City of Alexandria, VA
Page updated Jul 27, 2012 9:27 AM
Finding Common Ground: Choosing Sustainable Flooring Materials
When we think about sustainability and going green in our homes, one of the biggest opportunities is right under our feet. That's right, the floor. Floors get some the highest daily usage of anything in our homes, so how can we make sure it's safe for the environment and sustainable for years to come?
Cork tiles or planks are another excellent sustainable flooring option. Cork is also rapidly renewable, and the bark of cork trees can be removed once every 7 to 10 years without harming the tree or its habitat. Cork flooring keeps its shape well and is naturally mold, moisture and rot resistant. Its durability matches that of hardwood flooring, and the material is nontoxic and biodegradable (and can even be ground up for compost at the end of its usable life). As a softer material than tile or bamboo, cork can be installed in place of carpet, but can also be suitable as bathroom flooring. As an added benefit, cork is an insulator that works to help keep your heating costs low and minimize noise.
Even if cork or bamboo are not suitable for your situation, there are a number of other green flooring options that optimize the sourcing, manufacturing, durability, aesthetics and health benefits of flooring materials. Check out the “Buyer’s Guide to Green Floor Materials” for information about Green Label Plus certified carpets, tile flooring made from recycled content, and more.
Additional Resources:Green Flooring Advice | USGBC Green Home Guide