The Pros and Cons of Popular Natural Flooring Materials

| 12/5/2012 10:52:00 AM

Decorating your home with natural materials brings elements of Mother Nature indoors and lends an earthy, contemporary tone to a room. There is a wide range of natural flooring materials available, but when choosing products for use in a natural home it’s important to remember that natural doesn’t always mean sustainable. Learning more about each natural product you’re considering will help you make wise decisions about the effect your home has on the earth.

Not all natural materials are good choices for floors because some weather better than others. Look for materials that are both durable and long-lasting. Flooring in high-traffic areas should be hard and resistant to long-term wear. Floors in kitchens and bathrooms, where moisture is an issue, should be non-porous and have acid-resistant sealers applied to help prevent stains.

While some types of natural flooring tend to be harder on the earth than others, each individual product is harvested and manufactured differently. A closer look each product’s origins reveals that some manufacturers take extra steps to create a more earth-friendly material, whether it’s by using less-invasive harvesting processes or renewable energy during fabrication.

With our remodeling projects in San Jose, we’re seeing an increase in homeowners interested in both traditional natural flooring materials, such as natural stone and hardwood, and trendy, sustainable flooring materials like cork and bamboo. As you’ll see, each one has its pros and cons as a flooring option, including its benefits and drawbacks for the planet.

hardwood floors in kitchen 

Hardwood floors. While wood flooring can make a room look very earthy and natural, it’s not always the most environmentally-friendly option. Wood has remained popular as a flooring material for centuries because it’s long-lasting and adaptable to a wide range of spaces and interior styles. Wood is arguably a renewable resource, but it takes decades, and sometimes centuries, to replenish itself.

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