Warm eco friendly floors
Ecology today is not only a trend but an imperative. Rain forests are dying and artificial materials cannot cover the planets demand for wood. How to find soulution for those who do not want to give up the luxury of wooden floors and make their space more comfortable and healthier for living and working? The answer lies in renewable sources.
The most eco friendly floors are made out of cork. Cork is manufactured from the bark of the cork oak. The bark of this tree is removed without damaging the tree. Floors made of cork have excellent characteristics. Cork is a good sound and thermo insulator so energy for heating during winter and cooling the space in the summer will be saved. Cork is also permanently elastic, antimycotic, antistatic, antibacterial, and resistant to termites. Cork is warm and pleasant to touch. Cork floors can be beautifully designed and surface protected with water based eco friendly lacquers, oils or waxes. It’s ideal for nursery rooms and other parts of the household. Cork can be also used for covering the walls increasing at the same time energy efficiency.
Bamboo has been used as a building material for centuries in the Far East. Bamboo parquets are recently conquering our market also. Bamboo is a grass and not a tree. It grows very fast and it’s mature for cutting in only a couple of years which makes it a renewable material. Bamboo doesn’t rot easily, it can be thermo and mechanically treated and it is highly placed on the Brinells hardness scale with 4, 7 brinells (for comparison, oak has 3, 7 hardness). Bamboo parquet can be installed vertically or horizontally, in natural color or in some darker shade obtained by carbonization (thermo treatment of bamboo). Bamboo can be lacquered, oiled or waxed. With the proper final coating bamboo can be installed in all types of spaces.
Multilayered pre finished parquets caused a revolution in the world of wooden floorings. Their structure makes them eco friendly. Only the final 4mm thick layer of this parquet is made out of rare sorts of wood such as oak, teak, jatobe, walnut, wengea… The rest is made out of softer types of wood like pine, poplar, birch….In stead of slow growing endangered types of wood that need up to 40 years of growth to be matured for cutting down, this type of parquet uses types of wood that require half as much time to grow. Two layered pre finished parquet can be installed over under floor heating (following certain procedures) and three layered parquet can be installed floating (without the use of glue). Multilayered parquets can be oiled, waxed, lacquered, bleached, brushed, thermo treated etc and they can be used in all kinds of places from castles to apartments.
Something has to be sad about the final treatments of the multi layered parquet floors. Lacquers are water based so the emission of formaldehydes is decreased. Oils used for oiling the floors are based on linseed oil in combination with natural pigments. Teak oil is used for places with high humidity. Bees wax is used for waxing.
We should also say something about linoleum. Linoleum flooring was developed in 19. Century England. Basic component of linoleum is linseed oil in combination with grounded cork, wooden sawdust, natural resins, limestone and natural colors. This mixture is applied hot over the jute foundation. Linoleum characteristics are exceptional. Linoleum is eco friendly and completely made out of renewable sources. It is antistatic, antibacterial, resistant to wear off and fire and it can be used in all kinds of spaces.
Floors made out of recycled leather are also eco friendly. Recycled leather is grinded and mixed with natural rubber, oils, water and pigments. This mixture is than poured in to molds that give it the wanted structure. Material made this way is harder and more resistant to wear off than natural leather and has antibacterial, antiallergenic, and antistatic characteristics. Leather floors are used both in private and public places.
Floors made out of cork, leather, linoleum, and some types of parquets can be installed with under floor heating.
Eco friendly floors are more expensive but healthier, more energy efficient than other floors. One day eco friendly floors will not be a matter of personal choice but an obligation.
One material or product is eco friendly only if its production doesn’t pollute or minimally pollutes the environment
Ecology (from Greek words οἶκος – home and λογία – science) is a science that studies life environment and living organisms, and biological interactions between living organisms and their surroundings. The term ecology is most commonly used as a synonym for the protection of the environment, which is a mistake because that is only one branch of ecology as a science.