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sustainable floors

April 21, 2014

Sustainable floors are an aspect of sustainable building that many people don’t think of. Often when the media talks about sustainability they focus almost exclusively on reducing the amount of energy you use or your carbon footprint. These are incredibly important and valuable aspects of living a green lifestyle, but they’re not the only thing involved in making a building that is sustainable and earth-friendly. Even if a building uses very little energy, if it’s made out of materials that were manufactured in a way that puts out a great deal of pollution then the building still has a strong negative effect on the environment.

Luckily, that mistake is easy to avoid thanks to a growing number of great eco-friendly building materials on the market. Sustainable floors are easy to achieve in a variety of ways, some of them surprising. When people think of earth-friendly sustainable floors their mind often goes right to some of the more drastic types of flooring that were pioneered by early green builders. An earth floor is a great example. Made from earth and clay, an earth floor is a beautiful design element and very eco-friendly but they are also hard to install, potentially expensive and very fussy to maintain. The need for more practical and cost-effective sustainable floors has been clear for sometime, and a few companies have stepped up to provide great options.

One of the leaders in this movement is Flexco, a company that specializes in making attractive, high quality rubber and vinyl flooring. Many people don’t think of rubber as an option for flooring, but it’s one of the best substances on the market. Made from tree sap, it is a natural material but nonetheless incredibly durable and long-lasting. Rubber floors have a unique, comfortable feel to walk on and look especially great where a modern look or multiple colors are desired. Many rubber floors are actually produced using recycled tires.

Vinyl is another great eco-friendly option. Vinyl has been around for decades and is incredibly versatile. The process of making vinyl is very simple and light on pollution, making it a favorite among environmentalists. Like rubber, vinyl is known for being a very scratch-proof, resilient surface that resists stains. It doesn’t warp and it doesn’t need to be buffed or waxed, but vinyl can be made in a very luxurious, convincing hardwood floor imitation as well as in a variety of gorgeous stone textures. It’s one of the most appealing materials for sustainable floors.

As the green building movement continues to grow there will surely be many different ways to reduce energy costs, and it will remain just as important to use responsible building materials. A key part of that will be sustainable floors.

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