Sustainable Options That Might Floor You

Posted by Woodrow Aames ~ August 2, 2010

The range of materials and prices in the latest flooring products should create enthusiasm for homeowners looking for something different than the same old carpeting or tile coverings. With prices dropping on many flooring products and environmental products on the upswing, you really do have choices today. Imagine this--54 percent of hardwood flooring sold today is made of engineered hardwoods.

That's a far cry from carpeting, which still holds a 52.5 percent market share, according to a recent flooring report from The Sacramento Bee. Among the hardwood options, homeowners still prefer oak. And exotic woods from Malaysia and Brazil are part of a growing trend.

Floors Are Going Green

Cork flooring and bamboo--the growing favorites among sustainable flooring options--are capturing more of the market each year, according to The Bee. Cork flooring is especially sustainable because it can be created from recycled bottle stopper materials or harvested from a living tree without damaging the source. That's as renewable as it gets.

Here's a update on the lowest current per-square-foot prices for a range of flooring products, as reported by the newspaper:

  • Hardwood: $4, installation extra. (Not sustainable, is expensive, but elegant.)

  • Bamboo: $4, installation extra. (Sustainable, but can be dented. Growing in popularity.)

  • Reclaimed Hardwood: $15, installation extra. (Unique floor patterns and colors. Pricey to install.)

  • Laminate: $2, installation extra. (Imitates any number of natural stones.)

  • Engineered Hardwood: $4 , installation extra. (Created in alternating layers for durability.)

  • Cork: $5, installation extra. (Soft under your feet and mold resistant.)

  • Clay or Quartz Tile: $8, installed. (May require sealing, but is known for durability.)

  • Stone (marble, granite, slate): $15, installed. (Lasting value. But, don't try installing it yourself unless you've done it successfully before.)

  • Rubber: $2, installation extra. (Sustainable. Great for rec room.)

  • Linoleum: $3, installation extra. (Old favorite now in vogue. Newer products made of biodegradable linseed oil and pine resins.)

  • Vinyl: $2, installation extra. (Now with embossed patterns, textures, and color choices. Easy to clean.)

  • Concrete: $15, installed. (Gaining popularity. Durable, but requires sealing.)
Take your time and talk to professionals to help you choose the best flooring for your home. Many contractors that specialize in one flooring material may be happy to give you the names and contact numbers of their recent or former clients. Take a look--and a walk--on the flooring options to see which make your feet happy!

6 Responses to “Sustainable Options That Might Floor You”