a completely natural material which comes from renewable sources and is 100% biodegradable, which makes it sustainable. Linoleum does not fade, as the pigments are embedded in the structure. It is anti-static, repels dirt, dust and other small particles, making it hypo-allergenic and often recommended to help reduce allergen accumulation. It is also fire-resistant and does not require additional fire-retardants finish.
With the wood hardness comparable to mahogany, coconut palm wood is made from matured coconut palm trees, 60 to 80 years old, that no longer bear fruits. There are no knots in Palm wood since there are no branches on coconut trees. Coconut wood, the source for palm, is the most abundant hardwood available. Sustainable.
Reclaimed lumber is processed wood retrieved from its original application for purposes of subsequent use. Most reclaimed lumber comes from timbers and decking rescued from old barns, factories and warehouses, although some companies use wood from less traditional structures such as boxcars, coal mines and wine barrels. Sustainable.
The fiber of sisal is produced by the leaves of the agave plant. Sisal is very strong and primarily used for making rugs, sacking, rope, and even carpet. The fiber stains easily and is also very difficult to clean. Wet cleaning can also cause shrinkage so it’s best to use low moisture methods. Sustainable.
Wool is a natural staple fiber, is durable, resilient and is noted for its luxury and performance because it is soft, has high bulk and is available in many colors and patterns. Wool is considered to have a luxurious hand. Wool is self-extinguishing when burned; it will char rather than melt or drip when exposed to fire. Sustainable.