Photo of Concrete Flooring by Concreteflooringss.com
Feng Shui embraces the art of conscious living which aligns our inner space with our outer environment. It is called mindful living.
Green design is in complete alignment with Feng Shui. Both promote honoring the Earth and leaving a lighter imprint and acknowledge that the earth is a living organism with finite resources and must be protected and honored as such. Feng Shui was the original purveyor of reduce, recycle, reuse, which is exactly what green design is about. The exciting news is that you can now find beautiful products that anyone would love to have in their home, and be a responsible ‘green’ consumer!
In this third article of my series on the Green Home Remodel, I continue my conversation with Diana Zamudio, Owner and Founder of of eco-6 design. Diana is a specialist in Green Design as well as Feng Shui and is the teacher for the Green Design Program at my West Coast Feng Shui Academy.
Previously we discussed eco-friendly counter tops and today we will discuss eco-friendly flooring.
In the following Q & A, I asked Diana what makes a product eco-friendly. I also asked her to talk about the great eco-friendly flooring materials on the market.
Q. What makes a floor eco-friendly?
A. There are a few different factors that make a floor eco-friendly
- The durability-how long will it last
- The chemicals that are/or are not in it
- The material it is made out of
- Is it FSC certified wood ? (quality controlled when harvesting the wood from the forest)
- Is it from a fast growing, and therefore ‘renewable’ source? ( such as bamboo)
- Is it from oak cork trees where the material is harvested appropriately in a sustainable way?
Q.What are a few considerations we should consider when selecting eco-friendly flooring and can you tell us about the products available on the market?
A. I would be glad to. Here are some eco-friendly flooring choices and the benefits of each:
- Bamboo is an extremely renewable material because it grows so fast.
- It is strong and it looks great and is more durable than many other woods. You can count on about a 10-25 year warranty.
- Great substitute for wood
- It is easy to clean
- It is ideal for allergy sufferers because it does not attract dust or harbor dust mites.
- It is made with safe resins, they have extremely low formaldehyde emissions and make excellent floors for healthy homes.
- Pricing- $2.00 – $5.00 a foot … or $18 – $45 a yard.
Read more: http://www.care2.com/greenliving/eco-friendly-flooring.html#ixzz1bTAt2JTr
Important footnote to Bamboo: Make sure the Bamboo flooring you are looking at is quality-controlled when harvested and that the Bamboo has matured to at least a minimum of five years. Otherwise it will be too soft and dent easily. You can get cheap Bamboo flooring but you will get what you pay for. It won’t hold up and is often harvested by companies that are not green, but are what is called ‘green washed’ (Companies that try to look green but are not, when you delve deeper.) The wood should come from a company that is Forest Stewardship Counsel Certified (FSC). Or from a reliable source. You can research the company to see what their process is when making the flooring.
- Provides a thermal and acoustic insulation.
- It is comfortable to walk on and provides a unique design.
- Extremely durable, recovers from marks left by furniture, high heels, etc. Can last the life of your home.
- Harvested by cutting the bark from the cork oak tree. the tree is never cut down and is capable of regenerating its bark within 3 years.
- Cork flooring pricing runs around $3.50 – 8.50 sq ft
- Most carpeting is made from synthetic materials, chemicals are used in the production of carpet that can be harmful to home occupants, and if it’s glued down, additional harmful chemicals are introduced into your home.
- Dust, dirt, pet dander, etc. gets into the carpet and can wreak havoc for those with allergies.
- Natural wool carpet is the exception to this rule.
- Pricing starts around $ 30 sq yd – $ 150 sq yd
Linoleum (Marmoleum-brand name of Linoleum)
Marmoleum is often called the’ new Linoleum, but it is actually Linoleum as it was originally designed, which is a very green eco-friendly product. Linoleum, as we know it now is a vinyl product that is not at all eco-friendly. Marmoleum, or ‘true’ Linoleum, is:
- Biodegradable and very environmentally friendly, compared to Linoleum which is toxic and very environmentally un-friendly
- Has no off gassing
- Does not promote dust mites, allergens and pet dander.
- Does not use wood or other natural resources.
- Includes no chemicals and is 100% natural
- Made from flax and linseed oil
- Pricing for the sheet goods – $49 sq yd. Marmolium clicks – which are the locking tiles- are $6.50 sq ft
- Can help cut down on heating and cooling costs as it absorbs the heat of the sun and releases it when needed.
- You can skip the added cost and materials of flooring entirely, using a concrete slab as your finished floor.
- They are durable and long lasting and won’t need to be replaced often.
- Fly Ash is often used in the production of concrete, a byproduct of the coal mining industry. Concrete gives it a valid use and keeps it out of our landfills.
- There are no VOC’s or other harmful chemicals used in concrete. ( Volatile Organic Compound)
- Pricing varies greatly depending upon the complexity of the stain and design. It can run as little as $ 2 per sq ft to $ 25 and more per sq ft for ‘faux’ and ‘rub’ designs. Stained concrete is now being used in very high-end homes and workplaces. You would never know it is concrete!
- The only down side is that it is a hard, non-shock absorbent surface and not very comfortable to stand on for any length of time.
- Used in place of tile for shower floors and anywhere you want a natural looking floor instead of tile, great for entry ways and anywhere else you want to bring natural elements into the home. See Bringing Nature into the Home)
- 100% Natural
- No chemicals
- Long lasting
- Pricing around $ 12 sq ft
Q. Where can we get these products?
A. With the Cork and Bamboo, any dealer for U.S floors is an excellent source. Check with dealers near you. I also carry all of these products at my store eco-6 design will ship any of these products directly to your location. You can see all of these products on our web site at www.eco6design.com.
Q. What is the pricing of these products compared to other non-eco friendly products on the market?
A. I have listed the pricing ranges above. Bamboo and cork is comparable to hard wood flooring. Wool carpeting is more expensive than the price of regular carpeting. The stone tiles are more than porcelain tiles and Marmoleum compared to Linoleum is more expensive but lasts forever and looks more beautiful than Linoleum. there is no comparison in terms of the environmentally ‘unfriendly’ Linoleum to the beautiful environmentally ‘friendly’ Marmoleum. Concrete flooring can be inexpensive or expensive depending upon the complexity of the design.
Cover Photo of Concrete Flooring courtesy of http://concreteflooringss.com/2011/08/20/concrete-floor-finishing/
More articles by Erica Sofrina on Eco-friendly remodeling;