If you're trying to create your very own eco-home, the devil is in the detail. Consider these naturally-sourced, sustainable options for floors throughout the house.
Image: Elements London
When it comes to your home's flooring, there's plenty to consider. Cost and durability may be high on your agenda, but this doesn't need to be at the expense of environmentally friendly options.
While it's true that manmade materials, including plastics, can provide durable options that can last a lifetime and make up for initial outlays of energy and resource use, why not consider a natural, sustainable flooring material that brings plenty of these qualities to the table too?
Wool is a great option if you're looking for sustainable carpet – not only is it naturally-occuring and biodegradable, it's naturally stain resistant, soft and doesn't release VOCs into your home, unlike some synthetic counterparts, improving your home's indoor air quality.
Woven natural fibres
Image: Kersaint Cobb
Natural fibres such as sisal, jute, coir and seagrass are naturally biodegradable, and largely don't use pesticides or fertilisers in the production process and rely on natural rainfall over intensive irrigation systems. Sisal is popular in particular – it's super hardwearing, making it great for carpets and rugs, while retaining a softness that the likes of coir don't possess.
Sustainably sourced wood
To limit the damage that your choice of wood flooring does to the environment, look for certification that the wod has been sourced from responsibly managed forests. FSC accreditation is a good measure for the UK market.
You may also want to consider your choice of varnishes, oils and adhesives, and the effects this may have on your home's indoor air quality.
Image: Ted Todd
Not only do reclaimed wood flooring and tiles have a beautiful natural patina, it also keeps them out of landfill and gives these materials a second life. There are some things to consider, such as ensuring that flooring has been ethically sourced and not stolen – find out more about how to avoid this in our guide to reclaimed flooring.
Cork is an organic, renewable product which has many desirable qualities, including acting as a natural sound- and thermal-insulator. Look out for flooring brands who make use of waste materials from larger cork industry, such as wine stopper manufacturing, for a doubly-green option.
Modern day linoleum calls to mind vinyl flooring made from non-biodegradable plastic, however, natural lineoleum is actually made from a mix linseed oil and a number of other organic materials that may also be byproducts of other industries. It's also super durable, with products such as Marmoleum given a lifespan of as long as 40 years.
Are you looking to source an eco-friendly floor? Let us know by tweeting us @granddesigns or post a comment on our Facebook page.