Outside hard ground, no salvation, do you think? Think again. Not all hard floors are ecological. And today there are completely eco-responsible alternatives.
Not all wooden floors are ecological. Some inexpensive woods undergo numerous chemical treatments. The most environmentally friendly floors are those in oak (from € 30 per m2) and chestnut (from € 20) because they undergo few treatments and the growth cycles are generally respected. Alternative to these rather expensive woods, bamboo (from 15 € and up to 50 € depending on the parquet). This plant grows very quickly and therefore allows significant use without endangering the ecosystem. It is presented varnished or natural. It is very resistant to mold. It is more resistant than an oak parquet (up to 30% harder) and twice as flexible.
True linoleum (not to be confused with PVC) is an ecological product. Indeed, it is mainly composed of linseed oil, wood, cork and pigments. It has many advantages: it is naturally antibacterial and very easy to maintain. It is also resistant. Its only weak point: its price, because it takes at least 20 € per square meter for real linoleum.
Mostly known for insulating the house, cork is also an ecological floor covering. It is very hot and has anti-static properties which makes it particularly comfortable. Today there are cork of all colors, with patterns, waxed or varnished. Count from 8 to 12 € per m2.
Carpet is certainly the most comfortable floor covering. But often made of synthetic fibers, they retain dust and promote the proliferation of mites and bacteria. Fortunately, today we are starting to find ecological carpets made from natural materials (goat hair, recycled paper, corn, etc.). The prices are quite high (count 50 euros per square meter for animal wool carpet). There is also ecological plant carpet, Pathways, an English product which was also awarded the Bronze medal at the Batimat innovation competition in 2003. It is made from fermented derivatives of corn, beetroot and rice. 100% natural, this carpet carpet respects the environment during its manufacture and is recyclable. And it looks like a classic tufted carpet.
Natural flexible floors
In coconut, fiber from the coconut but stiff and slightly spicy, we prefer seagrass (10 to 30 € per m2). It is an easy-to-live material, robust and not very sensitive to dirt. Sisal also offers interesting properties. This fiber is extracted from agave, a Mexican plant. Sisal can be dyed and other vegetable fibers. Its soft and tight weaving is particularly suitable for bedrooms. In addition, it absorbs moisture.
Caralium ® (from € 35 per m2) is an ecological technological innovation by Gerflor. It is a tiled floor offering the beauty of ceramic without the drawbacks. Fully recyclable, it is composed of 80% hot-pressed mineral materials and 20% composite material (VOC-free). It is warm underfoot, non-slip, more insulating than ceramic, less noisy than tiles or laminate, it resists shocks and scratches, is easy to clean and is completely waterproof.