Green flooring or eco-flooring, as they are popularly known, generally deals with those flooring options which are natural. In fact the biggest advantage of an eco-flooring option is its reduced impact on the environment. This has acted as an impetus which has changed the way of thinking of many people thereby popularising this flooring option in the past few years.
Generally speaking any flooring option which is environment-friendly, non-toxic and made from sources which can either be sustainably harvested, reclaimed or recycled come under the purview of eco-friendly flooring. Some of the popular eco-friendly options include wood, bamboo, cork, Linoleum, rubber etc.
However, the relative obscurity and newness of these eco-friendly flooring options has resulted in the emergence of quite a few myths like:
- Expenses involved: It is true that the installation of green flooring options incur an initial cost which is relatively higher than the other flooring options. While the installation of these options include an initial expense, the savings in energy, water and other utility bills help to offset the initial cost in the long run. Another positive aspect of using eco-friendly materials is the positive impact it has on the health of the inhabitants of a green building thereby facilitating further savings by way of lesser medical bills.
- High maintenance: There is a general misconception that having an eco-friendly flooring option like wood, bamboo, cork etc., require day to day maintenance which is not feasible in today’s fast paced life. But this again is a myth which can be easily dispensed with by taking into consideration the fact that most require just a simple vacuuming or sweeping to maintain them regularly. A weekly mop is more than enough to retain the shine of the flooring option selected in most cases. Since most of these eco-friendly options need a polyurethane or a wax finish, there is no need for any additional maintenance other than a coat of finish every two years or so to maintain its durability, longevity and beauty.
- Energy saving: Myth says that the so called energy savings do not happen while facts prove otherwise. Statistics collected from people having a wooden or cork floor prove beyond doubt that in winter these flooring options make for a warm feeling underfoot. This helps save on the heating arrangements that are needed especially in places where winters tend to be extremely cold. Some eco-friendly flooring options like stone, concrete etc. remain cool even during the hot summer months. this helps reduce the use of air conditioners thereby also bringing down the utility bills in summer. With ample options available with regards to eco-flooring, choosing the appropriate option depending on the lifestyle and the weather conditions prevalent definitely make for a visible reduction in energy bills.
- Selective suitability: Some people feel that green flooring options are not suitable for places like the kitchen wherein water usage is present. But this again is a myth which can be easily busted for with the correct finish and proper maintenance, they make for durable, warm and definitely elegant option for all the rooms especially the kitchen. Another advantage of using a green flooring option in the kitchen like hardwood or cork is the soft cushiony feeling that they impart underfoot .This further provides much needed comfort from aches and pains in the joints and legs especially when people have to stand for prolonged periods of time.
- Prone to dents and scratches: This ailments affect almost all types of flooring option irrespective of whether they are green or not. Hence it is an universal problem which needs to be solved using innovative means like:
- Using carpets, rugs, mats etc. in areas experiencing high-traffic,
- Using proper finishes and sealants which age with the eco-friendly flooring option used,
- Ensuring pets have clipped nails,
- Using buffers under furniture legs to avoid dents and scratches,
- Lifting furniture for moving etc.
- Limited options: Most feel that eco-friendly flooring options do not have variety of design, colour, texture and pattern. This again is a myth which needs to be displaced since innumerable themes, colour schemes and options are available even in this genre. Hence matching the flooring option with the current theme prevalent in the house is definitely quite easy and satisfying for the owners too.
The switch-over from a non-green to an eco-friendly flooring option is a smart move since it enables people to do their bit for the environment by way of lesser carbon footprint and also facilitates financial savings in the long run.