People have become very conscious about the use of eco-friendly materials in their daily lives. So much so that even for installing the floors of their houses, they are looking at green options to minimise the damage caused to the environment. As a result a lot of unique and original ideas have come up with regards to the flooring styles which have caught the fancy of the populace.
Some green ideas which have become quite popular in the past few years are:
- Cork:Once used to seal bottles of wine, today cork is being extensively used to make floors for houses because it:
- Is a renewable source as it is the harvested bark of the common cork oak tree found extensively in the Mediterranean region
- Has anti-microbial properties which reduce the occurrence of disease causing allergens
- Is easy to maintain and feels good underfoot
- Is fire resistant and also naturally acts as an insect repellent
- Can be painted or stained as per the requirements of the decor
- Has a long shelf life of about 10 to 30 years making it quite durable.
- Bamboo: This is slowly growing in popularity because of its familiarity to hardwood. It is also easy to install and maintain and extremely durable. The uniqueness of this renewable source of flooring lies in the availability of a wide variety of grains and colours. This provides architects and designers with greater scope for customisation thereby giving it an edge over any traditional flooring material that is used.
- Linoleum: Mostly confused with vinyl, Linoleum flooring is actually very different from it. While vinyl is a petrochemical product and thus harmful, linoleum is an organic concoction of certain tree resins, cork dust, wood flour, linseed oil, ground limestone and certain pigments. It is also fire and water resistant and an extremely durable material which can withstand a lot of wear and tear.
- Glass tiles: Beautiful to look at and a renewable product, glass tiles are made from recycled wine and beer bottles. This option is gaining popularity not only because of its inherent beauty but also because it is:
- Free from the formation of moulds and mildew even in damp circumstances
- Easy to maintain
- Resistant to stains.
Glass times also have an amazing range of patterns and colours thereby increasing its suitability as a finishing material for design schemes. It’s ability to reflect light also helps to impart dark rooms with additional light and brightness.
- Rubber: Made from recycles tires, it is versatile in its use, beautiful to look at and extremely durable. Its characteristic resistance to water and great underfoot feeling is slowly making it an attractive option. The fact that there are many colours and patterns available of the same, only help to strengthen its popularity.
There are many other options which are being innovatively used like reclaimed hardwood, leather, wool carpets etc. With most of us wizening up to the fact that we need to make changes in our lives so that our planet can be saved, these eco-friendly flooring options have come into mainstream use. No longer in their nascent stages, today the number of people opting for these options has definitely increased.