Eco-Friendly Options for Floor Covering

Carefully choosing your floor coverings can help prevent another heap of discarded carpet from joining the approximately 5 billion pounds of used carpeting that are disposed of in landfills each year, according to the Green Seal Choose Green Report.

Choosing the right floor covering might save you from ditching carpet a few years down the road, allow you to pick a covering that was manufactured using less energy or chemicals, or can be cleaned more easily -- all of which help lower the carbon foot print you install under your feet.


Here are a few options for picking your floor coverings while keeping the environment in mind:

  • FLOR squares: FLOR is a line of design-inspired carpet squares for the home that lets homeowners create unique area rugs, runners or wall-to-wall carpet designs quickly and easily. FLOR is also eco-friendly, as it has some of the lowest Volatile Organic Compound emissions (VOCs) in the industry. Visit FLOR's Web site to learn more and to see some of the color palettes that are available.
  • Vinyl: Compressed vinyl flooring is also a sustainable flooring option because it's made of VCT (Vinyl Composition Tile), a highly compressed tile that is made from recycled vinyl materials. It is widely used commercially because of its durability and ease of use. To learn more about vinyl flooring, especially if it's for your kitchen, visit the The Flooring Lady.
  • Cork: As a floor covering, cork is durable, provides great insulation, cushions the foot, is resistant to moisture damage and decay, is easy to clean and is known to last as long as hardwood floors. It is also an eco-friendly choice due to the sustainable harvesting practices and the fact that there is practically zero waste from the manufacturing process. The Green Home offers more information on cork coverings and installation tips.

Photo courtesy of pawpaw67 on Flickr. Originally published by John Kirchner on the MLuxe blog.

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Flooring on Jun 08, 2012:

Would you consider epoxy flooring a good ecofriendly option? Is it recyclable? I've been thinking about using it as a flooring option, but I wanted to get some input first.

ronmaggi on Jul 27, 2009:

Vinyl, even if it is recycled, should never be considered an ecofriendly option. The gasses it emits are harmful to you and the envionment. 

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