Sustainability - While in the Home
When buying a floor, we’re really buying it for in the room, the impact of the production cycle can seem insignificant when you consider the flooring may be in place for 25 years.
So, one of the most meaningful ways you can impact your environment is choosing the right floor for you, one that is going to be easy to maintain, and not need to be replaced.
How can choosing the right floor be a more sustainable choice? If you’re living a high traffic lifestyle, picking a floor that is easy to maintain, with water or low impact chemicals is going to minimise its impact.
Hybrid flooring is a great choice for easy maintenance, and is durable for the family home. There are water-proof options that mean accidental spills and mess will sit on top, instead of soaking in and needing professional cleaning, and should the worst happen, it’s possible to replace one plank instead of the whole floor.
In soft flooring, triexta is naturally stain resistant and will resist 99% of household spills for the life of the carpet. It’s all about the built-in stain resistance. Triexta carpet is manufactured to be negatively changed which means spills are repelled and often water is all that’s needed to clean it up.
But it’s not just spills and longevity of the floor. Something that we’re becoming more and more mindful of these days is indoor air quality. Air quality can be impacted by many things, including hard chemicals required to clean some floor types, resurfacing older fashioned timber floors, and even the chemicals that went into the production of the floor itself. Many floors, regardless of their core materials are finished with coatings and chemicals that give off gasses while in the home. These gases are commonly known as VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds) and are regulated by national standards.
Whilst almost everywhere, and already regulated (even a timber floor can release VOCs due to its production methods), it’s now possible to choose floors that will release far fewer VOCs over the lifespan of the floor, and you’ll find options with fewer VOCs in every covering type.
If air quality is very important to you, a wool carpet is a great choice. Not many people know that wool naturally absorbs allergens, pollutants, and can improve the air quality in your home.
Wool is hygroscopic, meaning it absorbs and releases moisture in the air. This insulating effect can help to lower energy bills by regulating indoor temperature in summer and winter. If you or your family have high allergies or asthma, wool is a great choice in the bedrooms.
Part of the natural suitability of wool comes down to the structure of the woollen fibre itself. Wool is constructed of overlapping scales, arranged almost like roof tiles, or fish scales. These scales inhibit dirt from sticking to the wool fibres, and help it flick away. This means that wool has significantly better soil release than any other fibre, meaning it cleans better, and stain protection is unnecessary. Which, is also great news, because it’s one less chemicals in the home.
And it doesn’t have to be one way or another. Sustainable natural fibre rugs can dress up a hard floor, while still providing the long term benefits of a hard floor covering. You can update your look to an existing floor with a natural covering.
In short, if you want a sustainable choice in your home, pick a floor that is not going to need replacing (and that may mean a timeless style too), is easy to clean without harsh chemicals (or professional resurfacing), and releases lower VOCs over its lifespan.