Elegant home design begins with the floors. The materials, colors and finishes you choose will help inform future decorative decisions. Whether you pick hardwood, tile or carpet, you’ll need to find a product that best aligns with your design plans.

Many homeowners are interested in installing sustainable flooring products. Today, there are a variety of options that either have a minimal carbon footprint or are derived from recycled materials. As the market for these products grows, consumers don’t have to choose between being stylish and being environmentally-friendly.

Eco-friendly flooring options fall into two broad categories: sustainable material and recycled materials. Sustainable flooring ensures that harvesting and manufacturing are performed in an ecologically sound manner, whereas recycled flooring takes things a step further by eschewing the consumption of new materials in favor of reusing existing ones.

Sustainable flooring options:

  • Cork floors
  • Bamboo floors
  • Linoleum floors
  • FSC-certified wood

Recycled flooring options:

  • PET Berber carpet
  • Reclaimed hardwood
  • Recycled tile

Questions to ask your salesperson about Green floors:

  • Was the flooring transported a long distance before it reached the showroom?
  • Were potentially harmful chemicals, additives, finishes or glues used in the manufacturing process?
  • Will the installation require additional subflooring?
  • Can I install the new flooring over my previous flooring? (This is sometimes possible and will cut down on landfill waste and installation costs.)What’s the manufacturer-recommended maintenance and cleaning schedule?
  • Can the flooring be cleaned using nontoxic and biodegradable cleansers?