Gone are the days when ‘eco-friendly’ meant boring and dull. Today, more and more designers are incorporating eco-friendly and environmentally responsible materials in their work. This is, in part, down to ever more demanding clients, but it’s also due to the diversity of materials now available that meet the eco brief.
Bamboo flooring is growing in popularity at some speed. Its wood-like qualities are fashionable, and despite being a grass rather than the hardwood it resembles, bamboo is very durable and easy to install. It has beautiful grains and lots of colours, so it is more customisable than many products, and it gets its eco-credentials from the speed in which it grows – it is sustainable and reaches maturity in five years.
Linoleum is making its way back into fashion, having made way in the 1940s for vinyl. It is water-resistant and fire-retardant, which is attractive to today’s designers. Made from natural components like linseed oil or limestone, it is hardwearing and now has a great range of colours and patterns. Vinyl flooring is similar, and has also seen a resurgence, though it is synthetic.
Manufacturing processes have changed to be less harmful, and being man-made, vinyl is usually cheaper than linoleum, though still has the same wide range of colours, as demonstrated on sites like UK Flooring Direct http://www.ukflooringdirect.co.uk/vinyl-flooring.
For the ultimate in eco-friendly, reuse. Reclaimed wood is perfect, because it doesn’t involve chopping down any more trees, and can be in keeping with period properties or conversions. If you cannot buy reclaimed, look for FSC certified – the Forest Stewardship Council promotes sustainability and compliance with their high environmental standards.
Perhaps not the first thing that comes to mind when you think about sustainable flooring, polished concrete is gaining in popularity. It’s been used for many years as a base, before another flooring is put over the top, though now with different tints and highly polished finishes, homeowners are choosing it on its own as a super-stylish, modern option in its own right. It’s easy to clean and never needs replacing.
For more ideas on choosing the right eco-friendly flooring for you, see the guide compiled by The Telegraph.
With so much choice available now, you might want to choose a different option for each room in the house!