As a discerning green homeowner, every choice you make involves a variety of factors. And floors are no exception. You have to love how it looks, like how it feels on your feet, trust that it cleans up without too much effort and lasts a long time – and since you care about the planet that we live on….it needs to be eco-friendly, too. Is this too much to ask? Happily, the answer is “no.” Actually, there are so many eco-friendly flooring choices available now that you may have a hard time sifting through all of the myriad alternatives that are out there. Our mission is to make things a little easier for you, so we found fourteen distinct options made from different materials and put them into this handy product showcase of eco-friendly flooring. These products are all amazing in their own way and they reflect the wide variety of possibilities out there. If you find a particular product you like, be sure to check out other brands making anything similar. There are tons of options to explore!
FLOR Carpet Tiles
With FLOR carpet tiles, you have complete control with more options in color, style, and texture than ever before. You design it and they deliver it.
- They source reclaimed and recycled materials (like plastic netting from the ocean) for every FLOR tile.
- The tiles are manufactured in progressive, energy-efficient facilities that use less water and energy and produce less waste.
- Their modular design approach allows you to easily refresh your look or swap out damaged tiles, without starting from scratch. This means less waste and fewer resources in the long term.
- Utilize their return and recycle program and they’ll turn the tiles back into FLOR for others to enjoy.
- All FLOR tiles are non-toxic, hypoallergenic, and meet or exceed standards for low VOCs, so they are safe for you and your family.
Learn more at Flor.
Pioneer Millworks Reclaimed and Sustainable Wood Products
There are many types of eco-friendly and sustainable hardwood flooring, but reclaimed wood is one of the most unique. This hardwood flooring has a story to tell. It may have been the floor of a tile factory or the beams in an old barn. It has a patina that can only be achieved slowly over time. If you want the flooring in your home to not only be eco-friendly but also have a rich history, then reclaimed wood is the right choice for you.
- Pioneer Millworks “rescues” antique wood from dilapidated structures, which keeps it out of a landfill.
- Using reclaimed wood means fewer trees being harvested.
- You may be able to use rare lumber such as Chestnut or Elm which were nearly wiped out by blight in the early twentieth century.
Learn more at Pioneer Millworks.
Daltile is the country’s leading manufacturer and distributor of ceramic tile and natural stone and they have an amazing portfolio of product options.
- Their products can help qualify under many of the industry-leading green building programs, in addition to local and state green building initiatives. Specifically, using Daltile products can help you in two major areas – indoor air quality and environmentally preferable materials.
- Most tile glazes are water based and use minimal amounts of solvents. Once fired, the tile and glaze are completely fused and there is no possibility of volatile gas emissions.
- More than 97% of Daltile’s manufactured products contain pre-consumer (post-industrial) recycled materials.
- Their eight manufacturing facilities in the United States and Mexico provide the opportunity for their products and raw materials to be closer to more building projects, thus conserving fossil fuels required for transportation.
- They offer real-time information on recycled materials content and information on whether or not your home or project falls within a 500 mile radius of one of their plants, making it easy for you select the material that best meets your needs.
- Their manufactured tile products have been tested and are compliant with the Collaborative for High Performance Schools (CHPS) Low-Emitting Material Standard.
- Daltile products may help qualify for LEED credits.
Learn more at Daltile.
Since 1992, Tesoro Woods has been a leading proponent of sustainability in the sourcing of their wood, cork, and bamboo flooring and in utilizing finishes and glues that minimize adverse impacts on indoor air quality and health.
- Tesoro Woods initiated the development of FSC-certified wood flooring, no added urea-formaldehyde bamboo flooring, and more.
- Tesoro Woods has always sourced renewable, responsibly-harvested materials such as bamboo, cork, and wood from certified well-managed forests.
- Throughout their history, they have also been committed to using the safest glues, finishes, and binders available. All of their wood and bamboo products utilize no added urea-formaldehyde glues and all of their solid cork tiles use no added formaldehyde binders.
- Tesoro Woods is committed to transparency and makes public all available information on their flooring products: the provenance of raw materials, where each product is made, the chemistry of the glues and finishes they use, etc.
Learn more at Tesoro Woods.
- All ECOfusion products are manufactured with phenolic adhesives that contain no added urea-formaldehyde and no harmful VOC’s. All ECOfusion products exceed standards for European E1 and CARB (California Air Resource Board) 2012 emissions standards. Their Pro-Core 14mm Engineered Flooring collection also meets the CA01350 standard as mentioned in LEED.
- All products used in the strand woven hardwood are made from 100% post-industrial recycled materials.
- Moso bamboo, which is the prime ingredient in EcoFusion’s bamboo flooring products, is a rapidly renewable resource.
- All ECOfusion bamboo products qualify for credits under the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Green Building Rating System.
Learn more at Ecofusion.
US Floors Natural Cork
USFloors is the leading importer/producer of sustainable, eco-friendly floors including cork, bamboo, FSC®-Certified hardwood, and other unique and sustainable floors.
- USFloors sources and utilizes sustainable resources for its flooring products whenever possible.
- Cork and bamboo are two of the most sustainable and renewable resources in the flooring industry today.
- Their Natural Bamboo products are eligible for LEED credits for Rapidly Renewable Materials and Low Emitting Materials.
- Their Natural Cork products also satisfy LEED credits for Rapidly Renewable Materials, Recyled Content, and Low Emitting Materials.
- Their Castle Combe and Navarre hardwood floors are finished with a zero-VOC natural oil.
- Their FSC®-Certification satisfies LEED credits for Certified Wood.
- Even their patented COREtec Plus® Engineered Luxury Vinyl Floors incorporate recycled wood and bamboo content into its waterproof core, an attached cork underlayment, and are eligible for LEED credits for Rapidly Renewable Materials, Recycled Content, and Low Emitting Materials.
Learn more at US Floors.
Forbo Marmoleum Click
Marmoleum Click is extremely durable and simple to care for. The top layer is Marmoleum, a natural, sustainable product; behind this is a layer of water repellent HDF (high-density fiber board) with a back layer of cork. The simple locking system allows you to slot the pieces together and click them into place, and because the panels leave no seams when connected, it’s easy to get a nice smooth finish is no time – no need to mess around with glue or waiting for it to dry.
- Made from 97% natural raw materials, 72% of which are renewable and will grow back within 10 years.
- The flax plant is where they derive Marmoleum’s key ingredient, linseed oil.
- Marmoleum is made with 43% recycled content to reduce the need for virgin raw material.
- Marmoleum is 100% biodegradable.
- Of all the electricity they buy, 100% comes from renewable sources.
- Marmoleum becomes stronger over time, making it more durable.
- Topshield2 finish, which, together with naturally antibacterial ingredients, means the floor is hygienic and needs less cleaning with fewer harmful chemicals
- Approved by Allergy UK, Marmoleum contributes to a healthier indoor environment
Learn more at Forbo.com.
Nature's Carpet Wool Carpet
Nature’s Carpet offers over 60 styles and colors of 100% wool carpets. Their product line balances the consistent and unshakable demand for a stylish, durable, high-quality flooring choice, with the increasing sensitivity of consumers to the sustainability of inputs and biodegradability of the final product.
Nature’s Carpet has created a Green Spectrum to qualify the eco-aspects of their various products. Their Dark Green carpet products are the most environmentally friendly, Everest being made of 100% renewable resources, and Element and Ambrosia being made of 98% renewable resources, and featuring no chemical additives. Medium Green and Light Green carpets, while still far more environmentally conscious than average carpet products, feature many but not all the features of the Dark Green, as outlined below.
Learn more at Nature’s Carpet.
Mohawk EverStrand Recycled Content Carpet
Mohawk actually offers hundreds of beautiful, top-quality products made with recycled and renewable resources, from carpet and carpet cushion to hardwood, laminate, and tile. Their Everstrand carpet is made from recycled plastic bottles that actually create a stronger yarn than other PET. So you get a durable, long-lasting carpet that contributes to a cleaner planet: made with up to 100% recycled content.
- Certified NSF 140, the first U.S. national carpet sustainability certification based on life cycle assessment principles.
- Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI) Green Label and Green Label Plus certified , which means their carpets will not adversely affect indoor air quality.
- GREENGUARD® Indoor Air Quality certified which means that products designed for use indoors, meet strict chemical emissions limits.
- Mohawk invests heavily in environmentally responsible practices, from developing renewably sourced products to keeping our facilities and delivery systems streamlined and efficient.
Learn more at Mohawk.
Fireclay Recycled Glass Tile
Fireclay recycled glass tile is handmade in California and comes in 40 deeply saturated colors in both gloss and matte finishes. The line has 17 different sizes and shapes and a wide range of mosaic patterns making it easy to find what works best for you.
- The tiles are made from 100% locally-sourced recycled glass.
- The pigments are VOC-free.
- All Fireclay orders are packaged for shipment using 100% recycled boxes, re-used shipping crates, and sawdust from a local furniture manufacturer.
- To offset the carbon footprint that’s created from shipping tile near and far, they’ve partnered with the Carbon fund to offset 100% of their emissions.
Learn more at Fireclay Tile.
Bolefloor is the world’s first manufactured naturally curved hardwood flooring that follows a tree’s natural growth. It is manufactured in limited editions and is always tailor-made.
- Bolefloor’s optimization technology means saving the natural resources. Not only is the surface aesthetically appealing, but Bolefloor’s innovations allows more floors per forest.
- Bolefloor is taylor-made according to a customer’s specific room measurements, practically removing waste.
- Pre-finished flooring is coated with Osmo Hardwax, Engineered from natural, renewable oils and waxes.
Learn more at Bolefloor.
Beautifully designed, environmentally friendly, American made—Crossville manufactures Porcelain Stone® tile, natural stone, glass, metal, and mosaics.
- Not only are their products third-party certified by SCS Global Services, a leading sustainability firm, they’ve ensured their entire manufacturing process is, too.
- They partner with TOTO® USA sanitary wares to recycle pre-consumer fired porcelain they would normally discard into raw material for new tile. Just a few years into the program, Crossville has become the first net consumer of tile waste (meaning they recycle more than they produce), diverting millions of pounds of waste from landfills.
- They recycle water for re-use in manufacturing processes, and strive to source what they need to make and market their products—from raw materials to packaging, printing and transportation—from within 350 miles of operation.
- Crossville is the first manufacturer to earn TCNA’s Green Squared® certification—the highest sustainability standard in the industry—across all U.S.-manufactured porcelain tile product lines.
- Through their one-of-a-kind Tile Take Back program, they accept previously installed fired porcelain, cut scraps, and loose samples for recycling into brand new tile.
- They’re the first large-scale manufacturer to invent a way to recycle fired porcelain as stock for new tile
- They manufacture all their tile collections using pre-consumer recycled content—up to 40% in some colorways.
- Their products contribute to LEED certification.
Learn more about Crossville.
Dekton employs exclusive Sinterized Particle Technology, a high tech process which represents an accelerated version of the metamorphic change that natural stone undergoes when subjected to high temperatures and pressure over thousands of years. Dekton is scratch-resistant, stain-resistant, and will not burn or crack.
- The product is made from a mixture of inorganic raw materials found in glass, porcelain tile, and natural quartz.
- Dekton flooring is certified by the following: UL Greenguard Gold for indoor air quality and NSF for health and safety.
- Dekton is stronger than granite allowing for thinner, lighter slabs, which not only reduces resource use, it also reduces its carbon footprint.
- The extraordinary durability means the flooring will likely never need replacing.
- Dekton has obtained an EPD® (Environmental Product Declaration), an independently verified and registered document that communicates transparent information about the life-cycle environmental impact of products.
- Dekton’s parent company is Cosentino, a brand with a long-time commitment to sustainability.
Learn more at Dekton.
Halquist Stone Tile
Halquist Stone is one of the largest quarries in the Midwest, and their tiles are available in several finishes including: brushed, bushhammered, thermal, honed, or polished. Each stone has its own unique color, veining, and natural characteristics.
- Stone is a natural product with enduring life.
- Stone is linked to improved indoor air quality and contributes to energy efficiency.
- Stone is 100% recyclable (whatever is not used is ground up for AgLime for fertilizing farmland).
- Halquist Stone practices quarry reclamation which consists of turning the used extraction site into an environmentally friendly area by restoring trees, grasses, and other plants to create a suitable wildlife habitat.
- Stone can help with LEED certification.
Learn more at Halquist Stone.
Cali Bamboo calls it’s flooring “The world’s hardest floors.” They use a unique manufacturing process to create “fossilized” wood which they say is twice as dense as any other hardwood flooring. Their bamboo floors come in twenty different finishes so you can be sure that you will find exactly what you’re looking for in an eco-friendly floor.
- Bamboo is the fastest growing plant on earth and can be re-harvested without harm to the plant or the surrounding eco-system.
- Durability is sustainability. Turns out, when up against other timbers, bamboo shoots above and beyond.
- Higher tensile strength than many alloys of steel
- Higher compressive strength than many mixtures of concrete
- Higher strength-to-weight ratio than graphite
- All of Cali Bamboo’s flooring is ultra low VOC with no added urea formaldehyde.
Learn more at Cali Bamboo.
Learn more about eco-friendly flooring options right here on Elemental Green!
Our team researches products, companies, studies, and techniques to bring the best of green building to you. Elemental Green does not independently verify the accuracy of all claims regarding featured products or manufacturers. Additionally, product and brand mentions on Elemental Green do not imply endorsement or sponsorship unless specified otherwise.