Eco-friendly home improvement has emerged as one of the most popular and important trends of the past decade, especially in light of the many environmental challenges that our modern world faces today. Demand for building supplies that are made from sustainable or recyclable materials continues to increase, with flooring being one of the main areas of concern for environmentally conscious homeowners. If you’ve been thinking about “going green” with your next flooring project, consider using either cork or bamboo as your material of choice; read on to find out why.
Cork flooring is made from the bark of the Cork Oak Evergreen tree, which is native to the Mediterranean Region. The great thing about using cork is that the extraction process does not require the tree to be cut down; in fact, the bark renews itself every eight to 10 years, making it a thoroughly sustainable material. There are several reasons why cork is an ideal choice for your next flooring project:
- Cork is comfortable. It provides the perfect amount of “give” when compressed, providing a nice cushion-like effect for your feet. In addition, cork acts as a natural insulator for both heat and sound, giving any room with cork flooring a warm and quiet atmosphere.
- Cork is remarkably durable, and is highly resistant to abrasions, dents and cracks. Even if furniture pieces cause indentations (which is not uncommon), cork is resilient enough to keep them from becoming permanent.
- Being a natural material, cork is a great choice for maintaining a high level of indoor air quality. It doesn’t shed any microfibers, and it doesn’t emit volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that can be harmful to humans. In addition, cork is an anti-microbial material, which means that it is naturally resistant to mildew and mold.
- Cork is as aesthetically beautiful as it is functional, which means that it can complement a wide variety of design requirements and decor styles.
Bamboo is the heavyweight champion of sustainable flooring materials. While it has many of the same characteristics as its hardwood counterparts, bamboo is technically a type of tropical grass. Here are just some of the reasons why bamboo is an ideal material for your next flooring project:
- Bamboo has exceptional durability. Based on the manufacturing technique used, bamboo can be woven to a rating of up to 3000 on the Janka Hardness Scale (surpassing hickory, rock maple and even Brazilian cherry), making it one of the most durable flooring materials on the market.
- Bamboo is easy to clean and maintain. All you have to do is sweep, vacuum or damp mop it on a periodic basis in order to keep it looking good.
- Bamboo offers an elegant aesthetic that is hard to beat. It carries an appearance that is similar to hardwood in many ways, but with a wonderfully distinctive look all its own. Bamboo flooring can elevate the visual appeal of practically any living space.
- Like any other flooring material, bamboo can become scratched, dented or discolored over time, but the good news is that it’s relatively easy to refinish. By sanding down the top layer and then reapplying the finishing coat, you can achieve a fresh, revitalized look for your bamboo floor.
Going green is one of the smartest choices you can make for your new flooring project. Not only will it be good for the environment, but you’ll be able to achieve a unique look for your living space as well. Whether the choice is cork, bamboo or even hardwood flooring, Cincinnati residents look to McSwain Carpets and Floors to provide professional insight and expertise for their home improvement projects. Call us or stop by one of our showrooms to explore the eco-friendly flooring options that will best suit your particular project needs and budget.