Going Green With Home Flooring - A New Era In Custom Home Design
By Bill Weber
Green buildings are for those builders and home owners that have a real concern for environmental sustainability. Time was when most people believed that going green with their home plans to either build or renovate meant incurring costs that were comparatively higher than regular building. These days, however, with the several choices of building plans and material available to us, more people are reaping the benefits of cheaper homes by exploiting a variety of opportunities in such a manner that a green home is no longer out of reach. It all begins with people being aware that cheaper green options are available when choosing the right design and building material.
Where does one begin you might ask - a valid question, without a doubt. It all begins with the design and then figuring out just how green you want to go on the exterior and interior. Other elements that impact overall decisions are form, function and space. The choices are guided by your values and attitude to the project.
From garden designs to material for the building's exterior, to ceiling, walls and flooring, greener options are available. The focus of this piece is on green floors and you will be truly be floored by the plethora of low-cost green options available.
The Whys of Green Flooring
A floor is a floor is a floor - or is it? What are some good reasons for opting for green floors?
is mostly made up of recycled material and does not draw heavily from the environment on virgin material
is usually a longer lasting option than your conventional flooring
provides an opportunity to comply with the recycling regulations of the government
is safer for the occupants of the home and the environment at large
is mostly possible to recycle and does not contribute to landfills
leaves you feeling a sense of pride in contributing to the environment.
Criteria for green flooring:
Green flooring materials are generally recyclable. This can be the actual floor or the kind of carpet that is chosen for your home. Flooring comes in a range of recyclable but affordable material that is easy to use. Bamboo flooring is one such alternative to laminate or other conventional flooring. These floorings come in various shapes, sizes and colors and can even be dyed to suit the interior color themes of a home. Bamboo is comparable to oak in terms of its stability and dent resistance. It can be grown back far more easily than an oak tree.
While choosing green flooring, think about how easily renewable the material is. Cork and linoleum are far easier to grow back, even bamboo. While a hard wood tree might take 50 years or so to be replaced, bamboo takes about 3-5 years. Marmoleum is a flooring product available in rolls or tiles. Marmoleum is a product of linseed oil, rosin, jute, wood flour and limestone.
Carpet makers today offer modular pieces of carpet made of recycled material from industrial waste such as radial rubber. Check out major carpet suppliers who these days make carpets that are manufactured from recycled waste. This helps save precious virgin raw material from being used. Source specialty recyclers that can provide you wood recovered from buildings earmarked for demolition. None of the existing building codes restrict the usage of recycled material for flooring.
Extended life cycle
Carpets made from radial rubber last for more than two decades and linoleum flooring tiles last for four decades. That's certainly worth a thought!
Today, home planners have a range of choices when it comes to biodegradable floors such as bamboo, cork, or recycled wood.
Choosing green flooring presents exciting options for environmentally friendly buildings. Not only are these options resilient and sturdy, but they are also not as prone to price fluctuations as conventional flooring options are. They come in various shapes, sizes and colors. Since these products pull less heavily on virgin material by using recycled material and are long lasting, they are a superior choice, naturally. Some of these products are actually 30-50% less expensive than conventional material, thus giving you the cost advantage from the beginning. If it is a green building you want, then the type of flooring you opt for will make a significant difference to enhance the value of your building and minimize the impact on the environment.
Bill Weber is the President of Weber Design Group, Inc., a custom architectural design and home plan resource firm that has been in business for more than two decades. His homes feature designs of award winning grace that are seamless in their setting and fluid in their design. The design team at Weber will work to create a custom home unique to your lifestyle.
Contact Weber Design Group to begin the process of bringing your dream to reality.