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. 

  architectural living room with wool carpet - grand designs

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 carpet 

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 

kersaint cobb sisal carpet in jewel coloured room - grand designs

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 

kitchen with large sustainable wooden flooring - grand designs

Image: Dineson 

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. 

Reclaimed flooring

reclaimed wood flooring in a kitchen - grand designs

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

 natural cork flooring in contemporary home - grand designs

Image: Wicanders

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. 

Linoelum

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.

 

MORE ARTICLES

Reclaimed wood flooring: what you need to know

A guide to choosing hard flooring

7 trending eco-friendly construction materials

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