It is important to choose an environmentally floor in a home with children or pets, as too many chemicals in the production process can have a negative effect on your family’s health. Floors that are harder to clean will also require more toxic cleaning products, and you need to set a good example for your children so they can too make responsible choices in the future. So when it comes to home renovations, Luxury Flooring have listed some things to look out for.
What To Look For
As solid and engineered flooring both use wood, it may appear that manufacturing them is bad for the environment. Although some deforestation may take place for both, engineered wood is a lot better as only the surface layer of these floors is solid wood, and the sub-layers are plywood. Look out for a thinner wear layer on these floors, as the wear layer is the solid wood part. It is also important to look out for floors that are PEFC or FSC certified, which means the wood comes from certified forests or is reclaimed. Reclaimed wood is also a great alternative if you are concerned about deforestation – this wood has been used in the past and will be thrown out if not reclaimed, so why not put it to good use? In addition, existing wood floors can be sanded and re-finished to look good as new instead of being replaced altogether. You should note some ‘wood’ floors are actually bamboo, a type of grass, which re-grows incredibly fast (3-5 feet every year) and is therefore sustainable. Softer floors are ideal for young children, but carpet can often harvest allergens. This is why we recommend the above, but with use of underlay to increase cushioning.
You may also want to check out this advise on setting the tone with world class flooring which take you through the pros and cons of good quality carpet and rugs.
What To Avoid
Although LVT seems like a more eco-friendly option since it doesn’t use wood like its popular alternatives, it is in fact made of PVC which is terrible for the planet in its production. It can however be sent to many manufacturers for recycling, using schemes that are increasing popularity. If you have your heart set on LVT, consider one from a brand that uses recycled materials to make it. In terms of cleaning, it is important to avoid harmful chemicals for both the environment and your family’s health. In fact, many spillages can simply be blotted to be cleaned up, or mopped away with a damp cloth and nothing else. If you leave spillages so long that they become stains, you are more likely to require a harmful chemical to get rid of it. Look for a smoother finish on a floor for an easier and greener cleaning experience – but choose lacquer over gloss so there is much less slip-risk for your children.
Reducing Your Carbon Footprint
Many people follow the above and totally forget to consider the distribution of their flooring. It is better to purchase flooring manufactured in and shipped from your own country, and if possible, a location closer to your home. Try shopping locally – many flooring retailers have a price match promise so you won’t need to worry about this being more expensive. By reducing your carbon footprint, you will be making the world much more habitable for the future generation and making your children’s futures much easier.
Is there anything we have missed? What are your tips?