Do you know that out of all flooring options, vinyl and carpet pose the biggest threat to the environment and the air you breathe everyday in your home? 70 percent of carpet in the United States is made from nylon which is petroleum-based. Not only is this a non-renewable resource, it harbors allergens and chemicals that can make you sick. Vinyl is even worse because when it is produced, it causes dioxin which is a carcinogen and quite honestly, neither are biodegradable!
- Wool Carpet – This is fire-resistant, durable, hypoallergenic and stain-resistant. It offers springy fibers that bounce back so high traffic areas never wear down. Wool does come with a heavy price tab but you certainly get what you pay for.
- Sisal – The fibers from agave plant leaves make an easy-to-clean, durable and sound absorbent flooring.
- Other Plants – Seagrass, jute, abaca and coir are all fabulous choices! Interestingly, abaca is derived from the banana family and coir is made from coconut husks which dry fast so this is an ideal choice for humid environments.
- Linoleum – No, linoleum and vinyl are not the same thing despite what you may have heard. Linoleum is created from linseed oil, wood flour, cork dust, ground limestone, tree resins and pigments.
- Cork – Care to walk on air? That’s what this flooring feels like due to the tiny sealed air pockets it’s made of. This is a durable flooring. Even if you drop a weight on it, the floor will eventually spring back up. Cork is water-resistant, provides great insulation and will last almost five times longer than vinyl.
- Earthen – Created from clay, lime and sand, this is a floor perfect for cold areas because it holds heat. Earthen floors won’t dent, scratch, crack and they are unique and inexpensive.
If you are creating a modern home, also consider the health of you, your family and the environment and choose a green type of flooring.