Eco-Friendly Flooring

Photo of Concrete Flooring by

By Erica Sofrina, Teacher, Speaker, Author and Founder of the West Coast Academy of Feng Shui

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

  1. The durability-how long will it last
  2. The chemicals that are/or are not in it
  3. The material  it is made out of
  4. Is it FSC certified wood ? (quality controlled when harvesting the wood from the forest)
  5. Is it from a fast growing, and therefore ‘renewable’ source? ( such as bamboo)
  6. 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 flooring

Bamboo Flooring comes in many stains and designs

  • 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:

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.

Cork flooring

Cork Flooring comes in many designs and colors

  • 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

Wool Carpeting

Wool Carpeting comes in many styles, textures and colors

  • 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 comes in many designs and colors

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

Concrete Flooring

Concrete flooring can be fabulous with wonderful faux designs to replicate many other flooring products

  • 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.

Rock tile

Rock Tile comes in an assortment of stone sizes and choices of colors

  • 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

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

More articles by Erica Sofrina on Eco-friendly remodeling;

The Green Home Remodel

Eco Friendly Counter Tops

To find out more about the Green Design program at the West Coast Academy of Feng Shui go to


Sonia M

Good article thanks for sharing

Sheamus W.
Past Member 4 years ago

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flooring greenville sc

Pat W.
Pat W5 years ago

good info to consider

Pat W.
Pat W5 years ago

good info to consider

Watson J.
Watson J.5 years ago

If you’re remodeling your home, or building your dream home, installing a brand new floor (like- Laminate Flooring, wooden flooring, oak flooring etc) might be on your list. There are many flooring materials to choose from, each with different pros, cons, and looks. If you are trying to live green, you may want to consider an Eco-friendly flooring material.

Cork flooring: - You are maybe common with the cork you find stopping up wine bottles, of course, but you may never have walked on a cork floor. It’s the same material, just formed into tiles or planks and stuck down on the sub-floor. Since it is lightweight, installation is fairly painless. Cork is considered Eco-friendly because it’s harvested from sustainable resources. It comes from the bark of the cork oak tree. Cork’s exclusive look makes it a fun floor choice, but there are practical reasons for choosing it as well. It acts as an insulator; absorbing sound and softening impacts.

Steven Ripple
Steven Ripple6 years ago

I am so sick of reading about concrete this and concrete that being eco-friendly... I would only classify concrete as a green choice if it is reclaimed from right near the building site. Concrete is extremely heavy, and it has a TON of embodied energy in both its manufacture as well as its transportation. Using fly ash in ANY product is really stupid, as fly ash is EXTREMELY high in mercury content. There is just no excuse for the coal industry at all, and this kind of greenwashing makes people feel better about it. Concrete is a very poor decision unless it is 100% recycled or 100% reclaimed and also from within about a 25 mile radius and made with ZERO fly ash. Please, people, for the love of the Earth... get off the concrete bandwagon already.

Bill K.
Bill K6 years ago

i wish i could have a green floor. but living in an apartment i have to live with my landlord's wall to wall carpet. yuck!

Therese Kutscheid

Great to know about environmental material.

Jo Asprec
Jo Asprec6 years ago

Good ideas!