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Flooring Trends (page 2 of 2)

Check out some of the newest technologies and reclaimed materials that are becoming the hottest products in flooring.

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Growing With Green

If there’s a growth category in flooring, it's the green market. Although the notion of green flooring has been au courant for years, demand for commercial flooring that complies with LEED standards has helped lower prices for green residential flooring as well. That translates into more new products and more consumer acceptance.

Most flooring manufacturers are jumping on the green bandwagon, adding lines that boast high recycled content and raw materials obtained from sustainable sources. Among our favorites:

  • Wood flooring certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) comes from forests that are managed with strict standards of sustainability and environmental responsibility. Beautiful woods such as tigerwood and Brazilian cherry are available as engineered planks at reasonable ($7 to $8 per sq. ft.) prices.

  • Nontoxic cork is taken from bark of the cork oak tree. It's used to make cork flooring and is a key ingredient in eco-friendly linoleum. Cork is a sustainable material, meaning the bark grows back and can be harvested repeatedly. Corkoleum, from US Floors, combines the best attributes of natural cork in its linoleum products.

  • Further proof that wine is beneficial: The Vintage Barrel Collection, from Fontenay, is a fully reclaimed-wood flooring product made from white-oak wine barrels.

  • Carpet industry leaders such as Mohawk Industries continue making inroads into the green market by producing carpeting that features fibers made with corn sugar instead of nylon. Several manufacturers feature lines of carpeting with fibers made from 100 percent postconsumer food and drink containers.

  • Engineered wood floors from Magnewood eschew plywood base construction in favor of wood pulp mixed with stone dust to produce an extremely stable substrate composed of 75 percent recycled material.

The new flooring buzzwords are "antimicrobial" and "antibacterial." Leading the way is cork, which is supposed to possess natural antibacterial properties. Tile from Stonepeak Ceramics uses sunlight to activate a chemical on the tile's surface that oxidizes germs and "speeds up the decomposition of pollutants," substantially (we're supposing) extending the five-second rule.

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