Recycled and Recyclable Flooring: A Green Choice!

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We’ve all seen it on TV, social media and in advertising. What, you ask? Recycled flooring! People across America are opting for beautiful, sustainable choices for their homes and subsequently their floors.

The farmhouse style, popularized by HGTV’s Fixer Upper star Joanna Gaines, continues to grow in both popularity and project variety. One of the trends seen on the series is reclaimed wood. The wood from an old house or barn is inspected and installed in a beautiful new or remodeled home. Another HGTV star with a knack for recycled remodels is Erin Napier. Erin co-stars with her husband, Ben, on the series Home Town. Focused on the area of Laurel, Mississippi, the two have been flipping and remodeling homes. Not unlike Joanna, Erin and Ben choose to create up-cycled charm in the homes they design and remodel. Both shows and others show us just how elegant recycled flooring can be!

Apart from the farmhouse style, recycled flooring is versatile and can suit any taste. Recycled flooring comes in many forms and pairs well with multiple styles. Styles such as classic and polished, industrial, elegant and formal—you name it and there is a recycled floor just right for you! The right interior designer or consultant can help you find a recycled flooring style best suited to your needs and your unique sense of style.

Let’s talk about easily recycled flooring choices. First, let’s talk about linoleum. Some may think of linoleum as poor-quality flooring, but we’re not talking about the linoleum of yesteryear. Modern linoleum is made better than ever before. Linoleum itself is made of linseed oil and a binder that holds it together. In fact, the name linoleum is derived from the Latin linum for linseed and oleum for oil. From the start, there’s no question what this product is made of because the name gives it away! Linoleum is a cost-effective choice, too. Most linoleum flooring can be purchased for $3 to $6 per square foot uninstalled. The flooring manufacturer Forbo® has produced a beautiful, durable flooring called marmoleum, touted as the highest quality of linoleum flooring. Marmoleum comes in a wide variety of patterns and colors and is easily recycled. Many homeowners focused on leading a green-conscious lifestyle love the idea of marmoleum and that it has significantly less environmental impact than vinyl flooring.

Cork and bamboo are also among the planet-friendly contenders for recycled and easily recyclable flooring. They offer beautiful, rich colors similar to those of mass-produced hardwood flooring but without the guilt. Cork can be a great solution for households with young children. Cork is sound absorbent and offers a little more cushion than traditional flooring such as tile or hardwood. Additionally, cork is great for entertainers. Whether it’s use for soundproofing a basement for instrumental practice or padding a recording studio for podcasts, cork is a wonderful eco-friendly choice for floors and more! Bamboo is an easily recycled flooring option and is vastly more renewable than lumber. Many flooring specialty stores offer a wide variety of bamboo flooring choices. Bamboo also gives the appearance of a traditional hardwood floor, which appeals to many who are considering hardwood flooring for its aesthetic.

Other sustainable and recyclable flooring choices worthy of mention are natural fiber rugs. If you want a softer, responsible flooring choice, look no further than natural fiber carpeting! Natural fiber choices generally refer to wool or grass-based carpeting.

Let’s talk about wool carpeting first. Wool carpeting is a wonder! It retains its color and shape better than many other non-ecofriendly choices. Wool naturally repels water and it’s a better natural insulator for those who live in cooler climates. Wool carpeting is also naturally fire-resistant and it even wicks away excess moisture for those who live in balmier climates. Wool carpeting is also 80 percent recyclable. If not taken to a new home, it can be used for agriculture and more. Be aware that water-based messes are the easiest to remove from wool carpeting, other messes, not so much. This textile is very absorbent and may not be the best choice for some. However, its many perks and environmentally conscious harvesting makes it a win-win choice for the environmentally savvy buyer.

Sisal and jute, made from plants and grasses, are other wonderful choices for your home. Sisal is very durable and great for high-traffic areas of the home. Jute is a bit softer and still just as environmentally conscious as sisal and similar fibers. Both are easy to recycle and look just as lovely as some of their less eco-friendly textile competitors.

The choices for your home flooring needs are endless. Sustainable flooring choices make that task a no-brainer, easy on you and the environment. Recycled floor coverings and recyclable floor coverings are a terrific choice in today’s interior design trends! ■

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