Over the last 20+ years that I’ve been working in the construction field, I’ve installed countless floors using a wide variety of materials-and eco-freindly materials are some of my favorite flooring materials to use in the kitchen. Whether you’re doing it for the environment or you’re doing it because you just like the flooring options, eco-friendly flooring for your kitchen can be a great way to add not only a good looking material, but it can also help to raise the value of your kitchen remodeling project significantly. Get the best ROI on your new kitchen by installing one or all of these four eco-friendly kitchen flooring materials.
A lot of homeowners confuse this cheap and easy kitchen flooring material with vinyl. Vinyl is made from lots of chemicals that just aren’t good for the environment. Linoleum on the other hand is made from 100 percent natural materials. Flax seeds are pressed to remove the oils (called linseed oil) from the seed husks. The oil is then mixed with finely ground wood flour and pressed into sheets or tiles. And because the linoleum is pressed into a form, it can be made to mimic any flooring material on the market for a fraction of the cost. Best of all, once linoleum is well past its life and ready to be tossed in the garbage, you can rest assured in knowing that it is completely biodegradable.
Whether it comes in tiles or rolls, cork is one of the most eco-friendly wood materials on the market. It’s made from the bark of the cork tree and doesn’t actually kill the tree in the process. Cork is removed from the base of the tree and is allowed to grow back on its own. This allows the tree to live a long life producing lots of cork materials and plenty of oxygen in the process. Cork tiles are also soft underfoot, making them the perfect flooring for the kitchen where dropped cups and dishes can easily shatter on harder kitchen flooring materials.
Often mistaken for wood, bamboo is actually a fast growing grass. It’s extremely eco-friendly simply because it’s made from a material that can be grown easily anywhere in the world and harvests in just 3-5 years versus wood flooring material which can take conventional trees 20-30 years of growth before they are ready to be used for flooring. Engineered bamboo flooring is probably one of the best engineered materials to use in a kitchen because it can easily be modified to appear as a light or dark wood species. So no matter what color or design theme your kitchen sports, you’ll be able to find a good bamboo flooring material that’s a perfect match.
This all-natural product works excellent in kitchens because of its ability to withstand abuse, stains and harsh cleanings that many kitchen floors often require after heavy use. Many natural stone materials like granite and marble are eco-friendly materials in that they are natural, but they also have one of the longest lifespans of any flooring material on the market. Limestone, travertine and slate are also great natural stone materials to use for a kitchen; however they can stain a little easier than some other stone materials. Breakage, cracks and other damages may result from over abuse as well, but tiles can easily be replaced, making stone tile cheap, easy and eco-friendly to install in your new kitchen.