Environmental Considerations of Choosing the Right Flooring for Sustainable Homes
We have talked about the growing popularity of sustainable homes. As we stated, there has recently been a 59% increase in homes that are on track to become carbon neutral.
However, homeowners can only really become eco-friendly if they take all the right steps. This involves make sensible, eco-friendly choices in things like flooring.
The Role of Flooring in Eco-Friendly Homes
You may not have given much thought to the importance of flooring when creating an eco-friendly home. You probably thought more about the fun things, like installing solar panels and other sustainable devices.
However, flooring makes a big difference for a couple of reasons:
- Some flooring materials have a lower carbon footprint
- Some flooring options require less energy to install
- Some flooring materials last longer
All of these factors have an impact on the carbon footprint of your floor. Although this isn’t something that is directly calculated in a household carbon footprint calculator, you should still take it into consideration.
Choosing the Right Flooring for Your Eco-Friendly Home
Choosing our best flooring for your eco-friendly home isn’t going to be easy. Unfortunately, a lot of the time we end up agonizing over choosing from different flooring types, colors, thicknesses and patterns. Choosing a type of flooring that matches your taste is very important of course. However, you have to remember that your floor is going to last for a while so it’s so important to make sure that you will like it for years to come!
Not to mention the fact that when it’s time to move on, your flooring will be a worthy selling point. You also want it to be relatively neutral, so it doesn’t matter if you do decide to change your interior around. So, let’s have a look at some of the reasons…
What if I have pets?
Since there are so many of us with little furry creatures roaming around the place, the flooring world has had to keep up with making flooring pet friendly. Luckily there are endless choices that will be more than suitable for your little critters…
There is a danger however that your pets’ sharp claws can scratch and damage this surface, particularly solid wood, so we wouldn’t recommend this as first option. Instead, go for laminate or luxury vinyl tiles which are very unlikely to scratch or show wear from your pets playing on it. However, if you have fallen for solid wood, then don’t worry.
The good news is that solid wood can be sanded down and refinished to remove any damages, which can often be done more than once, whereas as soon as laminate or luxury vinyl tiles gets a scratch, it’s game over until you purchase a completely new floor! So, even though your pets might scratch you wood floor, there is a way of eradicating the damage. There are solid wood options that can disguise scratches, though. One idea is to use a brushed finish with lots of grooves that can often make the scratches blend in. You’ll hardly notice the damage after! There is perhaps slightly more risk going for solid wood, but sometimes it’s gorgeous appearance can make it 100% worth it!
Create a niche look in every room
If you do decide to go for real wood flooring, then you’ll have a whole array of options that your rooms will never look the same or boring! There are so many colors, plank styles, thicknesses and wood types – every room will have its own character and personality.
Herringbone wood is very in at the moment and would be ideal to give the ‘wow’ factor to your guests when they walk into your hallway. You could also consider investing in a honey toned engineered wood for your living room when you want to get snuggly on those cold winter nights! The good thing about engineered wood as well is that it can cope with under-floor heating, something solid wood cannot so make sure you’re aware of this when you’re looking. The kitchen would work well with a good-tempered laminate, perhaps wide planks to really complement the space (as wide planks can often make a room look bigger than it actually is) and a snazzy luxury vinyl tile for the bathroom, perhaps grey? Because after all, grey is the new black in the flooring world these days.
Now unfortunately we have to mention the importance of price considerations. It’s all very tempted to start getting carried away with looking at expensive and plush flooring when it’s way out of our budget. But just because you might have a lower budget, that does not mean that you have to sacrifice good looks and a good quality flooring. As much as most of us love the look of solid wood, you do pay for its luxury. This is why we’d recommend engineered wood as a cheaper option, looking exactly the same but at a much more affordable price. This is because it is made up of man-made materials underneath, but finished with a real wood layer. As mentioned before, you can also have it with under-floor heating, and it is much easier to clean and maintain – so having a tighter budget might not be so bad after all! Next is luxury vinyl tiles, which varied massively depending on which you go for, some are really good quality and will last for years whereas some are a cheap quick fix. The most affordable flooring type however is laminate, ideal for those first-time buyers or families who just need something cheap and cheerful. You aren’t having to sacrifice good looks either, both laminate and luxury vinyl tiles replicate natural products such as real wood and stone so perfectly, that often it’s hard to tell them apart!
We hope these little pointers have given you an idea of at least where to start. We know that choosing your dream floor isn’t always an easy ride and we wish you the best of luck!