Green flooring -nothing to do with the colour green – is flooring that has made the least impact on our planet when produced. Its production is such that it contains no element that could cause harm to those living on it. This can often be the case with certain adhesives used in the manufacture of various flooring types. If the adhesive contains formaldehyde, then noxious fumes are the result. And some types of carpet also emit fumes that have an adverse effect on our health with lung or throat irritation.
So what is the best ‘green’ flooring to use? There are several options. Some flooring is made from renewable or recycled timber. Other types are made from parts of trees without harming them. Cork floors are made from tree bark, but cork has limitations, such as yellowing and being easily scratched. Linoleum is made from tree products without harming the trees and is longwearing.
Bamboo is renewable, but you need to get the mature product for strength and longevity – and keep it away from water. Recycled carpeting is another option. It is not using some one else’s old carpet, but new carpeting made from plastic products such as bottles and plastic bags. The colours are vibrant and fade-resistant and the carpet has good wearing qualities without emitting harmful fumes.
Some residential estates are developed to be environmentally friendly. You can ask your shortlisted homes builders if any of their available house designs are environmentally friendly, or visit their display homes to get an idea of materials used.