With the vastness of flooring choices that are available to us, the task of choosing materials and fixtures can be quite overwhelming. Here are two suggestions that can help you plant your feet on solid eco ground. Two less obvious, fresh, industrial, and utilitarian vibe choices —you know, with a kind of 99% solidarity feel—are linoleum and cork.
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Linoleum is one of the new fashionable trends for flooring amongst cork, bamboo, and reclaimed wood. It is trendy with a conscience, a collocation that seems to be gathering great momentum with more and more people adopting it as a defining lifestyle choice.
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Real linoleum is an all-natural alternative to vinyl with numerous environmental and indoor air quality benefits. It is made of linseed oil, pine resins, wood flour, flax, ground limestone and pigments, and jute backing. Added benefits are that it is hypoallergenic, biodegradable, formaldehyde-free, and does not emit harmful VOCs.
Linoleum is low-maintenance, easy to clean and durable. It can also be a marvelous DIY project that is much more accessible and easy on the pocketbook. In other words, it is top of the line egalitarian flooring, woot!
It comes in sheets or tiles that click together for an easy installation process. For more information on linoleum, specifications and suppliers go to The Healthiest Home, a leading Canadian supplier of environmentally conscious building products, services and construction solutions.
Cork is another incredible and unique flooring option. Best of all cork is a completely renewable resource and thus the ultimate green flooring choice! It comes from the bark of cork trees and therefore doesn’t require the cutting down of forests. The entire process of producing cork floors is very sustainable. Cork flooring also uses post-industrial recycled material from wine-stoppers. I can already picture drinking a lovely Niagara VQA Chardonnay on my cork floor!
It is LEED certified, extremely durable, anti-microbial and hypoallergenic.
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Cork is also great for often-extreme Canadian temperatures. Particularly during the long winter months cork flooring keeps indoor spaces several degrees warmer. Its acoustic and shock absorbing properties also make it an ideal material for a range of activities from a kid’s play area, work in the kitchen (and less precarious if you have a tendency to drop dishes!) to providing grounding for you and your stilettos. It also serves as great standing support. So in the case of conservation, comfort and functionality cork definitely takes the cake!
More information on cork flooring is available at The Healthiest Home.
Researched and Written by: Julia Borowicz, Urban Studies and Human Geography, University of Toronto, Undergraduate Studies