Choosing flooring for your home can be a big decision, as it is a major interior feature and one that you will likely live with for many years to come. That’s why it’s so important to consider the durability of the material you choose for your floors.
Not only is opting for sustainable flooring an eco-friendly choice that can help reduce your carbon footprint, but it also has the potential to add value to your property and have a positive effect on the health and well-being of your family.
Fortunately, there are plenty of options to choose from when it comes to durable flooring. Just be sure to do your research on how your supplier sourced the materials used in your home, to ensure your new flooring is as durable as possible.
Here are some of the most popular sustainable flooring options in Australia:
Arguably one of the most sustainable flooring options, bamboo is a fast-growing, renewable material that can be harvested without the need to replant the root system. For this reason, it is generally considered an eco-friendly alternative to traditional hardwood flooring that rivals its appearance and durability.
Bamboo is also pest resistant, which limits the use of pesticides during harvesting.
Also ranked high on the sustainability scale, cork is harvested from the bark of cork trees, which regrow approximately every three years. It is a biodegradable material that has naturally insulating qualities, making it an attractive flooring option, especially for colder climates.
Cork flooring will generally not be as durable as harder materials such as bamboo, so some may choose to avoid using it in high traffic areas of the home. However, in many cases, it can be sanded down and refinished to correct any wear and tear it may be experiencing.
Linoleum – or lino – flooring often gets a bad rap because of its association with vinyl, which is a synthetic material made from harmful petrochemicals. However, unlike vinyl, linoleum is made from biodegradable materials including linseed oil, cork dust and tree resin, making it a sustainable choice.
Lino is a very durable, water resistant and easy to maintain flooring option. It is also an affordable choice compared to many other materials.
Engineered hardwood is comprised of a solid hardwood veneer and a plywood core, resulting in a product similar to traditional hardwood flooring, but with a reduced amount of slow-growing hardwood necessary for production. Like traditional hardwood, engineered hardwood is one of the most durable types of flooring available and can often add value to your property.
Some manufacturers make their engineered hardwood with a recycled plywood core, which further increases its durability factor.
Carpeting can be an attractive option for those living in colder climates, as it offers excellent insulating qualities and is likely to reduce the need to use space heaters.
While rugs can be made from synthetic materials, which are not sustainable, there are many alternatives available from renewable resources. Some of them include wool, sisal, jute, and seagrass.
What else should you consider?
Once you’ve decided on the most appropriate durable flooring option for your home, it’s important to ensure that the materials used in the installation process are also as environmentally friendly and low-toxic as possible.
Be sure to check the toxicity of all stains, finishes and adhesives used to install your new flooring, and carefully consider the products you use to clean and maintain it over time.
Financing your sustainable floor
Installing new flooring throughout your home can be an expensive project. If you’re looking for financing options, you might consider using a personal home improvement loan to help cover expenses.
RateCity’s personal loan comparison tools can make it easy to compare your options and help you find a competitive product that meets your needs.