Being eco-friendly when buying flooring is a great approach, but picking eco-friendly products isn’t as easy as you might think.
“People think bamboo is eco-friendly because it grows really quickly,” says Byron Saracoglu of Metrotown Floors + Interiors. “But there is a lot of glue used in putting the bamboo sheets together; and it also travels far. On top of that, Bamboo might have to be replaced sooner than other woods, and when it does, it’s just going into the landfill.”
For Saracoglu, health, comfort and safety of his customers are his priorities, so he is very selective in the companies he deals with and learns everything he can about how the products are made.
Europe has higher emission standards than in Canada, for example, so Metrotown Floors + Interiors imports European flooring as part of its product line.
Here are some of the factors Saracoglu advises his clients to keep in mind when they’re thinking about choosing eco-friendly products:
- Distance: How far does the product travel? Local products are “greener” because less fuel is used in the supply chain.
- Emission standards: Does it come from a region that has strict emission standards, such as Europe or California?
- Toxins:Is it made with a lot of glue, such as plywood, laminates, synthetic carpets and other glue-based products? The glue might be made with formaldehyde, which is toxic in high doses.
- Durability: Is it long-lasting? Bamboo and cork floors are considered “green” because they are easily grown in large quantities, but they are also softer, which means they will have to be replaced sooner. Tile and stone are often a better solution due to their durability.
- Use of natural resources:Most man-made carpets, such as nylon and polyester, are oil-based, using non-renewable resources. Wool is a hypo-allergenic, natural alternative.
- Dyes and treatments:If the carpet has been coloured, was the dye natural?
- Cost: Often people go for a cheaper product without thinking how long it will last. If it has to be thrown into landfill in five years, it’s not very sustainable. A durable hardwood floor might be more expensive, but it’s far greener in the long run.
Eco-friendly flooring is not hard to find; you just need to know where to look and the right questions to ask.
If you’re interested in learning more about eco-friendly flooring, visit Metrotown Floors at 5690 Imperial St, Burnaby, check out their website, call 604-434-4463 or email. You can also find Metrotown Floors on Facebook, Pinterest or Houzz.