Saturday, June 6, 2009

What is Green Flooring and the factors that determine green?

Green flooring includes any flooring that is sustainable, eco-friendly, contains recycled content, is recyclable, leaves a small carbon footprint or has low VOC’s (Volatile Organic Compound). There are different degrees of green associated with different types of flooring.

Raw Materials


Consider products that begin as a natural product (wool, wood, cork) or are made from recycled materials (carpet)

Soda bottles can be melted down and recycled into carpet fiber

Certain carpet manufacturers have the ability to take post consumer carpet and break it down to its original raw material. The new material can be manufactured back into carpet without any degradation of quality to performance or styling.

  • How products are harvested is critical
  • Try to select sustainably harvested products
  • Consider salvaged products
  • Choose products that are certified as environmentally friendly

Transportation

Be cautious of products that have to be transported long distances

Choose products made or grown within 500 miles

Shop locally when possible from vendors that supply locally

Installation

Use and Maintenance

  • Once installed, some floors continue to give off gas compounds
  • Avoid less durable floors, which have to be replaced more often
  • Avoid high maintenance floors that require use of harsh chemicals
  • Consider floors that don’t have to be refinished

End of Life

  • Ask yourself, what will happen to the floor when it has reached the end of its life cycle?
  • Can the floor be recycled or reused?
  • Can the floor be donated?
  • In general, synthetic products don’t decay, but they can be recycled

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