5 Green Flooring Options

Learn the pros and cons when you're going green under your feet.

Want guests -- or buyers -- to worship the ground you walk on? Ditch that shag carpet and impress them all with one of these eco-friendly floorings.

Using sustainable flooring options is a great way to spruce up the house and be environmentally responsible at the same time. With new styles, materials and options hitting the market every year, you can tread green at home without sacrificing style.

Read on to learn the pros and cons before you head out to the home improvement store.

Bamboo

Thought of as the ultimate in sustainable flooring when it first hit the market, bamboo flooring has had trouble living up to the hype.

Pros:

  • Botanically classified as a grass, bamboo is easily processed into flooring that looks like hardwood and can be stronger and more durable than oak.
  • It grows faster than harvest demand, which makes it perfectly sustainable, and it can be stained to provide many colors to meet most decorating needs.
  • Bamboo can be grown inexpensively and can be installed by most moderately skilled homeowners using the same techniques as installing traditional hardwood floors, either glued, floated or stapled.

Cons:

  • The bamboo plant takes six years to fully mature and harden to the condition where it is stronger than oak, and many manufacturers don't have the patience to let it age. Discount bamboo flooring can be easily dented and wear rough in a short period of time. The immature product can warp in humid conditions, and faded stains can leave an uneven appearance.
  • A majority of bamboo flooring is imported from China, where warranty claims are difficult to settle and replacement can be troublesome and costly.

Bottom Line: While quality bamboo is the real deal, it is critical that you purchase from a knowledgeable dealer who knows where the flooring was made and is willing to stand behind the product.

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