In a changing world where climate change and protecting the environment is constantly making headlines, we want to do the best we can to vote with our money and make options that help the planet. Home renovations can be tricky to navigate when we want to live in an environmentally conscious way.
Regarding flooring, in particular, there are numerous things to consider. In this article, we explore the best flooring surfaces and how to dispose of your old flooring.
Is Solid Wood Flooring an Environmental Choice?
Solid wood flooring is an excellent choice when looking to make environmentally conscious renovation decisions. Trees are a sustainable choice, and although cutting them down isn’t the best thing for the planet, many flooring companies are offsetting this by supporting reforestation efforts.
Reducing consumption is one of the most important aspects of living an environmentally conscious life. When we inevitably do have to update things, such as our flooring, it is therefore important to choose flooring that will last for as long as possible.
High-quality wood flooring can last a lifetime. Compared with other surfaces, such as laminate – which has a lifespan of between 15 and 25 years – solid wood flooring helps reduce the amount of usage over a longer period of time. This allows time for reforestation efforts to take effect and neutralise the impact of your purchase.
Is Bamboo Flooring an Environmental Choice?
Bamboo flooring is another great environmentally friendly flooring option. Bamboo grows much faster than wood used for solid wood flooring. It doesn’t require replanting as it is harvested above the root and continues to regrow after harvest. All while still offering many of the same benefits as hardwood floors.
Bamboo is also slightly more water-resistant than solid wood flooring, as well as more resistant to mould, making it a great choice for your household.
How Can You Reuse Old Flooring?
When you replace your flooring, you’ll have to decide what to do with your old floors. Reusing and recycling are two great ways to manage this without contributing unnecessary waste. Here are some examples of how you can repurpose your old floor. If you’re into DIY or crafts, these are for you.
You can cut down old pieces of laminate and use them to resurface areas of your house, perhaps a workbench in the garage, an upcycled desk or a dressing table. This can be a great way to turn vintage pieces into something chic and shiny and give them a new lease on life.
You can also use laminate flooring for craft projects. Why not create picture or mirror frames? With some glue, paint and tools, you can make an endless range of crafts, just use your imagination.
2. Solid Wood
Many of the same things you can make with laminate will also work with old solid wood flooring. You may also want to try using your previous floor in other ways in your home. You could consider making a new headboard, or adding a feature wall.
Tiles may not be easy to pull up without damaging them, but not to worry! Broken tiles have been used for hundreds of years in the art form of mosaic. You can use this intricate art detail to decorate almost anything or to make your old tiles into a standalone art piece of your own.
Disposing of Old Flooring
If you cannot find a use for your old flooring, you will want to dispose of it in the least environmentally-damaging way possible. Although sometimes, it is unavoidable for things to end up in a landfill, there are still some options to consider.
New kinds of laminate flooring often have the ability to be recycled. Up to 85% of the materials used to construct laminate can be repurposed by recycling facilities to create wood chips or fibres. This won’t be a case of just popping it in your recycling bin, however, you will need to find a company that offers this specific service.
Likewise, solid wood flooring can be recycled. Wood is a widely recycled material, so it’s always best to take old flooring to the recycling centre rather than to landfill. If the wood is in good condition, you could also donate it so that it can be used again.