Throughout much of our barn conversion we plan to install reclaimed timber flooring. Today, I thought I would briefly write about how you might go about choosing sustainable flooring for your home.
First of all, reuse is something to consider. Choosing reclaimed materials rather than buying new can often be a sustainable choice. This is not only true when it comes to wooden flooring but also when it comes to stone or tiled floor options.
We were lucky enough to be able to reclaim a few old stone slabs from one part of our property. There are not enough for the whole of the kitchen, but we are using them below the Rayburn and wood fired stove, and will place them as a floor in the walk in pantry.
Beyond reuse, if you are buying new, it is important to think about the costs of different flooring options. While many forget the fact, synthetic carpets and laminate, as well as vinyl, are forms of plastic, with all the environmental and health concerns that come with those materials.
If you do decide to opt for carpet, natural options are a more sustainable option. Of course, even materials like wool do not come without concerns. Try to choose wool from sustainable farms where possible.
Cork flooring is another interesting natural option to consider, which does not require trees to be chopped down. Bamboo may sometimes also be an option. A natural linoleum could be a better option than vinyl. And where hard flooring is required or desired, a limecrete or recycled concrete option might be a somewhat greener option for your polished floors.
Of course, cost can be a factor in flooring choices. But whenever we make any decisions about the materials we choose for our homes, we should make sure we fully consider the wider impacts of those choices and make the best possible choice for people and planet.